Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Candy Christmas Speaks About Her Ministry to Help the Nashville Homeless

Nancy Alcorn and Candy Christmas (right)
Southern gospel singer and Dove Award winning artist, Candy Christmas, spoke to the Nashville residents yesterday about how her struggle with loss and grief led to her starting a local ministry to the homeless, Bridge Ministry. Candy talked about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and resolve. She shared that in 2004, while she was stuck in the depression stage, a friend took her to a local inner-city bridge where there were many homeless people living. She was moved by what she saw and began taking huge pots of jambalaya to them each week. Candy soon realized that more help was needed and began to collect clothing and non-perishable food items to pass out to her homeless friends. Today, Bridge Ministry helps up to 500 homeless people in Nashville weekly.

Tuesday night services under the bridge

Candy encouraged the residents that giving to others and finding a passion are what helped her to take the focus off of herself and find freedom from depression. Candy closed by praying over the residents and answering their questions about her ministry to the homeless in Nashville. Here’s what they had to say about her challenging and inspiring message:

What impacted me most was when I asked her what she did to get out of her depression. I thought she was going to tell me how she listened to sermons, read books or did Bible study. She surprised me when she said that she got out of it by helping others. This makes me feel encouraged and excited to know what I can do to not only help myself, but others too. - Gina


I was so moved by Candy’s message. Not only have I been ministered to, but God has prepared me for something to come in my future. God has softened my heart to the idea of giving. He has stirred something in me, and I didn’t even know it was there. - Julie


I am excited to think about the possibility of serving others when I graduate from Mercy. I know personally that serving others brings me great joy, and it is a wonderful way to give back. - Allie


This message was amazing and I got so much out of it! I can’t move forward with what God wants for my life if I keep looking back. I plan to press forward. - Becca

Candy Christmas talking with some Nashville residents

Our special thanks to Candy for sharing her inspiring story with our Nashville staff and residents. Today, the Bridge Ministry is housed in a 20,000 square-foot warehouse in Nashville, TN, that stores food for Tuesday evening services as well as for other area ministries. The ministry not only includes the weekly outreach under the bridge but also an overseas orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, appropriately named "The Candy House."

For more information about the Bridge Ministry, visit www.bridgeministry.org. Candy has also written a book about her ministry entitled "On The Other Side: Life Changing Stories from Under the Bridge. For more information about Candy, or to purchase her book, go to http://www.candychristmas.com/.