Originally, this was just going to be the one post linking to all of them, but I found I had too much to say to put it all in one post without it taking way too much space. So let’s take it one at a time. Here then is the first on the list:
Dry Bones (in Denver, naturally) isn’t your average Christian outreach. In fact, they’re not your average anything.
The easiest way to describe them would be: “Inner-city youth outreach”, but that wouldn’t even come close to describing them. They’re friends and teachers, bowlers and burrito-bringers, ministers and motivators.
I met them a bit more than eight years ago while I was a homeless kid living in a shelter in Denver. My girlfriend (now ex-wife) told me that there was free pool to be found downtown on Thursday nights, hosted by some Christian group. I figured I knew their type. I figured them to be another group of Christians whose faith, for some inexplicable reason, requires me to believe and who use interesting activities like pool to keep people in one place long enough to have the Bible crammed down their throat. I figured very, very wrong.
There’s not a lot to do when you’re a homeless kid, so I went. Expecting Pat Roberts but hoping for Roma Downey, I went. I expected heavy-handed bible thumping; I got a warm welcome and some life-long friends.
They didn’t preach to me – they talked to me, and they listened. They didn’t judge me, and trust me when I say that if anybody was just begging to be judged…
I kept going, I got to know them, and they got to know me. Most outreach groups I’ve interacted with just aren’t really that interested in helping you improve your physical circumstances – they only seem to care about adding more converts to their records. Not so with the folks at Dry Bones. It’s true that ministry is their stated and primary purpose, but they also genuinely want to help in whatever other ways they can.
They helped me get a job and get back on my feet – twice. They went to recovery meetings with me. They hung out with me. And at my wedding, one was the best man, another was the maid of honor, and yet another of their staff actually performed the ceremony.
It was with them that I started attending church and was baptized, and although I am no longer religious in any capacity, the staff of Dry Bones Denver remains some of my best friends.
Their blog, which is linked to above, is about their work, and there is also a great deal of content from the kids they’re helping and are friends with. It’s touching, encouraging, uplifting, inspiring and a whole lot of other -ing words, so definitely CHECK IT OUT.