Rick Smith’s parents had a ministry to the homeless when he was a kid. Rick swore he would not have anything to do with the homeless, but when he became a Christian, that’s exactly where he got involved. Rick and his wife, Delilah, started You Matter Ministries to help them accomplish their goals of ministering to the homeless in west Phoenix.
You Matter Ministries holds bible studies in the parks, providing food, coffee and the Word to their friends on the streets. On Saturdays, they hold a morning service at My Father’s House at 30th Avenue and Van Buren. Included in the worship is Bible study, prayer and breakfast. Saturday morning service also offers opportunities for churches to serve the homeless. The first time my husband, Stan and I went to My Father’s House for Saturday morning service, we were nervous because the homeless could be dangerous and possibly crazy.
The first time we stepped on the grounds I could smell the grit, the urine, and the sweat. Within a few minutes the smell faded. I was in love with the people we were serving. God had broken down all the barriers, and since then we’ve been serving, on and off, for about 8 years now. The homeless and You Matter Ministries inspired a song I wrote, called Daddy-O. The inspiration began in 2009 when Rick and Delilah wanted to do a park outreach with music and preaching. Rick also wanted to have the homeless who have been saved, or whom God had restored, through You Matter Ministries, to give their testimonies between the worship bands and the preaching.
I helped organize the outreach, contacting performers, setting up the schedule. The music was good and loud the day of the outreach. We had a great time of worshiping, listening to the word and eating. One by one, homeless men and women got up and spoke in front of the microphone. Some were nervous. Some were funny; some were sad; yet all spoke with a raw honesty that is rarely heard anywhere these days.
They talked about addictions, abuse, drugs, alcohol, hurts, disappointments, and heart break. Many of the people who came out to listen to the music and enjoy the day found themselves crying as they listened to people who had nothing, yet were so grateful for what God was doing in their lives. Some very powerful, simply delivered testimonies knocked the wind out of me.
The words of the homeless saints tumbled around in my head long after the event was over. Our lives shared a common human thread, except that I had never been homeless. About three weeks after the event, I woke up really early in the morning with a song in my head. I went to my desk and the song flowed effortlessly from my hand to the paper. When I picked up my guitar, it seemed like my fingers already knew the song. They were just waiting for the chance to play it.
Stan was still asleep. I took my guitar, climbed into bed with him and bugged him until he woke up. The first thing he heard that morning, besides an “I love you” from me, was the song I had written. It originally had another name, which I don’t remember now. Stan kept calling it, the Daddy-O song and the name stuck.
Stan and I recorded the song and it is now on the You Matter Ministries web site. It was also included on the Gospel Grass compilation CD and on our second CD, Morning Prayer. You can go to http://www.youmatterministires.com for more information on You Matter Ministries, and to hear the song, Daddy-O.
My songs are often stories about a person or an event. The song, Daddy-O, is an example. Now you know the story behind the song.