One of the most frequent questions we receive is “Project WARM sounds great and all, but are you just enabling these men to drink every night and then come in to a safe place but never really helping them?” Great question!
To be honest we have wrestled mightily with this question in the past. It would be easy to keep Project WARM as a safe ministry that has a goal of keeping men in a warm environment so they do not freeze to death during the cold winters of South Bend. We firmly believe that God does not want men to die on the streets. If we just left it at this we would still be wrestling with the question about enabling behavior that God doesn’t agree with. (Eph. 5:18, Gal 5:21, Prov 20:1, 1Peter 5:8, and on and on).
What we have done at Project WARM is redefine the enablement. By allowing up to 30 men to come in we are enabling the volunteers to share the love of Christ with them. We are enabling the opportunity for Matthew 28:19 (Go and make disciples of all nations) to happen at a specific location every night. We are enabling God to show up and touch the lives of the guests. We are enabling Christian volunteers to step way out of their comfort zone and take some risks for God. With that enablement and those risks we have seen some really amazing things happen.
So are we enabling – Praise God YES!
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”