In the late 60’s and early 70’s, I transitioned from high school to college. My jet black hair, cut in a long shag, hung down past my shoulder blades. I wore long flowered dresses and flowers in my hair, as I flirted around the edges of the Hippy movement. I did not participate in the drug or free-love culture, but I was definitely a flower child.
About that same time, I read The Cross and The Switchblade, by David Wilkerson. Through the pages of that book, I found Jesus as my Savior. As a student at the local junior college, I joined the Baptist Student Union and met a fellow Catholic who was also looking for a more intimate relationship with God. We dated and felt led to rent two old homes in downtown Pensacola, FL.
God soon filled them up – one with young women and the other with young men. These young people, on their way to Pensacola Beach, were hitch-hiking, or riding the rails across the country and jumping off just two blocks from these two homes. We dubbed the boy’s house – a beautiful, old, two-story Southern Colonial home – the One Way House.
We offered the sojourners the solace of three days and nights with clean sheets, three square meals and a shower if they agreed to attend the nightly Bible study. Many of these young people accepted Christ as their Savior. Then, on the final day of their stay, they either traveled on their way or stayed on in the area.
We helped those who stayed to find a job and affordable housing, and they continued coming to Bible studies every night. Our reputation soon spread. We had about 150 people meeting every evening of the week with a hunger for God’s Word.
Each day, those who did not have jobs would clean the homes and then help to cook meals for lunch and supper. Those who worked gave their earnings toward the household budget, and we had all things in common, just like in the book of Acts (Acts 2:44, 4:32). On one particular day, one of the men fixed three pancakes each for the eleven people who were at the house during lunch time.
As we sat down, three new travelers came in the front door. Without mentioning a word, two of the men and I agreed through our facial expression to give our pancakes to the newcomers. As the cook placed three pancakes on each person’s plate, all fourteen of us ended up with three pancakes. God multiplied that food and our faith at the same time.
Another afternoon, I went to the freezer to thaw out something for supper that night. The huge chest freezer was totally empty. Several of us joined hands in the kitchen and prayed for God to provide. With the final “Amen”, I opened the freezer and found a huge ham inside, which we cooked with scalloped potatoes, green beans and home-made bread – compliment of our pancake chef.
God continued to bring salvation and miraculous provision to us throughout the years that He anointed the One Way House ministry to function. We made life-long friendships and many of us continue to pray for one another even now. Coming from all walks of life and various states, we all had one major aspect in common – the love of Jesus Christ for each other and for the lost world. What a great way to start my new life in Christ.