On Saturday, September 8th, we had a wonderfully awesome work day. A work day where a group from Bridgeway Church came down to volunteer. Our task was to clean outside and the back of the alley. This alley is often used for crack deals, passing out from drunkeness, and other lude acts. We found in the back trash, weeds, beer bottles, carpet, broken glass, cardboard, etc. Well, we went for it and cleaned it up. What was so awesome was that a homeless guy began to help along side of us. The reason why this was so important to us was that we desire to see those who are sitting around aimless begin to contribute and give back to the community. We were so blessed to have him join us.
About an hour later, one group left, and while my friend Ryan and I were working our way around the block, we met several new people.
One guy is named Steve. He and his family (wife, daughter, and son) have been living in the rescue mission for a while. He and his friend came over and started helping us edge the street with a weed eater. This was awesome as about 15 – 30 people who sit on the street corner were watching about 4 or 5 people just start cleaning up.
About a half hour later, a group of college students went walking by. I turned off my weed eater and asked them if they were praying. They said, “yes, we are; are you Tim?” I said, “yes I am” and a friendship has begun with a group of about 10 college students. One guy, Parker, has been coming down to the building quitet often. A few minutes later, another group came down and asked if I knew a guy name Tim. I said, “I am he” and they blessed me with a sandwich, an orange, and water. This was absolutely amazing stuff considering that the 15 – 30 people are still watching this stuff go down.
About 30 minutes later, this entire group of college students get out and say that this guy wants to talk to a pastor. I approach the car that this guy is sitting in and say, “you are looking for a pastor?” He says, “yes”. I said, “well, sure, i am one as well as all of these people, for we are all high priests, a chosen generation.” This homeless guy is sort of taken back. You see, here in the Bible belt, pastors are professionals and have resources and stuff. But what I told him is here are some warriors who are here for him. So after talking with him for a few minutes, I asked him if we can pray for him. So about 15 of us gather around this guy and lay hands on him in the middle of the street. This was the first time that I have ever begun to show this sort of openness on the street. The main reason for not being so open is that I didn’t want the people on the street to just think that I am trying to make a scene. But I felt at that moment, we were being called to go public. After talking a few more minutes with this guy, it was apparent that he wasn’t able to receive anything that we were saying, and so i stopped and looked at the students and said, I am sorry, but there is nothing that we can do at this point…and I walked away. And, I was sort of taken back by the moment that I could be so abrupt without any real explanation to the group and just walk away. And it was as if the LORD showed me that is what He means by if they don’t receive it, to take off your sandals and wipe the dust off, and move on. What a great moment of learning for me.
A few minutes later, I see a young man who had stolen some tools from me in the past, and had many conversations with him about the sin that he is trapped in. One of those conversations was pretty straight to the point about how the crack was leading him down the road of destruction, but that he wouldn’t change until he was broken. As he was walking away, I told him, to have fun, for sin is fun for a season, but that he would soon be back in misery. So, there he was, sitting down, watching all of this stuff going down. And I yelled across the street at him with the rest of the people watching, and said, “hey John, how is the crack going?” I said, “how are you feeling about now.” He said, “miserable”. I said, “right on”. It was crazy, as this guy is shouting across the street how he is feeling miserable because of the crack, and he was saying this in front of 30 other crack users. This was a great moment.
That was all for that Saturday morning.