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Church Doesn't Live Up to Its Sign

Chris Heuertz is the international director of Word Made Flesh, an organization that helps the world's poor. In his book Simple Christianity, Heuertz writes that one night in particular stands out in all his world travels. While walking the streets of Kolkata, a destitute region in South Asia, Heuertz and his companions—Josh, Sarah, and Phileena, Heuertz's wife—stumbled across a person lying under a filthy, fly-infested blanket. A three-foot trail of diarrhea was making its way toward the gutter. It was obvious to anyone passing by that the person under the sheet was either dead or dying. Heuertz writes:

My pal Josh tapped the body on the shoulder to see if the person was dead. The body moved. Josh pulled the blanket down from the face that it covered to see a helpless young man, maybe twenty-two years old and visibly stunned by our approach. As soon as he realized we were there to help him, he began weeping uncontrollably. A crowd gathered. He continued to cry.
We didn't have much to work with, but our friend Sarah grabbed a bottle of water and some newspaper. She began cleaning the young man, wiping the diarrhea off with the newspaper and rinsing him with the water. We asked him his name. Tutella Dhas. He was lost, afraid, alone. His body was a leathery-skinned skeleton, and his bulging eyes accentuated the shape of his skull. He kept crying.
We tried to get a taxi, but none would stop. The crowd grew. No one wanted to help. Two more friends happened to be walking down the street just then, and they were able to find a taxi. They took Tutella Dhas with them and headed off to Mother Teresa's House for the Dying. Phileena, Sarah, Josh, and I stood there in disbelief.
I lifted my head and caught sight of a church and its sign less than five feet where we found the dying Tutella Dhas. The sign read, "All are welcome here." It may have been what inspired someone to drop Tutella in front of the church. But was he welcome? People from the church watched as we helped Tutella, yet the gate remained closed.

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