Been a really hard week.

A full week of work on the streets? YES!

For whatever reason right now the men have drifted. I believe it has to do with the sign holders> The past month they have come up with a clever idea to make drinking money.

Much to my protest (which they turn a deaf ear) they take turns standing on the corner and hold a sign that simply says “Anything.” To my own amazement they are collecting money from compassionate motorist stopping at the light. In just a short amount of time they collect 15-20 bucks easy.

Splitting the money, the one who hasn’t been banned from the store goes and buys everyone their beer.

This method of work starts about 10 every day and ends when they pass out. Me on the other hand have become extremely frustrated and put out with all of them. Reason? Once they’re past drunk I can’t get them in church.  Not only church but getting them rounded up to take showers has come to a screeching halt!

I take into consideration many people care and not everyone understands that when you give a dollar they just add it to the other 10 others have already given. Thus? My job becomes tougher trying to keep them alive.

Missy talked to Tony Day the other day. Tony use to live on the streets with all of my guys hanging out under the 13th Street Bridge. He’s been off the street about 10  months now. He went into a program to recover from alcohol. He has done fantastic! He now is working towards his own apartment and called to say he also now has a full-time job with benefits.

He told Missy that the men depend on us in the sense they know if they were in trouble they could go to us and we would find a way to help them out. He also told her that they would sit out on the streets or under the bridge and talk about the services and what was preached. When our church was located across from the bridges it was easy. They attended services and my “life recovery program.” Every morning before they ate breakfast they sat in the 15 min. devotions 5 days a week. Oh how I miss those days with the men.

BUT we lost our lease at the first of the year and have had to meet at our home until we find a new location. It has been hard not only on us but the men as well. Keeping them in church has been the hardest I suppose so I decided …OK! You won’t make this easy so we’ll do it another way. I decided I will take my class’ to them.

Yesterday was my first and it was WILD to say the very least. Just getting them to sit down on the wall was like entering a kindergarten class on the first day. These are grown men and nobody would be still or quiet. Finally after 5-10 min. order was had and they began to listen.

After another 30 min. many were crying. You see my job is to bring normal and reality into their numbness. I’m pretty blunt and when I told them about Charles that our 2 Youth ministers met one night. He said he was going to come to church. Charles also use to come into our breakfast program. I saw Charles a few days after our ministers talked to him and I was heading to church and asked him to come along. My friend told me not that day but maybe another.

Charles never had another day. He died a couple of days later. The men don’t really care to hear me tell them the REALITY of how it actually is… the end of the existence which they have chosen. I can sugar coat it but that would  profit them nothing. The truth brings the tears, silence and accountability.

My job isn’t what you would find at an AA meeting. No to be honest it is much more precious; to me anyway, these are homeless men at what we call “Ground Zero”!!! They have lost the meaning to the steps they take as they move forward. They are going nowhere. I must and I will get the Word of God into them. It is the ONLY thing which can change a life.

My week is slowly coming to a close. I have visited Sonny this week in the hospital and his days are very few. His cancer has gone into his liver. Today I found Tony Boy in the hospital. We’ve been looking for him and come to find out his really bad heart is shutting down. I cried after I went home today. I have decisions to make all the time about how emotionally I will allow my friends from the streets to find shelter in my heart.

Knowing that when I do, they will die and my heart again will shake and break one more time. Tony Boy told Missy and I that he had layed there for 8 days praying we would find him. I wanted to hold him tight but because of the tubes I settled with just touching his arm saying “I have found you Tony and I will be with you the rest of the way.”

See…I know. Tony knows, it’s almost over for his 62-year-old body. He knows his days are numbered in weeks now and not months. He does know Jesus and he won’t die alone. I told him that I loved him before I walked out the hospital room door. He looked back at me and told me that he loved me. We’ll be there.

Tony

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2 Responses to “Been a really hard week.”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about Tony boy…but the other Tony…ten months and he’s still doing well. That makes me very happy. A success!! And I’m sorry to hear about Charles. You’re all still doing an awesome job in spite of the challenges!!

  2. I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT SONNY WOULD YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT HOSPITAL HE IS AT THANKS I WILL PUT SONNY ON OUR PRAYER LIST AT CHURCH GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS JAYE/MISSY


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