Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Steps

Sleep? Help the homeless?.... Sleep?... Help the homeless?
But I'm SO tired! And sick! I should just sleep today.
Dang it.
And then I thought about those Africa kids I saw today in the video of our trip at church and my heart melted a little bit. I'm so selfish.

So with 5 minutes to spare I threw on some warm clothes and ran down to grab Lianne. She grabbed a warmer ski jacket to go over her sweatshirt, and grabbed her starbucks giftcard and we headed out to meet the bus.

Long story short, we ended up finding some people wrapped in sleeping bags and tarps under the bridge trying to sleep. We gave our sack lunches to them, some chapstick and umbrellas and started to walk away. We got about 10 feet away and Lianne stopped and turned to me and said, "I want to give them my jacket, is that weird?"
"No, that's not weird." I replied, kind of taken back because it was a fairly nice ski jacket. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yeah." So she walked over and laid it across their sleeping bag like an extra blanket. She doesn't know it, but this completely blew me away. If I had my ski jacket would I give it away spur of the moment like she did? No. I know the answer, straight up. I'm too selfish. If I told my parents I gave it away to the homeless or even lost it I would be in BIG trouble, I'm talkin' BIG! Even after going to Africa and having a softened heart I couldn't do it. I'm so impressed. It's just a little thing I suppose, but it's huge!

Then we came upon an old man and his son. His son had just gotten back from the military and ended up on the streets. He's been trying to get his dad out off the streets for a couple years now, but nothing has happened. He asked us what we were doing on this road, apparently even the cops are afriad to go down this street. He told us we should probably get out of here as soon as we could, just to be safe. He was a nice man, I liked him, but he smelled strongly of alchol. We sat and talked to his dad for about 1/2 an hour. He told us stories and jokes, but the very first thing he said to us was, "All four of you, WHEN and HOW did you find God?" How could he tell we were Christians?

I started getting jittery. I really did NOT want to answer this question. Yes, this would be cool, and a great ministry, I know I should be excited about sharing God, but I'm not ready. I'm NOT! And then I think of all the people God use and they never think they're ready either, but seriously here. I'm NOT. I'm STILL SEARCHING. I know nothing, I can't answer tough questions, I try out on the hall some nights and it's a challenge, and if I can't answer I feel like a complete failure. Thankfully Cedric spoke up and the homless man forgot about the rest of us. Cedric kind of avoided the question as well. Eventually the old man forgot about it, and we began talking of other things. He grabbed a coin from his pocket and read, "God grand me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, and change the things I can." He told us this was the motto he was trying to live by. He was an alcholic, that's what has kept him out on the streets, and he decided he wanted to make a change. So we wrote down all the contact information we could so we could find him again and try to help him.
Name: Red Rob
Location: Under the bridge every morning at 7:30
Suddenly his son and another man came out from around the corner throwing fists in the air at each other.
"Dude, there's kids here, not here, not now." The son said.
They eventually compromised and the other man walked away. Not long after, the son abrubtly changing his mind, made a fist meeting hand motion in the air towards the man walking away, and ran after him.

We decided we should get going, but the old man was having fun and didn't want to stop telling us rather disturbing jokes.

I hope we made a difference today.

We sang hymns today at Sundown med. I noticed that directly behind me an underclassman was sitting alone. I told my friends sitting in my row and we scooted down and invited her to sit with us. She gladly excepted, and the smile on her face as she sat down put a fire in my heart. YES!

I feel rather accomplished today. Like I really am making a difference in the world, or at least I'm witnessing a change. Sure, maybe no one else noticed, it was just little. But baby steps are only the beginning. Giving up a nap was definitely worth it. Thank you African children for giving me the courage and energy I need to make a change. I'm changing my way of thinking, and ultimately my life. If only they knew.

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