There are people you meet who make quite an impression. For us, we can’t help but recall a man named Roy.
Kelly Swan met him on Oct. 13, 2003, around 1 p.m. in downtown Tulsa. It was Columbus Day.
Roy was searching for something himself that day – a friend and some food.
Roy’s situation was striking. He had been eating out of dumpsters. He hadn’t bathed in days, maybe weeks.
His clothes were filthy. He repeatedly coughed, hacked and wiped a runny nose with his bare hand.
He was – in every sense – the stereotype of what society sees as the worst kind of homelessness.
Roy approached Kelly, not vice versa. After initially turning him away, God gave him courage to turn around, track him for a few blocks and talk with him.
It was our maiden voyage into ministry. We didn’t seek it out though. The situation was thrust upon us. At the time, there was no such thing as Filling The Void.
Kelly took his hand. Hugged him. Prayed over him. Took care of his lunch. And we haven’t seen him since.
Yes, it was uncomfortable. Yes, it was unnerving. And yes, it was unforgettable. The experience made three friends do some soul searching in the days that followed.
Deep down inside, we discovered a calling to reach out to other “Roys” in an intentional, purposeful way to reflect God’s heart for the poor and needy.
A few months later, we formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit to serve the hungry, the homeless, the hurting and those who need healing.
Since 2003, we have served more than 125,000 meals, mostly in Tulsa, Denver and Dallas. We also have done initial work in eight other cities in the U.S. south and west.