Exit 0 began as a result of a calling that our family felt to serve in the mission field in 2008. Our daughter Amanda went to the Ukraine on a mission trip in the spring of 2007. My wife Michele served in Haiti in the summer of 2007. In summer of 2008 Michele, Amanda and I served with a team in Zambia, Africa. When we returned home we had a huge heart and calling for missions but did not have the money to finance more international trips.
We were attending The Crossing Christian Church and became active with their mission team. While forming the team we started looking for a way to help our neighbors right here at home. Our pastor challenged us to reach our community and that is where Exit 0 began.
I started researching homelessness and came across an article about a young boy who filled gallon size bags with snacks and provided them to homeless people in his area. We all liked this idea and so we decided to do the same for our first project. We filled up some bags and kept them in our car, waiting for an opportunity to hand them out to homeless people at intersections. But we couldn’t find anyone to give them to.
Around Christmas time of 2008 we decided to pack up some bags and head to downtown Louisville. We met some guys, one of whom, Greg, that we still visit. (look for his video on the Exit 0 Facebook page).
The Lord was faithful and allowed us to find some people in Jeffersonville who became our guides on the street and helped us find a need that we could meet in the community. Blue Lick Church from Henryville had been providing lunch to the homeless every other Sunday for three years. We stepped out in faith and made the commitment to pick up the other Sunday so that a meal was now provided every Sunday! Next, we started working with Haven House, the only shelter in southern Indiana. We are still learning every time we go out.
Exit 0 is constantly changing. We have no idea what it will turn into next, God leads us and we follow. We have partnered with many of the community agencies who share our desire to help those in need. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel so, for example, when we meet people who need help getting identification or birth certificates, we refer them to a ministry who does that. We want to use the recourses that are out there and help point people to them.
We now serve dinner 7 nights a week. We have every Friday night a Bible study. We feel it is important to feed the body and the spirit. We have many churches with whom we partner to provide meals. We have churches that collect supplies for us that we use to build comfort bags or to meet other needs. We have so many people and denominations working together for a common goal. It is our desire to be the light of Jesus Christ and shine hope into the darkness. Through the grace of God, Exit Zero is a beautiful picture of the body of Christ working together! To God be the glory.