$746 Fine for Following Jesus

16 May

What if you were just trying to follow Jesus by caring for people in need — and it was against the law? A couple in Florida faced this situation for serving food to homeless people in a park, a misdemeanor in Daytona Beach. They were fined over $700 and permanently banned from the park.

Read about what happened in this article from ThinkProgress.org. What would you do if you faced this situation?

Florida Couple Fined $746 for Crime of Feeding Homeless People
By Scott Keyes

After feeding the hungry in a Daytona Beach park every weekend for more than a year, it’s just as easy to imagine Chico and Debbie Jimenez given a ticker-tape parade as what they actually got: a slew of citations and a permanent ban from the park.

Chico and Debbie Jimenez, a husband and wife team, aren’t handing out food in the Florida heat every Wednesday because of a court order or for a paycheck. They do it because they believe helping the poor is their religious duty. The pair run a Christian outreach group, Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word Ministry, that gives food to the needy every week, pointing to Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Every Wednesday, the Jimenezes feed more than a hundred people a hearty lunch with dishes of chicken patties, macaroni salad, and fresh vegetables, among others. The meals are entirely funded by private donations and staffed with volunteers.

However, Daytona Beach is one of a handful of cities that enacted ordinances barring individuals from serving food in public. Last week, nearly a half-dozen police officers showed up at Manatee Island Park, where a long line of people had queued to get a meal, and served citations to the Jimenezes and volunteers.

Read the rest of the article here.

Video courtesy of Chico and Debbie Jimenez, via YouTube.

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