Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait moved to tears when homeless choir sings ‘We Believe’ (video)

Written by Angie Chui. Originally published at

Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait moved to tears when homeless choir sings 'We Believe'

Christian rock band Newsboys has been making using their gift of music to spread God’s word for years now, but when their song was performed by a group of homeless men the band’s frontman Michael Tait was moved to tears.

In the video posted by Meant 2 Live Foundation, the Newsboys lead vocalist and bandmate Duncan Phillips are welcomed to a concert venue by a homeless choir singing their song “We Believe.”

The homeless choir was part of the Helping Up Mission that was treated to a VIP experience at the Splendor concert where the Newsboys were performing and it wasn’t long before Phillips started welling up.

The song speaks of keeping faith in God when we are going through our worst challenges and features the lyrics: “In this time of desperation/When all we know is doubt and fear/ There is only one foundation/ We believe, we believe/ In this broken generation/ When all is dark, You help us see/There is only one salvation/We believe, we believe.”

The performance took on a different meaning when Tait addressed the choir members after their performance and shared his own story with them. One of the singers acknowledged that before they became part of the program, they didn’t have faith.

“We didn’t believe man, we were throwing lives and God loved us,” the man said.

Tait encouraged him to continue on the right path and praised the group for their beautiful performance.

The choir was later treated to a hearty meal and tickets to watch the band perform live to a sell-out crowd.

Our feature in Hopkins Brainwise magazine

Our feature in Hopkins Brainwise magazine

On A Mission To Treat Addictions

Partnership between Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Helping Up Mission program improves the odds for conquering substance abuse in East Baltimore.

At the height of his career, Tom Bond had a prestigious job, a house, a company car and a big salary. But the Harford County native says he never felt fulfilled by his fancy job and soon turned to drugs and alcohol. After losing several good jobs over a dozen years, he began bartending, a lifestyle that supported his addiction to cocaine. Soon he was also using heroin and eventually became destitute and homeless.
Bond found an abandoned house in East Baltimore, where he lived until he got locked up. His cellmate told him about the Helping Up Mission, a nonprofit, faith-based mission that offers a residential addictions recovery program. Bond perked up. “I didn’t want to spend another winter without a shower or a roof over my head,” he says.
Today, 13 years since that encounter, Bond is not only clean, but as director of programs for the mission, he’s helped thousands of other homeless men to reclaim their lives through the shelter’s 12-step recovery program, daily classes, and career and spiritual guidance. And for the past several years, Bond and treatment coordinator Michael Gray—another recovering addict—have shored up the mission’s efforts through a partnership with Johns Hopkins addictions experts, who come to the site daily to provide supplemental care.
Launched in 2012, in response to the mission’s request for Johns Hopkins addictions expertise, the Cornerstone Program merges…

Read the full article in Brainwise, Johns Hopkins’ psychiatry periodical.

Download the PDF version here: Hopkins BrainWise Winter 2016-10

**UPDATE** Check out the video Hopkins produced to accompany the feature article:

Sincerity, HUM-Style!!

This week’s character quality is Sincerity – “Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.” Well, yesterday we had that character quality play out in a very special way.

Baltimore Oriole Matt Wieters and wife Maria took time from their busy schedules to visit the men and help with the lunch service!  This was a “private” visit, in that the Orioles community relations wasn’t involved, no press or media to tout their community service.  Nope – “Just” Matt and Maria serving…with genuine and SINCERE servant hearts!! Matt offered the prayer for the meal, and they served drinks all men eating (over 350+).

Then, Mike, a program member expressed his SINCERE gratitude by creating a couple pieces of original Orioles art for Matt and Maria.

And wait…there’s more!!  To respect their time and honor their service, not ONE man asked Matt for his autographs (as much as we ALL wanted to), the men showed their SINCERE desire to bless Matt by “flipping the switch” and giving Matt THEIR autographs, which Pastor Gary presented to Matt.

Sincerity, HUM-Style!!

We believe Matt was SINCERE in his heartfelt response, and you can see Matt in that autographed shirt.

Sincerity, HUM-Style!! 1

To show his own SINCERE gratitude for how the HUM family made he and Maria feel welcome and part of the family (which they are!), Matt DID autograph something… Matt became the first Oriole to sign the orange wall of the fitness area of our recreation room.

And his words of encouragement aren’t his own, but found in the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
That’s sincerity played out, HUM-Style!

2015 Banquet Music Videos-HUM’s Got Talent!!

It’s a hard truth that no person is “immunized” from addiction to alcohol or other drugs.  No person is receives a gaurantee that taking a first drink or drug will be “OK” and not lead to the grip of addiction.  The disease of addiction does not discrimate, even as a person may be gifted in many ways.  And so it is with the 500 men who call HUM home!  Giftedness reveals itself in our men in EVERY WAY imaginable – and certainly in the performing arts.

