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A Sant’ Egidio Experience: Seeing Christ and Fueling Fires


Editor’s note: Missioner-in-training Tim Shelgren tells the story of the FMS community joining Sant’Egidio, a group of volunteers in DC who meet every Friday night to prepare foods, walk out into the streets, and offer their goods to men and women who are experiencing homelessness. 

As we set out for 21st Street tonight, we originally thought that we would meet the Sant’ Egidio group and learn how to approach, offer food, and talk to people who look like they live on the streets. We did learn those skills. But, more than skill-building took place.

In the eyes of Bihlal, Phil, and James, we saw Christ. Standing in the presence of volunteers like Freshman Joe and spiritual leader Charlie, we saw Christ. And in the discovery that homelessness is happening in full view of the White House, we saw God. God aimed His bellows directly at the embers of our Social Justice fires with this one. Those embers for tonight are now hotter. They’re ready to burst into flames.

Thank you Sant’Egidio. You have allowed God to work through you tonight, and in doing so you have fueled our fires.   

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Reflection question: Where are people experiencing homelessness in your community, and how can you reach out to them? 


Tim Shelgren has led many youth mission trips as a committed Christian. He has worked as a hair stylist, massage therapist, and yoga teacher, and most recently as a counselor at a residential home for teenage boys. A father of three and grandfather of five, Tim is passionate about working for equality for all people and has a special interest in working with children and youth without families. After living recently in Arizona and Pennsylvania, Tim is looking forward learning and growing spiritually by serving in another culture. He likes rock and tree climbing, riding bikes with friends, and playing piano, just like he did when he was a kid.