Blessed Portion Friday Night Update 3-23-18
1 Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect."
Tonight driving home I thought of how the night went. All the people we talked and prayed with. Those who were struggling to stay clean and sober and those who just cant get to that point yet. Thought of how earlier in the day I went to the viewing of a man who struggled with being homeless and his lifetime of addictions. Eventually the toll was too much on his body and it gave out. Seeing him there and remembering moments with him was difficult. Talking with his family as they shared how his addictions caused family separation for many years was also difficult and I thought of how it could have been better for all of them.... but the addiction had the last say unfortunately. Thought also of the friend tonight who drug a cardboard box up to a sleeping area (picture in post) to sleep in. Thankful he at least had 2 blankets from us to somewhat keep him warm- but so badly wishing he would choose a different path. Seeing someone go from recovery to now sleeping outside in a box is almost too much to handle. We are hoping come Monday morning he will be faithful to his pledge and check himself in the recovery shelter he agreed to seek help from.
Thought also of the friend tonight who found out cancer is living in their body and the devastation and fear that brings...and yet the question from them as I walked by them was "How do you know if you are saved?" My answer was give me a minute to handle a need and I will sit and tell you and I did. Listened to our friend talk of how hard life had been for them. A life of spiritual darkness that has brought about some chaos. Hearing how when they were younger they were in church and how now that child seems so far away. Talking with them and sharing Christ was a gift because they wanted to make that choice to accept Jesus and they DID! Thinking of this on the way home tonight reminded me and our team that God is so faithful to meet people where they are. He is always pursuing His creation-- ALWAYS! One thing we love about what we do is that our friends do not wear "masks" They are who they are- they are honest and bold about where they are. They have nothing to hide--- nothing to lose by letting you know who they are and what they need. I love that! For us "church people" sometimes we have masks. We don't want people to see what we really need, who we really are because we are trying to gain approval in some fashion and that is exhausting.... I know because I have been there. With our friend tonight it was raw....honest....bold and amazing. They took a chance and asked the question about knowing if they are saved or not and expected a answer....and as Christ followers we are expected to do it!!! Our prayer is that person will continue to seek Jesus and full freedom found only in Him and there will be some peace and joy in their life.
Another thing tonight was a man when asked what good news anyone had he raised his hand and said in front of many people how he has not looked at porn for several weeks!! Again he didn't care who heard him, didn't care what people thought...for him it was about the goodness of God healing him to stay away from porn that mattered and again we were amazed and inspired by his humility and frankness..... again he had no mask on!!
Lastly thought of two men who have been in recovery shelters who now who help us. Men who have addictions and yet are clean. One who has known Jesus for awhile and another who is just getting started. Seeing these men help us and hearing how far they have come is special. Hearing how they speak about Jesus to even praying us out at the of the night reminds us that what we do isn't just about the streets, but also within our team that God is doing a work and again its a beautiful sight to see be a part of.
We did give out many items--- all the bins were pretty much emptied and so thankful for you who donate. Great LAST story is one man found a Bible that was a red living Bible. He showed it to me and was SO happy that he would be able to give it to his girlfriend. They had just gotten off the phone when he saw it in the bin and grabbed it. He said that she knew Jesus, but she needed a Bible and that he was going to wrap it up and give it to her as a gift. He just kept saying how excited she was going to be when she saw her "Beautiful Bible".....so whoever gave us that Bible THANK YOU!!! It's so amazing how the little things are really BIG things to someone else!! So we had a great night and we love what God allows us to be a part of. We know that God is on the move for sure and he meets people right where they are....even in a parking lot on a cold rusty staircase!!! He is everywhere and all He asks is that we give the reason of our inward hope.... Thank you everyone for all you do for us we love you.
Thanks to Pathway Community Church, Grace Summit Church, Hamilton Church of Christ, Mark Stebing, Mjs Apparel, Jennifer Lynne Stebing, Sarah Bigelow Lapadot, Auburn Massage and Wellness, Christina Scheiber,Rochelle Bloomfield-Wilson, Lori Williams, Michael Jordan, Toby, John Burley, Michelle Biddle Stephens,Scott Wright,