Blessed Portion Friday Update 4-13-18
A BIG THANK YOU to the Greek Ladies from the Greek Orthodox Church for feeding everyone tonight. They truly provide a yummy and full meal for everyone-- and they most of all are beautiful people inside and out. We are blessed to know them and so thankful for their faithfulness over the years.
Tonight as I was heading downtown I was thinking of two friends. One who has chosen to be on a binge for a few weeks and one who last week lost the place where he was staying because of a decision to use. Honestly I was not looking forward to seeing either one of them not because I don't love them, but because of the frustration I felt. Wanting someone's sobriety more then they do is super hard!! Then I started wondering if any progress is being made? (Obviously there is, but its easy to only see the negative) Wondering if the people that so many love, will love themselves enough to get help....and with no answers I felt like I just wanted to go home! I'm being very real here!!! Sent a quick text to Tommy telling him of my apparent heart issue and he reassured me of the good that is happening and to keep on keeping on!!!
At one point in the evening as our team was checking in on people, I chose to stay back and wait with a few friends who were settling in for the night. It was late and dark out, but yet warm. Many had blankets they were wrapped up in, and I laid down on a area by myself and just listened. Listened as one friend talked to himself how he had a drinking problem, how he was sick of being outside, but not ready to go in yet either. Listened as another friend talked to himself under his blankets of how frustrated he was about the day..... he was VERY upset. Then listened to another tell one friend how he better put his food away because he had a raccoon come the night before and snatch his remaining food. The one friend said how he knew that was true because there are times when he can hear the rattling of his bag as critters try to get inside of it. I laid there not saying a thing....just listening. Then other friend who was not staying there but was just visiting stayed quiet looking at the night sky and the city lights. Again I remained quiet and hoped that another friend who made his bad decision this week would be back soon so I could talk to him. I knew he was staying there because his book bag was there. One friend said he was probably watching to see when we would leave before he would come back, because he felt bad and didn't want to see us.....and so we said goodnight. I walked away from there just for a moment understanding a SMALL way what its like to be out there. Everyone fighting their own demons, trying to stay alive, warm, guarding what little food they have, dealing with shame and guilt and yet refusing the help they really need and being engulfed in addiction......oh how hard it is.
As I drove home God reminded me of a few things in the midst of my still frustration. He reminded me of a man who came up to us with tears in his eyes thanking us for praying for him and his wife last week. The prayer was answered and he was literally joyful as well as his wife. He was an older man, very well put together and gentle. I reminded him that we did nothing that it was all God who had helped him, and how hopefully he saw that God IS aware of him-to which he smiled!! Was also reminded of how a man came up and said how appreciative he was of what is done each week and that WE need to remember that what we do by feeding and clothing people is really unto Jesus. He said how he appreciates it and while he makes mistakes he is still pursuing recovery and Christ, and is confident he will make it. Again thanked him for his kind words and pointed out how faithful God is. And the last thing God reminded me of was about what happened at our first stop. As you know we pray at each location before we leave. At the first stop we were about ready to leave and an old friend came up and said "Did you already pray?" I told him we did and I saw the look on his face and said "Well we can pray again if you want?" To that he smiled and said "Lets pray again." and so we did. He didn't ask for food, for any supplies ....he simply wanted to pray. It wasn't even anything for himself he was asking prayer about ....just prayer!! So as I drove home God reminded me of the good and simple things that happened tonight and that God is moving and good things are happening. He reminded me that some are going to fall over and over again and they have to fall...but there is always hope. That our job is to pray and pray some more. To encourage change and healing, to point people to The Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army, or to other recovery places. To love on them, to know when to back off and say no, to love some more and understand it's God who is control of all things and He knows more than we do. To also see all the good that is happening keeping that as the focus and pray about the rest.
We have an amazing team of volunteers who pour out their hearts each week in one way or another reaching all those we serve. Whether its by those who pray for us, who make Sunday lunches, snack bags, donate items, to those who drive for us on Sundays so people can come to church, to those who financially give...thank you! Last week at church we were so blessed to see 5 women who are in a recovery house that we visit each week sitting in front of us!!! God is moving and He is faithful!!! Thank you everyone for all you do and continue to pray for us. Thanks to OUR church Pathway Community Church, Grace Summit Church, Hamilton Church of Christ, Nick Reinoehl, Christina Scheiber, Lori Williams, Laura Mock,Christina King, Randy and Cherrilyn Thomas, David and Veronique Poudrier,Brenda Wigginton, Renee Eich- Curneal, Dale and Tracy Hine-Bullion,Sasha Gravante, Michael Jordan, Ryan Hull, Parker Crosby, Jamie Nicholson, Tracy White, Sarah Bigelow Lapadot, Mark and Jennifer Lynne Stebing, Mjs Apparel, Auburn Massage and Wellness, Kim Ted Shook