Sunday, February 17, 2008


Chris Miles’ simple heart and a bold phone call

By Cornelia Seigneur

As the handful of homeless folks streams into God’s Living Room located for a week in the Back Room of the church, Chris Miles welcomes them as old time friends. He scurries about, making sure the lasagna made by Mauro is in place, the tables are ready, and the clothes are in order for those with need.
On this second day that Rolling Hills hosted God’s Living Room, the down-to-earth Chris feels comfortable calling this place home. It was his bold phone call that got the ball rolling just one day before.
It was a bone-chilling Monday at 3:45 with the wind chill factor dipping temperatures into the teens. Chris was worried about those with no place to call home, those who feel they don’t belong, those with hunger pains wondering where they will lay their heads for the night. Those with little hope.
Chris knows what it’s like to be in a place with no hope.
He was there the day he took a wrong turn, and ended up driving by Rolling Hills. So he thought, ‘I’m here, why not stop in and talk to someone?’
That someone was the pastor on call, Aaron Doerr. Chris wept while sharing his story. God was filling his empty heart with Christ’s hope.
After attending church, the men’s retreat and the singles Bible Study, God was becoming Chris’s new place of refuge.
But real life didn’t get miraculously better; Chris had little employment and he found himself in need, receiving food from the Tualatin Food Bank, run by Linda.
Linda shares: “Chris started helping me and I told him about the emergency shelter I wanted to do, but we just didn’t have staff to spend the night, and Chris was like, ‘I might be able to do that.’”
And he did. The emergency shelter was held at the Tualatin Methodist Church, with Rolling Hills volunteers. But -- only available on weekends.
With Monday morning’s record-breaking lows,
Chris just couldn’t think of leaving the homeless on the streets.
So he made that phone call to Faith: “Can we open up the church to the homeless this week?”
There was no program in place, no committee meetings, just a simple man with a simple heart, wanting to make God’s Living Room available.
Church members came, bringing community and food and overnight assistance. And the homeless came.
“I let them know they can come. I want this to be a place of refuge. We’ll take anybody as long as they are not rambunctious. I have had the same issues; I have had the drugs, the loneliness,” says Chris.
He bought food for God’s Living Room with the Fred Meyer Gift Card someone gave him for his personal use.
Chris talks about doing God’s work.
“I try to use my story to help others. I try to communicate that God can forgive you,” Chris shares, “and that He gives you hope.”
And a place of refuge from the cold.
Sometimes literally.
Cornelia Seigneur’s website is: - This story was originally published in the Service Folder of Rolling Hills Community Church to highlight community service. - Visit

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