The bridge ministry of the csra restoring lives with faith, hope, and dignity ortega y gasset


Pastor Roger Gardner: Well, Brad, when I came to the Lord, I felt like I wanted to go to the street and help the less fortunate. I really just started down on Broad Street, just kind of like, I’m still a biker, so I was getting on my Harley going downtown and just connecting with people that I met that were in the condition that I used to live in, which was not a great place to be. My heart really went for them so homelessness was on the streets then and it is today. As I learned more about them and became familiar with them, they weren’t strangers anymore as I saw them in the past, you know, they were kind of an unseen people group that I didn’t’ really want to pay attention to because I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help them. I felt like just maybe one person at a time wasn’t enough.

Pastor Roger Gardner: Well, it took years. This is our twelve annual Thanksgiving outreach. When we began, January the 20th of 2007, we had a handful of volunteers and about 50 real homeless men and women. gas density problems Not many women and children at that time. But we didn’t really know what we were doing. We still don’t know what we’re doing sometimes, but we do know who we’re following, and that makes a difference. Over the years, people started coming on board to help us. When we began the ministry, we could only do every other Saturday and we didn’t have the finances or the volunteers. Then after a few years, key churches stepped up to come and help us and we were able to go every Saturday and we’ve been because that for the last eight years.

Pastor Roger Gardner: It’s very much a church service. The first thing we do is feed, because if they fall asleep I can blame it on the food instead of the sermon, but we have children’s church, we set up 250 chairs. Our average attendance on Saturday is around 250. One week we give out clothing, the other week we give out extra food for them to take home with them.

Pastor Roger Gardner: I think that’s when we still do, of course we connect with them. electricity projects in pakistan They call our office quite often. So we have benevolence, we have a food pantry. We have a clothing pantry. We have another group that goes out every other Saturday either into East Boundary, or in the neighborhoods off of Broad Street, it’s called Adopt-a-Block. We send a group, there’ll be a Bridge Ministry outreach going on at one o’clock on Saturday afternoon, we’ll have another group in another vehicle with supplies and clothes and hygiene, actually in another area of town at the same exact time.

Pastor Roger Gardner: They’re beautiful. They look like someone that has lost all of their hope. They look like they need help. And you know, we cover it up a lot, the way we dress and they way we act. But they’re people. gas in chest Actually the people under the Bridge Ministry have became our family. We’re very close, we’re very connected. I have some people that are with me today that have been with me since the day I started. They still come under the bridge.

Pastor Roger Gardner: We’ve seen amazing results. Not, you know, if you were to put it on some type of a percentage I couldn’t say what the percentage is, but we have fabulous stories just over the years. gas in dogs I’ve had people stop me at a fast food restaurant and say, "Hey you don’t remember me. "My names, Joe, I just wanted to tell you "I came down here, I was addicted to drugs." He said, "I received the Lord and today I’m married. "I have a home, I have a job. "I’m very successful at what I do." I think one of my favorite stories is one time I went to a gas station, in a hurry to put air in a tire, and there’s this big truck with a trailer behind it with all the lawn mowers, and being the pastor that I am, I wanted to find out who owned it so I could get it moved quickly. And the guy jumps off the lawn mower, comes tackles me and he said, "Pastor Roger, Pastor Roger." He said, "You don’t remember me, but I’m so and so," and I said, "Oh, I’m so glad you have a job." He said, "Job? I own this company."

Brad Means: Owns the company. I love it. Listen, you got this thing started right on the eve of some dark times for our community and our country. The recession was about to kick in, jobs were going to be lost. Since then, have you seen more people come to your ministry because they’re out of work? In other words, have more people fallen on hard times in recent years?

Pastor Roger Gardner: You know, Brad, it’s kind of like a roller coaster. A lot of homeless that come to Augusta are transits. We’ve seen an influx from North Carolina hurricane, from Florida hurricane, we really have an influx in our city right now. They’re building communities under bridges and wherever they can go in the city. So it’s up and it’s down. I think we’ve had a greater impact on the inner-city downtown area as much with the homeless as we have the poor communities. electricity electricity song Because communities as East Boundary, we have people come on buses from Deans Bridge, from of course Harrisburg, and so half of our population today is homeless, half of it is inner-city poor. They have came and just adopted the church- made the Bridge Ministry their church. They feel comfortable there, but again, you know, it’s never the same. You never know what to expect.

Pastor Roger Gardner: Well, Brad, I think, check your heart. Because your heart usually speaks louder than your head. Some of the people that are on the street corners holding signs truly are wanting to get out of town, get home, they want help, and then there’s those ones that are just working the system. electricity and circuits physics So I would just say, check your heart. You can tell a little bit. Is this real, or is this not? If you hand someone money, if they’re right, they’re going to be so thankful, and if they’re not, they will take it and walk away. The humble and real needy, they’re pretty easy to pick out. They will make eye contact with you and they will speak to you directly, where kind of like the guy that’s kind of off course, is not going to probably make eye contact, does not want to talk to you, he just wants his next fix.

Pastor Roger Gardner: Well, Brad, I want to thank News Channel 6 in giving your best partners first. Because you guys are collecting toys for our Christmas outreach on December the 22nd. But as any ministry, when we became a non-profit incorporation, I had to have a secretary. I had to take responsibility of insurances and all kinds of things behind the scene, and payrolls that I’ve never done before. A lot of things that has transpired over the last two and a half years. electricity flow direction So, of course, as any ministry, we need finance. On the other hand, on December the 1st, all of the next year, all the way to Thanksgiving ’19, we’re they’re every Saturday and we need volunteers. We need volunteers that can come with groups and would call us in advance and let us know that they’re coming, because it takes about 40 volunteers on site every Saturday to be able to complete what we need. We have 25 to 30 kids every Saturday, we have a section for the kids. 4 gas planets The feeding part takes about 10 or 12 volunteers on-site just to do that. When we’re doing regular outreaches, like not Thanksgiving, or not Christmas, but our regular outreach, a six year old can come down and hand a homeless person a drink or a dessert or a plate of food. And it inspires the inner-city homeless and the poor. Especially the homeless. You know, they’ve lost their families, and Brad, a lot of people don’t realize that in the condition they’re in sometimes making eye contact, shaking their hand, and speaking a kind word just makes a huge difference in their life, because if you look at it the way that we see our relationship with God, those are the things that we want. We want to hear His voice, we want Him to touch us, right?