An experience one winter night radically changed Melany Jackson’s life. She had joined her pastor and other volunteers on the Canteen Run—a mobile truck that delivered supplies to help the homeless. It was a cold night in December, with snow falling and wind blowing. The kind of night when anyone who could be would be at home, warm, and well-fed.

Three men approached the truck that night and asked for some help. It was Melany’s first real experience serving the homeless and she was struck by their clothes and appearance. It was clear these men had lived a very rough life. The volunteers offered food, hot drinks, coats, and blankets.

One of the first things Melany noticed was that one of the gentlemen wasn’t wearing gloves. She could see that his fingertips were already turning purple. It seemed shocking. The men said they would be sleeping in a parking garage that night, on the cold concrete. Melany wondered how this could be happening in an affluent university community that seemed to be teeming with resources.

As they wrapped up their conversation with the men, one of the volunteers offered to pray with them. They all gathered in a circle and joined hands. The volunteer prayed that the men would be safe that night, that God would protect them, and that they would be warm.

Melany will never forget what happened next. After the volunteer finished, one of the men asked if he could pray for the volunteers. As they held hands, he asked Jesus to watch over the volunteers, and that they would be safe and warm that night. As Melany got in the truck, her heart was reeling. She had never expected that one of the homeless people they would serve that night would be talking to Jesus on her behalf. It was an experience that changed her life.

Melany wasn’t sure that she could do anything to help, but she knew she had to try. She began doing research to find out why these men and others like them in her city were sleeping on the streets instead of in a shelter or transitional housing. The more she learned, the more she realized that the most vulnerable were falling through the cracks. God was giving her not only a heart to help, but a passion to do whatever it would take. With no prior experience and no financial backing, Melany felt called to start a new ministry. She also felt God leading her to trust that He would provide more than enough to bring about His plan. Hear Melany’s inspiring story in Chapter 23 of Epic.

Learn more about Melany’s story at

Melany Jackson – More than enough