Friday Night Update 9-8-17
Tonight we had perfect fall weather and a perfect fall dinner from the Greek ladies at The Greek Orthodox Church...menu was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, bread sticks, salad and cookies--perfect dinner and we are so happy our Greek Ladies are back for the second Friday of each month!!
Was quickly met by one of our friends who had items for her sons 3rd birthday which was last week. She had to make the hard decision to choose adoption, and he is with an amazing family who loves him. Hard to see our friend though at those moments as her arms are empty. She shared how she wanted to give him a birthday card so that one day he would know she didn't forget about him or didn't love him. She chose not to though because she didn't know how to sign the card. She wanted to sign it love mom...but felt that wouldn't be right since he has a mom. So from one mama to another I just listened and "Said you will always be his mom....you gave that little boy life. He just has two moms now." I did though respect her thinking of his adoptive mom and her not wanting to upset her--still so hard.
We also talked with one of our friends Kenneth Billingsley Jr. and listened as he shared how one of his family members was violently assaulted. He shared from his heart concerning her recovery and what is happening on the streets. He shared how this drug issue needs to stop....how we need to get it together and make a change....and how that change only really comes with God and His help. He also shared how he has come so far. He now has a job, is off the streets, accepted Jesus Christ, was baptized and is now giving back...oh how we love him!! He is there every Friday night to help us and, others and we are so blessed!!!
At the Mission we heard some praise reports...one long time friend now has a job!!! Cannot tell you how happy we are for him!!! Also another man shared how he as well as a job...and heard many praise reports on how many days they are clean and sober. Heard how some are struggling with relationships and trying to learn who they are in Christ and not being defined by others. We all want love, to be accepted, to know someone is there for us. If we don't we then can tend to give up, and do things that are wrong because we just don't care. So many need friendship, a listening ear, a word of encouragement in this world. and Sometimes we are so caught up in our pain we tend to only view ourselves and what we need and that is so opposite of what God says to do. Hopefully we can all do better at being the hands and feet of Christ.
Like our friend Tracy who has recently starting coming with us. She is so happy to have friends, and its encouraging her to do serve others, to trust others again and of course she is happy to know Jesus. Tonight she was very helpful with handing out all the clothes, a tent, sleeping bag, a few blankets, all the snack bags, cough drops, batteries and as she says "Preaching the word."
At the end of night our thoughts went to a friend that passed away last week. His name is Ed. We have known him since we started and he will be missed. He was funny, kind and loved people. He had his issues as we all do but was a good man. Found out tonight that a few nights before he passed he was with his sister in their car across from the Mission and was listening as we were out in the parking lot. His sister said that he just wanted to be around all of us ..... and yet he didn't come out of the car. We didn't see him otherwise we would have gone over to talk with him. Very hard to hear that tonight...as we wish we could have that moment back and say hi!!! Reminds us again of the point that this ministry isn't just food and clothes....its about relationships, family, being there for one another and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
Thank you to Pathway Community Church, Grace Summit Church, Hamilton Church of Christ, Christina King, Chrissy DePew, Claudia Weesner, Stacy and Nina Hagerty, Mjs Apparel, Auburn Massage and Wellness, Sarah Bigelow Lapadot, Mark and Jennifer Lynne Stebing, Cherrilyn Thomas,Rochelle Bloomfield-Wilson, Lisa Gratz, Stacey Gratz, Jessica Rickle, Dyanna Nolen, Samantha Boose, Megan Hochstetler, Jacquie Aldrich,Amber Gaskill and all of you who donate each week----THANKYOU!!!