November 12, 2008

Gold Star


I am now a proud resident of Cherith Brook. This has been a rough transition for me for a number of reasons, but every time I have felt overwhelmed or anxious God has intervened and gave me some incredible affirmation that I’m taking the right steps.

Since the move I have experienced a lot. Two days a week I get the privilege of welcoming guests from the street into our house for a hot shower, a warm meal, and a change of clothes. Once a week we open our house to guests for a family-style dinner. Three times a week our community gathers to pray. We all cook, serve, pray, and play together. It really is a remarkable thing. It’s something I wish I could put words to, and I am beginning to understand why Jesus always told his followers to just come and see—nothing else does it justice.

Last week during a time of reflection, one of the community members mentioned a quote that really struck me:

“If you believe you have come here to help, you are wasting your time. If you believe your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together.”

Sharon and I serving soup at the morning showers. She was the chef.

Wow. So much of my life I have viewed the poor and marginalized as being “broken” and viewed myself as “having it all together.” This quote turns that mindset on its head. I didn’t even realize I had been doing such a thing.. Here is a quick story that illustrates this point well.

There were two men whom I met since arriving at Cherith Brook. They asked to come to church with my friend and I so we all went. While in the car, one of the men—David—mentioned that we were going to get gold stars that day for bringing them to church. It was a funny statement and we all had a good laugh about it, but after the service was underway and my mind started to wander I kept coming back to that comment.

What I hadn’t realized until then is that I really did want the “gold star.” It was humbling to realize this. As my friend and I sat beside these two men I realized that I had a deep down desire for people to see me while at church with a couple of men who were down on their luck. I wanted people to ask me the next week who it was we had brought to church so I could tell them that they were a couple of homeless (or close to it) people we had met after having moved into Cherith Brook. I was wanting to be elevated to a mythical “super-Christian” status. This realization was a huge wake up call for me.

People were never meant to be commodities for us to use to our advantage. The fact that I even thought those kinds of thoughts made me aware that I too, am a very broken individual. David unknowingly began to liberate me by exposing my true heart. In this instance I needed David as much, if not more so, than he needed me.

You see, this quote really displays the nature of God’s kingdom. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We are all brothers and sisters under Christ. We are meant to be ruled by God and God alone. No longer are we to rule over each other but instead work to mutually submit to one another in love. That means that these people who I get to see on a daily basis are not my “homeless friends,” they are my friends. Period. They are my brothers and sisters. They are children of the living God—like me...and you.

I love the line in Matthew where Jesus says “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” I think part of why they are blessed is because they have been tossed aside by society. The tenderness and brokenness that come with relying on God for daily bread, water, and shelter prevents one from getting caught up in the kinds of popularity contests I find myself in. I need God just as much as my friends do, but I tend to forget him more because of all the provisions surrounding me. I need my friends to teach me what it means to rely daily on God. I thank David for teaching me how to be more like Christ.

A community meal at Cherith Brook


In order to be more transparent in what I am doing with my finances, I wanted to share with you briefly where your support is going, as well as how you can continue giving. Here it goes!
  • As of this writing I have $1,200 worth of monthly pledged support.
  • $130 per month goes to health insurance
  • $250 per month goes into savings
  • $120 per month goes to my tithe
  • $250 per month goes to Cherith Brook
  • $450 per month goes toward things like car maintenance, food, etc.
The other changes that have come are in regards to address changes and electronic giving. You’ll notice that the address to send support to has changed. On top of that, the checks should now be made out to Nick Pickrell.

Also, in order to accommodate those who wish to give online you can give through paypal from this site ( All you have to do is click the “donate” tab on the top-right of this page and you will be redirected to the paypal site. Once there, type in the amount you wish to give and click "continue."

Thank you SO MUCH for bearing with me through this hectic transition, and may you be blessed this day. Below is all my new contact info:

Nick Pickrell
3308 E 12th St
KCMO 64127

To learn more about Cherith Brook, go to:


  1. Good luck with the fundraising. I've given you a stumble.

  2. Great revelation.... something I've been thinking about lately too!

  3. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!