Blessed Portion Friday Night Update 6-22-18
Psalms 73:14 "All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments."
Saw the weather forecast tonight and thankfully we ended up with less rain than originally predicted.... we had a couple pop up canopy's and umbrellas and we did well. Felt bad for some especially our friend Jim who walks everywhere because he was completely soaked..... he didn't complain though but it sure grabs at your heart. Thanks to Rod and Jennifer Laux, Jason and Vicki Holman and their families for bringing hot dogs and hamburgers, cole slaw, cookies, cake pops, chips and a BIG canopy !!! Thankful for you guys and your hearts to serve others!!
Heard tonight how many are scrambling to find a place to sleep that will be safe. Many have tents but now are forced to not put them up out of fear of being seen. So they are just using a blanket to cover up with wherever they can and getting up early to leave. When it rains so much as it has this week it is even harder to find a place that is somewhat dry....so our hearts were heavy. One friend said that he cannot go to a shelter because he is banned (not sure why) and he needed a tent. Another gentleman said that there is no safe place for tents right now and listed off a few places where he thought he would be safe to sleep if he also got up early and left. So hard to see someone standing in the rain with a THIN rain poncho on, cold, hungry and no where to feel safe to sleep at.
We did though tonight hear our friend Toby share his amazing good God news. He shared how that when he was on spice awhile back he saw satan literally pulling him down to hell as he hit the concrete. He shared how he saw flames and pure evilness and then saw himself coming up out of it. He knew that he was re born at that moment and he is never going back to drugs. He shared how that God is doing amazing things in his life right now. He now has shelter, a good job,and is even back in touch with his family. He is experiencing the faithfulness and goodness of God and even has a girl he likes (his words ). Its been a pleasure seeing him as he has struggled now being able with God to make a total turn around. Now he is able to share with others as he knows exactly what they are going through and can testify to the goodness of God. Its amazing to see and hear all the changes he is going through and we love having him serve with us.
Tonight we handed out a lot of trash bags for people to keep their items dry, handed out all the socks, and clothing and several blankets and sleeping bags as so many items are wet. Some are new to the streets, have nothing and many have had their items stolen from others who sleep outside- hard to believe but its true. We also gave out all the snack bags we brought that Renee Liechty Kahn makes for us--so thankful to her and her family for making these for our friends.
We also had a time of prayer at each stop as we always do and one stop was particularly hard. Came to visit a friend and saw him with his flashlight on and he was reading his Bible (the picture with this post) We gave him some food, water, a couple shirts, socks and a couple blankets and then sat and talked for a bit with him. We asked what he was reading and he said Romans. He also shared how that he was also reading Psalms 73 and wanted us to read it out loud so all could hear it. The verse that stung was verse 14 that says " All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments." When you see someone sleeping on wet, muddy cold dirt and knowing they will wake up to that each day it can be hard and even harder for them. This friend has struggled for years mostly because of past issues and not being willing to forgive themselves for past wrong doings. Its hard to forgive yourself when your not sure God even forgives you for certain sins. Some say that certain sins are bigger for God to forgive then smaller ones, but sin is sin. We have different repercussions for our choices on this earth, but God views sin as sin and can forgive as long as we are repentant and turn away from it. Unfortunately for our friend who does love Jesus, they just cant get past what they have done. The other verse that struck us was verse 26 that says "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Hoping that our friend will be able to see how God loves all of us and is there to forgive and strengthen us.
We also had a man when it came time to share good news and or prayer requests start to cry as he was so thankful that people would bring food and tangible items to him. It reminded us of how a simple thing can be such a big thing to someone who doesn't have anything. Sometimes the tendency can be that we want to do something big (at least big to us) and really its the small things that mean more. Hopefully our friend sees God is meeting his needs and not us.
There were many prayer requests this week and many praises. Requests for healing, family restoration, to stay strong in their walk with God, to stay clean and sober. Praises for jobs, family members who needed healing that showed this past week they are on the mend, and praises for God just keeping them going as they walk out change. We as a team are blessed each week to see how God is moving, how God is restoring people and that we get to see it happen. We are thankful God allows us to do His work and that we have so many people we now love and care about. Often I believe we as a team are the ones who are growing and changing more as we are blessed by our friends. We sure love our Friday nights!!!
Thank you to all of you who each week as I always say who fill our bins with clothes. We cannot clothe people without your help. Thankful for all of you who donate books and Bibles as well because our Bible box was about empty tonight and that is super!!! Thank you to those of you who pray for those we serve and please keep praying because its working. We are meeting people where they are at and God then takes over!! Thanks to Pathway Community Church, Grace Summit Church, Hamilton Church of Christ, Christina Scheiber, Lori Williams, Toby, Shelley Stevens-Pilkay and Rick, Amber Gaskill, Rick and Jennifer Laux, Jason and Vicki Holman, Laura Mock, Sarah Bigelow Lapadot, Auburn Massage and Wellness, Mjs Apparel,Mark Stebing, Jennifer Lynne Stebing, Kim Ted Shook,