Six Treasures Ministries was founded by Robert and Leslie Littrell. Their children, Ben and Bailey, were heavily involved from the start. The following is the story of how the organization came to be.
A Simple Prayer. “Lord, help us to see the world as you see it and to use what you have given us to bless others in your name.” As our family made this our prayer, God opened our eyes to the poor and homeless in our community of Lexington, Kentucky. Our first interactions with the homeless resulted from our involvement in the Room In The Inn (RITI) ministry. RITI is based on a model developed first in Nashville. Area churches open their doors each evening during the winter months (October – March) to host a group of the community’s homeless men.
A Son’s Heart. Through our church, Centenary United Methodist, our family annually served as RITI volunteers. Our teenage son developed a real heart for the RITI men and eventually began to participate weekly. Robert soon decided to tag along. Before long, the son’s passion became the father’s passion and the father’s passion became the family’s passion. As the 2009 RITI season came to an end, our family decided that we would not simply say goodbye to our friends until the following October. Instead we committed to find new ways to continue our relationships year round.
Into the World. Initially, we helped host a downtown summer event for our friends. In addition, Robert began to have coffee at a downtown McDonald’s where a few homeless men spent their mornings. Before long, we hired some of our friends to help with home repairs and yard work. This led to meals shared together, outings to movies, church attendance, fishing trips – all the things that go along with “normal” friendships.
Opening Our Home. Also during summer 2009, our family began a home group that developed out of our church’s growing focus on enhancing community. The pattern of the early church served as a guide. We met twice a month in our home for a meal, fellowship, worship, teaching and prayer. These intimate gatherings of 10–15 people became a natural and comfortable way for our homeless friends to be welcomed into our home and introduced to the Body of Christ. Several began to attend routinely and quickly became “part of the family.”
A New Way of Life. As relationships continued to grow, the focus of our lives began to move slowly away from our personal needs to the needs of others. We began to seek new ways to sacrificially commit more of our lives and possessions to the service of others. And some of our friends began to share this desire. The next step in the journey was the formation of Six Treasures Ministries. We were not sure of what God had in store, but since then we have attempted to faithfully seek to answer his call each day. We continue to witness the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to bring good news to the poor as we, in a more structured way, build and deepen our relationships with the homeless in our community.