FRIDAY UPDATE 9-28-18
Blessed Portion Friday Night update 9-28-18
As most know we never have a dull moment on Fridays. Right after we got everything set up at the first stop we witnessed a head on collision on Wells Street. Thankfully all the people (including 4 kids) were not harmed. Many of our friends ran right over to offer help to those involved...and one friend jumped in a moving car to avoid it crashing into The Old Navy Club. He later went to the hospital to get himself checked out as jumping in a moving vehicle through the window will for sure cause some physical harm- I believe he will be ok though!!
So tonight we had some new faces from Upstar Alliance of Realtors in Fort Wayne. Thanks to them, Ashley Lanning, Bob Bastian, Chris Buchs, Renee Hiner for coming down and serving with us an providing so many clothing items for our friends!! You picked a crazy night to come, but as we say its organized chaos at its best!!
So what was tonight like? It was as it always is....challenging, amazing, hard, inspiring and warm. Talked with a friend who was so happy to report that he and his children are on good terms and they are so excited to be close to their father. This man has gone from being so frustrated, wanting to give up, and yet he didn't. He didn't quit when it was hard and tonight he was happy!! Also talked with another friend who mentioned he is also on track with staying focused on his recovery and working hard to serve others which is always a positive thing. Talked with our friend Tex and he has been working and is thrilled! He mentioned that he was going to do some work for someone for free just to be kind and they insisted on paying him..and he had a pretty big smile on his face about it all.
We had a friend this week get hit by a car and was in the hospital for several days. Tommy was needed to get him picked up from the hospital and drive him to the hotel he is staying at. He has a cast on and a walker. It was a struggle to get a walker for him from the hospital because he is without insurance. There is a attorney involved though who took his case and hopefully the charges will be covered by the person who hit him. Sadly though the reality is when a homeless person has nothing and is injured there isn't a lot of leeway for them. Thinking about our friend and no way to walk without a walker, no ride to get to his hotel, no family, no money because he used it all for his hotel room and no food to eat made the reality of what so many deal with even more apparent. So your donations helped our friend with food and some items he needed, bus passes and clothes. He will be in a cast for 3 months doctors say.
Also talked with a friend who had me in surprise with his situation. As we talked he reminisced about how Tommy and him met 25 years ago as he worked at a account of Tommy's. He shared some of that and how he used to work to now how he is limited because of some health issues. The thing with this friend is each week he is the first one to come to the van and offer to carry items out for me regardless of how his health is. I know things are hard for him to carry, but he refuses to not help. As we were talking he shared about his faith and how he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior years ago. That he mostly feels Gods presence at night when he lays down. He shared how that he prays for those around him and for Tommy and I. He also said that he didn't realize when he accepted Christ how much he would need him as he does now with being homeless. Then he shared how that tonight he was going to his usual spot to sleep which was outside. I thought he was in a shelter all this time, because that is where I always see him and assumed he was there every night...but he is not. When I looked at what was next to him it made sense...he had a very full backpack and a small little zipper type pillow blanket. I asked if that was enough to keep him warm and he said yes...but clearly I don't see how it could. Then though as I looked closer I noticed he was all layered up...and prolly always has been and I never put it together. I did my best to talk him into letting me take him to where he was sleeping, and he said no that he could walk there himself...and I realized he has his pride and I have to respect his decisions. What I learned from that was I see him every week, and we talk but I missed it. Tonight as I was talking with one friend is when I saw him sitting reading the paper and I thought I need to go talk to him...and that's when I found all this out. Thing is he is always smiling, kind, helpful, never complaining, never angry and always right there and I assumed he was sleeping indoors. I also had not taken the time to "really talk" with him...and I'm glad I did tonight and we are going to help him get some paperwork hopefully filed and get some help for him.
At our last stop we saw our friend Marcus and his friend. Marcus will walk with us and make sure we are good as we roam around checking on things. Lori Williams took this picture of Marcus and I (I didn't know till she sent it to me). Him and I were talking about the words on the Martin Luther King Bridge..."courage, hope" and many more. We talked about those words and about his life and how it is upside down right now. He shared how he struggles with addiction and yet he so much loves Jesus and desires change...so what will it take? I don't know...but I know Jesus does and we just have to keep praying for all who struggle with issues that keep them in a downward spiral and love them.
As a team we talked tonight after we were all done how God calls us to love those around us. How He just asks us to give of our time and our love. Checks are great and many can sign a check and resources are needed and yet sometimes what is most needed at times is our time...our listening ears...our willingness to just love on people wherever they are and the commitment to walk along side of them as they journey through life. We need to just be side by side with others and allow God to move ---and 9 times out of 10 we will see that the journey was a lot about us and what God wanted to reshape in us!!