Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver is the real-life account of the unlikely friendship between an art dealer and a homeless man. Ron was a self made man who had risen from working class roots to a high society life. Everything was great until his wife Deborah insisted they volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission. Denver was uneducated, ex-con who was very mean and hardened after years on the street. Deborah was determined to reach a man that most tried to avoid. The new chapel at the Union Gospel Mission was named in memory of Deborah.
For more information about the book please read my review.
This is a book that really spoke to me. I can relate to the book on so many levels. First much of the book takes place in my hometown and I am familiar with many of the places mentioned in book. Like Ron, I have encountered the homeless in Sundance Square and the Water Gardens. The Water Gardens were designed to be a place for reflection and a showplace for the city. However the Water Gardens have become an outdoor restroom for the city’s homeless population. Sure I was involved in ministry through my church and even worked with a mission. A couple times a year I would help with Beautiful Feet Ministry, a ministry to the homeless and under-privileged. Did I really see the homeless and street people as individuals with the same needs as I had? This left with the nagging thought of what am I going to do about the homeless problem in my community.
Between reading this book and studying the book of Mark this summer I been thinking about what it means to live out my faith. Christ’s ministry on earth was full of campassion for those in need. He took the time to minister to lepers and others that religious leaders refused to reach. What is ministry about? Is it about programs or meeting the needs of people?