WINONA LAKE — It will soon be six years Fellowship Mission has been in existence in the Warsaw/Winona Lake area and according to Eric Lane, founder, “it’s been an amazing six years.”
Over 400 people filled the Manahan Orthopedic Capital Center on March 10, not only to help raise funds for Fellowship Mission but to hear best selling author Ron Hall tell the story of how he and Denver Moore met, the journey to write a book and their travels as motivational and inspirational speakers. During the years the duo traveled and the years since, their story has helped raise over $90 million for the homeless.
The night of inspiration, which included a raffle and silent auction items, raised approximately $30,000 for the local shelter.
Hall told of his wife’s, Debbie, dream of meeting a homeless man who was poor and wise and by his wisdom “our city and our lives would be changed.” “Denver Moore, known as ‘Suicide’ by the people on the streets, because messing with him was like committing suicide … Who would dream we would become friends, closer than brothers and who lived with me the last 10 years of his life,” said Hall. Moore died March 31, 2012.
When Moore became ill and could no longer travel to speaking engagements Hall would ask if there was a message he wanted to give people. “You (would) think we are preachers … tell those people though our lips are flapin’ like pages in the wind … we’re just an old ex art dealer, me an ex con, two sinners saved by grace.”
Hall relayed experiences with Moore: how they first met, his pursuit and thoughts while working to become Moore’s friend, Moore’s wisdom and his ability to size up situations.
Hall relayed a question Moore asked him. “Why is it that all you Christians worship one homeless man on Sunday, then turn your back on the first one that you see on Monday?” Not having an answer, Moore replied “I know you guys are a judgin’ us. Let me tell you something. God don’t need no more judges. He has courthouses full of judges. What God needs is service … You know what Mr. Ron, his eyes, God is watching you. It’s not going to be your preacher, your Sunday School teacher. It’s going to be someone just like me, one of those guys on the street…”
Even though Moore could not read or write, it was his idea to write the book. “No body gonna believe our story. We gotta right us a book,” Moore stated the day following the death of Debbie Hall. For 3 1/2 years over a breakfast table, the book was written “Same Kind of Different As Me,” with a second book “What difference do it make?” A children’s book has also been written “Everybody Can Help Somebody.”
Moore was honored as philanthropist of the year for Fort Worth and in Charlotte, N.C., the Moore Homeless shelter was built after 800 people raised $875,000.
Hall stated Moore was the professor, he was the student. “Denver was the best catch ever,” he said.
A movie will soon be released on the first book. Those attending had an opportunity to see a trailer of that movie.
Guests were presented facts from the local shelter and heard video testimony from residents. Between 2010-2014 689 adults, 250 children under the age of 14, were served 98,000 meals. Since opening the new facility in 2015 186 adults have been served, with 4,000 meals provided, costing $80,000 in food. There was approximately $70,000 in food was donated in 2015.
Hall, through the example of the Good Samaritan, asked this question to those attending: “What is going to happen to these people if we don’t help?” He quoted Mother Theresa, stating “It’s fashionable to talk about the poor and homeless … not fashionable to sit and talk with them.”