God’s Messy Mansions – Helping Homeless Kids

God’s Messy Mansions – Helping Homeless Kids


2020 seems to be the year most of us are ready to forget.

And yet, God always seems to do His most magnificent work in the muck we make.

I was reminded of this when Steve Ware popped into a recent Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce “Coffee Talk” meeting and briefly shared his incredible story of homelessness and hope.

Steve’s shocking story rolls of his tongue like it happens to all of us. Here’s this athletic-looking, polished CEO at a chamber meeting.

But that’s so 2020.

Yesterday, he was an abandoned kid. In and out of 30 foster homes. Living out of a car.

When he was 14, he finally ended up as the only teenager surrounded by homeless and addicted men at the Greenville Rescue Mission Center.

He tried to commit suicide, but God wasn’t ready for Steve Ware. Instead, He sent him a coach and youth pastor who poured into him.

It’s been said, “One man with courage makes a majority.” That’s all it took for Steve Ware.

Doors opened. Good schools followed. A scholarship for basketball. He discovered an affinity for business and more money than he could say grace over.

The homeless kid lived in a mansion.

But his heart was as empty as his pockets were back when he lived out of cars.

God loves that. He loves messy mansions. And so He came.

Steve stopped living for himself and started living for Him.

He sold his stuff and started River’s Edge Retreat, a camp for homeless and underserved kids in Columbia that provides an array of enrichment programs, athletics and educational opportunities.

On Dec. 3, River’s Edge is having a whopper of an event on the campus of Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Irmo. Come for great food, live music and so much fun—and it’s all free! It will also be COVID-friendly for those who want to participate from the safety of their vehicles. Come on over anytime 6-9 p.m.!

The “Under God—One Nation” throwdown is honoring 2020’s superheroes, including our first responders, military and teachers.

But most of all it’s about focusing on kids who we cannot afford to forget. 2020 has a lot of Steve Wares in waiting.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him,” we are reminded in Psalm 127:3.

In this very messy year, what a wonderful way to remember and praise the God who sees no mistakes—only miracles.

Don’t believe me?

Ask Steve Ware.

For more information on the Under God – One Nation Tailgate – a Fundraiser for Homeless Children – at Riverland Hills Baptist Church on December 3 at 6 pm – check out:  riversedgeretreat.org