At this year’s banquet, our very own HUM Choir and Band presented inspirational and uplifting music for the audience of 1,500.  And while we wish EVERYONE could attend the banquet each year, it’s just not possible.  BUT!  You can enjoy these video clips of the music – medleys by the choir, and two ORIGINAL songs written/performed by a quintet and a soloist!

These links are to our YouTube channel – along with many other video clips of Mission Life.

Choir Opening Medley –

Quintet (Original Song) “Sinner Man” –

Soloist Jonathan (Original Song) “Hey Jake” –

Choir Closing Medley –

YOU can spread this good word! Share these with your family and friends!!

April 28 – Peace In The Midst Of Chaos

Dear HUM Family,

In the past 24 hours, calls and e-mails are coming to Helping Up Mission (HUM) inquiring about the safety of our men, and offering prayers for protection in the midst of the rioting, looting and fires in Baltimore. While police, firefighters and National Guard are working to bring order to the streets, God has blessed us with a hedge of protection and, thankfully, all is peaceful at HUM. So far, our neighborhood has not had any incidents. And we want you to know that we are taking proper precautions to ensure the safety of our men, staff, volunteers and visitors.

Because of your faithful support, HUM is able to provide several programs and services, most notably our one-year residential Spiritual Recovery Program, for 500 men who are here to get the help they need to overcome their struggle with poverty, homelessness and chemical addictions. Thankfully, because of their faith and the peace of God in their lives, their struggle to overcome is not being waged through destructive means. Rather, they are feeding their lives with positive, life-transforming ingredients and helping one another achieve their life recovery goals in a true spirit of brotherly love, compassion, and kindness.

Here in our Historic Jonestown neighborhood, where HUM is located, the crime rate is low in comparison to other places within the city – and it is no different today. The streets are kept clean, and peaceful. This is because of the daily work and presence of the HUM men who are committed to giving back to the community. The contrast is striking – the chaos of the trouble spots in the city and the orderliness of HUM.

All of us at HUM – staff, volunteers and program members are joining all of you in a prayer chain for reconciliation and peace for our beloved city.

May our Heavenly Father grant us all His Grace and Peace!

Robert K. Gehman, Executive Director

2014 – You Made It Possible!!!

As we reflect on 2014, we celebrate what you have made possible through your generous giving, your countless volunteer hours, your fervent prayers, and your support and encouragement.  Be confident in this – you are saving and changing lives, and for more men than ever in the Mission’s history!  And you are restoring families!  And you are helping hundreds experience the hope of an abundant life!  Here are just a few of the key services and men’s accomplishments in the past year:

  • 182,500+ bed-nights
  • 438,000+ full meals
  • 175,000+ items of clothing and personal care products
  • 16,000+ counseling sessions
  • 100+ Spiritual Recovery Program Graduates
  • 10 Maryland High School Diplomas
  • 98 Men returned to full-employment

As the scriptures say, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17) And we pray God blesses you richly for what you have done for the hundreds of men and their families at Helping Up Mission!

Fall Retreat At Camp Wabanna

Thanks to funding from the Reval Foundation as well as our partnership with Camp Wabanna, HUM was able to host it’s first retreat for program members.  This fall, 45 upperclassmen members of the Spiritual Recovery Program were able to attend a 2 day retreat at Camp Wabanna in Edgewater, MD.

Organized by HUM Spiritual Life Director, Mike Rallo, the focus of the retreat was on having a proper perspective on life.  In addition to times of recreation and reflection, the men heard from HUM staff members who came to share their personal stories.

The retreat was an opportunity for the men to get away from the city and enjoy some refreshing outdoor time.  They were able to get away from their daily schedule and routine and have personal time to think and reflect on their life and their recovery.

“When the men returned from the retreat, the were excited to tell me how good it was for them to get away,” said HUM Deputy Director, Gary Byers.  “They especially appreciated the opportunity to interact with staff members away from campus and to hear their stories.  It really challenged them.”

Just Another Face In The Crowd…Well, Sort Of!

Like most  guys here in our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program, Les started using drugs as a teenager and chemicals eventually took over his life. But, at 32, he’s on the younger side of our average age of 39 and one of only 10% here who served in the US military.

Also, like so many who come here, Les was ready for a change and settled in quickly. And the good news for him was that his loved ones stuck with him through it all – as the families of most guys here do, as well.

Not much different than others, Les also arrived here with some serious legal issues. I watched him prepare himself for each court hearing – trusting God to do what was best – and then heard his sincere gratitude each time God brought him back to Helping Up Mission.

Like most of the guys here, Les is also a bright and capable guy who makes good decisions when he’s clean and focused. He now has a pretty bright future, too! And, as a HUM grad, Les is ready to step out and get started!

It will work for him…

…One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Deputy Director