Glory ReVive Ministries is coming to Lodi and setting up their tent to offer resources and religion to Lodi’s unsheltered homeless population.
Beginning Feb. 22, the ministry that travels throughout the county will at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds offering food, clothing, medical screenings and hope to people in need.
“We started this about 30 years ago and began reaching out to homeless individuals on the streets of Modesto,” Glory founder Alan Garren said.
As an evangelistic ministry, Glory focuses on physical and spiritual restoration and sharing a message he said comes from a place of empathy. Garren, who was formerly homeless, left the streets after being reminded of his faith.
“I remember I was living behind a dumpster next to the Yum Yum Doughnuts on Wilson Way (in Stockton), and this one time I was getting ready to climb into a dumpster to find something to eat, when I saw a man climbing out. I remember him telling me, ‘there’s gold in there, there’s gold.’ I thought, if that’s gold I need to reevaluate my life,” he said.
Following the incident, he said he had an epiphany and knew he both wanted and needed help. Not knowing where to start, he found a tent ministry and became involved with the church.
Garren said he experienced a spiritual awakening, and in an effort to replicate the success and triumph he experienced, he knew he wanted to create a tent ministry.
“When we are in need of transformation we look for things that are made for this world, and we forget about religion,” he said.
While sharing his religious message, Garren provides people with the comfort and luxury of life before the streets.
“I like to offer people food I know I would eat at my house. It costs a little more but you’re giving that to a human being and people, all people, have value and worth,” he said.
Garren, a resident of Escalon, said he decided to come to Lodi after noticing the growing homeless population when he would come into town and have breakfast with friends.
He added that while the issue is visible in Lodi, it is not unique to any one city.
“As a traveling ministry we go where we are needed. Over the past couple of years we have been traveling to cities we have not been to before because there is an obvious need,” he said.
Glory visited the fairgrounds and vacant property in South Sacramento, Modesto, Turlock, Merced, Clements, Madera and Escalon last year, with each event costing $8,000 to $10,000.
“We like to provide people a hot meal and lots of water. We provide counseling services and we have a clothing boutique for people to come and grab clothes and we have speakers and testimonies every night,” Garren said.
Garren believes there is no shortage of people in need and encourages churches in Lodi to take part in the three-day event, held at Lodi Grape Festival Grounds.
“We will be barbecuing Saturday morning and would love community support,” he said.
The tent ministry will be in Lodi from Feb. 22-25, at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, 413 E. Lockeford St.
To learn more about Glory ReVive Ministries, visit their website gloryrevive. com.