Our Vision Is a City Where No One Sleeps Outside: A Mini-Memoir

By Linda Brown

Linda and David  Brown
at Eden Village
Psalm 107:4–7 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry. And thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.

In 2010, David and I moved to downtown Springfield, Missouri. We became very concerned when we saw homeless people wander the streets. With a small group of friends, we opened a place where we could offer coffee and doughnuts and get to know them, find out their story and build relationships. We called it The Gathering Tree because God is the roots, and the trunk and the branches are us and our friends, who are crooked, leafless and knobby, but together we make a beautiful tree.

No Money, Only Our Vision
We maintained TGT for about nine years, having to move from place to place because we were not welcomed, but we persevered, even doing street outreach until we finally found a permanent place. We had a drop-in-center for our homeless friends five nights a week where we