Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.James 1:27
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?Matthew 25:35-38
After a little over two decades of working in the full-time ministry, my wife and I have spent the last few years loving and serving our homeless neighbors through an organization called Hope Vibes.
Our story began in New Jersey in the late ‘90s when we both joined our fellowship. Over the next two decades we served on staff in New Jersey, San Diego, North Carolina, and La Paz, Bolivia. The best way to describe how and why we moved so many times is because we have been prompted to obey visions given to us specifically in trying times. This happened again in 2020 when we felt called to move to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to obey a vision given to us by the Holy Spirit years prior.
In 23 years of marriage we have had 15 address changes and have experienced financial struggles, personal loss, and a chronic illness that my wife still has, to name a few. I (John) have had to discover the journey of what chronic compassion fatigue produces, as well as the importance of mental health therapy during these seasons.
When we moved to Winston-Salem our only indicator was that God wanted us to use our life story in the community, outside of the four walls of our churches. Through a series of small but meaningful events, God led us to Hope Vibes Inc., a brand new non-profit for those living on the streets.
Every single one of us is God’s image bearer. For many years, we drove by so many unhoused people, with a sense of “What can we do?” but instead, we quickly forgot what we saw. We believe God has given us a sacred assignment to flesh out how to help individuals experiencing homelessness feel heard, supported and respected.
The goal of Hope Vibes is to provide a way to continue to grow empathy for a population of image bearers that often are overlooked. We provide a shower truck and laundry machines, but also services like haircuts, clothes, food, health services, and potential pathways out of homelessness. We go to where the people are, and provide the items and services they need to gain a bit of self-worth. We also offer relationships with individuals who have a heart to share the love of Christ with them.
Our local church (Piedmont Triad Church) has donated funding, showed up as volunteers and have made blessing bags for our trips to serve the homeless. They support us with people and we are listed in the church bulletin for those interested in serving.
Migdalia and I are the regional directors of Hope Vibes Triad. We make connections with other local churches, businesses, organizations, and individuals looking to serve, donate and support the efforts we make to go where our unhoused friends are. The “trust capital” that is being built consists of our frequent provisions and our consistent presence so that we are able to hear the needs, pray about the needs and support the needs as we empathize.
We hope to serve as a bridge for more churches and the community as a whole to understand the complexity of homelessness and what we can do to show love and compassion on a normal every day basis.
In the Old Testament we have examples of God rescuing his people over and over and over again. His involvement is not just center story, it’s the only story that matters. In the New Testament, Jesus also does this. Christ’s example and permission gets those who readily accept his mercy for themselves, access to join him in specific work for kingdom expansion.
We pray that whoever reads this and is moved to partner with us will reach out for prayer over this ministry, to get involved by volunteering, or learning how to do this work in their town. We need a truck company that has a heart to build what we call Hope Tanks in places where God would have them. We will also need funding to keep the operations of this ministry going and sustained.
In our local area of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point, North Carolina, we have been blessed with enough funding to get the work started. Right now we are looking to purchase a brand new 24-26’ box truck to provide shower and laundry service to our friends without a home. We hope someone reading this could help!
May the Lord use us all to expand his hands on loving and serving the least of these.
Give hope daily,
John + Migdalia Basilio
Triad Regional Directors for Hope Vibes Triad