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The Smell

407 La BranchMy first experience with the Star of Hope Men's Shelter (or with any shelter, for that matter) occurred when I was 17 years old. Without knowing what a rescue mission was, one Sunday evening I joined several older men from my church who regularly made their way to an old brick building in the bowels of downtown Houston. Having recently been brought to faith in Jesus I was hungry for the witness of life-changing ministry. I was assured that I would not be disappointed at Star of Hope. I wasn't.

Our little band of missionaries arrived at 7:15PM for a season of worship with the men. It was an oppressively muggy August evening and, as was the habit at the time, showers were subsequent to the chapel service. 350 homeless men were packed into a relatively small space, the resulting odor unlike anything I had ever before encountered. I immediately fell in love with it. To this day, 42 years later, I can still pull up the fragrance. It was the aroma of despair and hopelessness. It was the scent of wasted lives and unbelief. It was the smell for which He died.

Each and every day at the Men's Development Center we are given front row seats to the Gospel drama as the stench of the world rises up like incense to our Great High Priest. He  draws the lowest to Himself, bathes them in forgiving grace, sets them up as a chosen generation, and then prepares them to be world-changers for His glory.

Learn more about Star of Hope's Men's Development Center at Christian Ministries Houston.

Comments for The Smell


Name: Joni Ware
Time: Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hi Dick! I googled your name and found this. Sounds like a great ministry. How are you? Write if you get a chance. we are still in Colorado.

Name: George Gray
Time: Saturday, September 11, 2010

Well said, your highness.

Name: Andrew Mealey
Time: Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello, Brother! Would like to come over and see you--help out if I can. We live in Texas now, in Round Rock, just North of Austin. It's great to know that you are still serving our Lord!

Name: Justin Yingling
Time: Thursday, May 29, 2014

That statement about "It was the smell for which He died" was very powerful and touching to me as I just read this. Thank you.

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