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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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A Culture of Hospitality

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For the last couple of years I have been spending a lot of time helping the homeless. I have taken them into my home, helping them get a job, taking their children to school and arguing for their rights and dignity in the media. I’ve protested when they have been mistreated or deported and I’ve celebrated God’s victory over Satan with them on street parties. Also, I’ve been frustrated with them over the fact that most churches and Christian homes won’t take them in.

There are four million homeless in Europe and eleven million empty houses. Not only that, their are at least 14 million evangelical Christians who could easily fit the homeless into their living rooms and guest rooms. The Bible emphasises that hospitality is something all Christians should engage in:

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:13).

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2).

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Song: Welcome

The World is often a hostile place, but Jesus is constantly welcoming and commands us to be hospitable. This song is written and sung by me, guitar by Andreas Lundström.

Welcome homeless people, welcome to my house
It’s warm inside and I got food and I’ll never kick you out
I’m sorry that my countrymen just let you starve and freeze
The world outside is hostile but you’re welcome to me

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me

Welcome refugees, bring your families
Welcome to my country where there’s welfare and peace
I’m sorry that the racists promote inequality
But I will fight for your right to stay ’cause you mean a lot to me

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me

Welcome unbelievers, welcome to our church
We offer healing, eternal life and a bunch of other stuff
We’re sorry that we Christians often behaved like piles of sh*t
But Jesus rocks and His Spirit rules so please pay us a visit

We bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to us
We love you and we want you here so please come to us

Welcome Holy Spirit, welcome to my heart
I need your power, strength and love, ‘less I’ll just fall apart
I’m sorry for my egoism and sinful lusts and deeds
I want to serve like Jesus so please, Spirit, wash me clean

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me

Welcome my beloved, says almighty God
Welcome to my Kingdom that awaits you in the clouds
You won’t feel sorry any more when I wash away your tears
You’ll be with Me forever, no more days or months or years

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me 

The Desperate Need for Christian Hospitality

Have you ever wanted to meet an angel? If so, let some homeless people into your home.

Scripture says: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebr 13:2). And even if the person we’re hosting turns out to be mere human, that’s not a very big problem since we are then simply doing a very good deed: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Rom 12:13).

Homeless people getting a home§

Homeless people getting a home

In Sweden where I live, almost 50% of all the households are single households, meaning that only one person lives in them. We have almost half a million vacation houses standing empty most months of the year. And yet, so many – even Christians – are arguing that we don’t have space for more immigrants, that we should send Syrian refugees back to war and Romanian beggars back to misery. How about showing some hospitality instead?

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Breaking News: Helping the Poor Actually Helps the Poor!

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I gave these homeless beauties some free lunch yesterday - if I'd lived in Florida I could go to jail for that

Recently I’ve noticed how several politicians try to argue that helping the poor does not help the poor. In the Swedish town of Linköping the train station has forbidden homeless Romas to stay in their facilities – they’ve even blocked the electric sockets to stop them from charging their phones. Joakim Kärnborg from Linköping  municipality defends this decision by saying: “I think we would do the migrants a disservice by isolating them in a warm and cosy place to be in.”

Meanwhile in Florida, a 90-year-old Christian man who is helping the poor through an organization called Love Thy Neighbor, was arrested the other day. His crime was that he was giving food to the homeless. I kid you not, an officer shouted “Drop that plate immediately!” as if it was a gun, and arrested him for homeless feeding.

See, Fort Lauderdale has passed through a law that makes it illegal to hand out food to hungry people, along with other laws that forbids begging and sleeping in public places. Commissioner Dean Trantalis explained that in formulating these ordinances, “the rights of all individuals were addressed and the goals of keeping a safe and welcoming environment were maintained.” He then shared how surprised he was that a representative from a homeless activist group refused to talk to him about his brilliant ideas.

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Breaking News: Giving Homes to Homeless People… Actually Defeats Homelessness!

From our protest action against the municipality's decision to evict homeless people today. The sign reads

From our protest action against the municipality’s decision to evict homeless people today. The sign reads “Provide the poor and homeless with shelter – Is 58:7”

I’m not a big fan of the Young Turks – them being not very devoted to Jesus – but I thought this clip was extremely funny and interesting when they point to the fact that giving free homes to homeless people… actually defeats homelessness:

The American state of Utah has been doing this for the last ten years – every homeless person gets a home and access to a social worker and a case worker who will help them getting a job, be intergrated in society and get mental health care if they need some. At first, the home is free, and if they get a job they’ll pay 30% of their income for the house. The result is that homelessness in Utah has decreased with 78%  – and it turns out that they seem to have saved a lot of money: the annual cost for E.R. visits and jail stays for each homeless person is around $ 16,670, while the cost for a free home and a social worker for each homeless person was $11,000. Plus, they get a job quicker!

This model of housing first is being tried in more and more communities over the world. In my own town of Uppsala here in Sweden, the City Mission – a Christian charity working with homeless people – have actively proposed the model.

Some seem to be very surprised that giving homes to homeless people actually defeats homelessness and creates a better society. Now, don’t get shocked, but scientists suggest, that it may very well be so, that if we give food to hungry people, we will defeat hunger. There is even a slight possibility – I may be wrong – that if we give clothes to naked people, they will be clothed!

share your food with the hungry
and provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, clothe them,
and do not turn away from your own flesh and blood. (Is 58:7)

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