Lost SheepMinistryRaleigh

Daily Inspiration: Meet Phillip Brickle

Hi Phillip, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I had been addicted to heroin for 20 years. Lost my family, place to live, and employment. Found me without a place to stay but my parents allowed me to move into their home at 40 years old. The drug use did not stop and life continued to spin out of control.

I had gotten so frustrated with life that thoughts of suicide came to mind. One night, I cried out to God for help, and that night He touched me. I had no more taste for drugs, I had no withdrawals, And didn’t need to go to rehab.

I got invited to go to church and while in church, during an altar call, I heard a voice in my heart saying, it’s your turn. I got up and went straight to the altar and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. After that there were still struggles, no job, still living with my parents, and still having to get stronger by eating good food and resting.

While unemployed, there were a couple of lakes where my parents lived and I went fishing for 90 straight days and stayed from sun up to sundown. While at the water, I took a small bible and read the psalms all day long while fishing. I finally got a job with the department of corrections. One day while in downtown Raleigh I went to Moore Square Park where the homeless hung out.

And I heard that voice in my heart once again, and it said to feed the homeless. I had never done anything like that but God put the right people in my path and in 1996 we went to the park with 5 people, a card table, bowls, spoons, and a pot of chili. We didn’t have enough to give everyone a bowl. But that is where it all started. And now it is 26 years later and we have grown in so many areas in our service to the less fortunate.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, at first we got a lot of opposition from the church where we started because we were bringing in van loads of homeless people for Sunday service and also providing a meal for those we brought in.

But it wasn’t long before we got full support from the church leaders and congregation. And we had growth struggles because we grew so fast. And then the different struggles with the people we were serving.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I work full time for an organization called CASA and Casa provides housing for special needs people. At first, I helped to develop a landscape team. Hiring residents in our properties teaching and training them in different areas of their life.

Job skills, leadership skills, social skills, and later on, we partnered with other agencies and created a job pool once we didn’t have any of our residents who were interested in working. It was a win-win situation working with the agencies. If the person worked out and stayed for 90 days they were offered an apartment along with a permanent Job.

Also being one of the founding members of Lost Sheep Outreach Ministry. Developing the ministry over the years has become a full-time position without a salary.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Yes, the needs became even greater for those who depended on those who provided shelter and meals. We also had to become creative in how we could continue to serve those in need while trying to keep everyone safe while doing what we loved and were called to do.

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