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Local pastor slept on skid row

Last week, Matthew Barnett, cofounder of the Dream Center, appeared on CBN and shared his love for the homeless of Los Angeles. As a way of celebrating 15 years of ministry, he decided to live among the people he loved for almost 24 hours. He carried with him his Bible, a piece of cardboard and no money. People warned of the dangers awaiting this baby-faced pale man and he felt terrified. What Matthew experienced may surprise you.

Homeless for the night

The first people to arrive, worship and grow at the Dream Center lived on skid row. It only seemed fitting to walk alongside them. Matthew grabbed a piece of cardboard to sleep on and went to live on skid row for the night. Matthew called the night as, "one of the most staggering experiences of my life". Barnett described prostitution taking place in port-a-potties, rats the size of softballs, and sleeping on open patios next to people he didn't know.

Matthew shared about picking up his Bible and walking through the streets. He said, "The moment I picked up the Bible, the whole dynamic changed. People were screaming out to me 'tell me about this God'." People called out to him to pray for them, to serve them and love them.

In those moments, Barnett knew the power of God's Word as a shield for him in that dark night. He came away with a greater love for the people he serves and a greater drive to make a difference in their lives as they come to know Jesus.

The Dream Center

Recently the Dream Center added 200 more beds to help people recover from addiction and the suffering of homelessness. This 24 hour hospital offers programs to help free people from drugs, offer counseling and treatment. If the pimps and drug dealers make their wares available 24/7 , the Dream Center will too.

Barnett states that this economic down time offers Christians the opportunity to truly live the faith they declare. He wrote a book entitled, "The Cause Within You: Finding the One Great Thing You were Created To Do In This World". Barnett hopes to help people to get out of the comfortable and get into fearlessly following what God designed them to do.

To watch the interview for yourself, go to CBN TV.

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