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Volunteering with a church in downtown Houston more than a year ago, Mike Jones, a Brunswick County native, walked under a bridge to talk to a homeless woman.
He had prayed with many homeless people during his time as a volunteer, but this one was different. The woman was pregnant with triplets and living under the bridge with her boyfriend.
During their prayer, many others joined in, forming a larger and larger circle underneath the bridge as they prayed for the woman and her unborn children.
The next day, Jones went back to check on her. He was told her mother had taken her home, but her boyfriend was still there.
Although he never saw her again, Jones’ experience praying with the woman under the bridge prompted him to sit down and begin writing a book about the people he had met on the streets. He began interviewing them, learning their stories and how they ended up where they were.
A year later, “Seeing the World Through the eyes of God” was completed, and it’s set to be on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and at barnesandnoble.com and booksamillion.com May 5.
“It’s about them and what they were going through, and how we neglect them and walk by them,” he said.
Jones, a husband and father of four, had moved to Houston to provide a better future for his family, but it didn’t happen.
Instead, he found himself nearly in the same situation as the people he ministered to.
After writing the book, Jones submitted the book to PublishAmerica and returned to Brunswick County, where he found steady work. He will soon be moving his family to Raleigh for an even better job.
He has started his own ministry, as well, because his heart has been changed by what he saw.
He says he hopes people who read the book learn to spend more time ministering to the needs of homeless people “and not judge them and think they’re such failures that they don’t have a chance at making it.”
With our help, maybe some of them do have a chance.
Jones plans to donate a portion of the book proceeds to a homeless shelter, either Mercy House in Wilmington or The Star of Hope in Houston.
With his head and heart focused on God’s work and helping others, there’s little doubt Jones will succeed in whatever the future has for him.
For more information on Jones’ book or his ministry, visit his Web site, http://ministermikejonestripod.com.
sarah shew wilson is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.