Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020

Love Beyond Walls & MAP16: The 648-Mile March for the Poor

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Kim Brightness
Kim Brightness
As Publisher/CEO of Team Jesus Magazine, Kim Bright(ness) loves to provide uplifting and informative content to readers of this digital Christian playbook. With over 20 years in digital marketing and a social media maven, you'll find Kim posting, writing/editing, consulting, or covering Christian events near you with her trusty Team Jesus mic.

Teammates Terence and Cecilia Lester wear their hearts on their sleeves; wherever their sleeves go, their love for the poor goes.

So, where can you find this community service-minded couple, who has spearheaded hundreds of creative service projects for the homeless and those less fortunate?

Don’t look behind a corporate desk in a tall skyscraper, or seated within rows of church pews. Try beyond the walls.

In 2013, the Lesters officially launched Love Beyond Walls, an Atlanta-based 501(c)3 non-profit that raises awareness of societal needs through technology and storytelling, and mobilizes people to take part in it.  The purposed growth of Love Beyond Walls, and its service to over 14,000 people is nothing short of God’s grace and love at work.

The smallest donation of a razor, shoes, a meal, or even a place to wash clothes is monumental to those served by Love Beyond Walls. However, these teammates are well-acquainted with going the extra mile in personal sacrifice for the poor and forgotten.

In the cold of December 2014, the world took note as Terence lived as a homeless man on top of a bus for 30-nights straight. The “Get On The Bus” campaign increased awareness for homelessness, and the need to restore hope and dignity to those in under-resourced communities. Now, the Love Beyond Walls Mobile Makeover Bus provides free hair cuts, clothing, and makeovers to those in need.

But, the personal sacrifice doesn’t stop there. Now, in 2016…

The March for Poverty Awareness and the Future Love Center

On August 20, 2016, Terence began the journey of a lifetime – one that would challenge him to his core.

Starting at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) building in Atlanta, Georgia, Terence set out on a March Against Poverty (MAP16), a 648-mile march to the White House in Washington, D.C.  The overall goal is to end homelessness and raise awareness for the millions of people living in poverty in America.

Now, approximately 12 days in and having reached South Carolina, Terence and the Love Beyond Walls team document the journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – the faces and stories of those impoverished, and many gracious supporters he meets along the way.

love beyond walls

All efforts lead to the ultimate building of the Love Center.  This 2,000+ square foot, “all-in-one” facility will holistically serve and restore the poor.  Under one roof, those living in poverty can not only find a place to sleep, eat, find or wash clothes, but also be groomed, find employment, receive counseling, and worship.

With major support from the SCLC, Nissan South, churches, and other non-profits, this journey for Terence and Love Beyond Walls will continue to give a voice to those in poverty until they are heard.

What Can I Do to Support MAP16?

We’re glad you asked!

Love Beyond Walls understands that everyone can’t walk to Washington, D.C. However, everyone can do at least 1 of these 6 easy ways to partner with MAP16.

Visit the Love Center’s GoFundme page for more information on how you can make a small donation with huge impact!

Will you share a prayer in the comments section for MAP16 and Love Beyond Walls? Please keep Terence, Cecilia, and their entire team covered in prayer. Through their many programs and services, serving God by serving the poor will bring glory to the Kingdom of God.

So, what’s the play call?

Following the example of teammates Terence and Cecilia, what passion for service has God placed in your heart?  Are you afraid to leap? Trust God with all the resources and favor you’ll need; He will bring His vision to pass using your faith and obedience – just take that first step.  And then another. And then…

March!

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