June 5, 2010

Today is the second day of training
camp.  Last night we went out on the streets of downtown Atlanta and
ministered to three homeless people–Erick, Charlie, and Otee.  They
were precious.  Erick was from Connecticut, told us he had several
siblings and nieces and nephews.  It was hard to get more than a few
word answers from him.  His heart seemed so hopeless, broken, and sad. 
He said he went to church and knew that God loved him.  His eyes still
were so disconnected.  Charlie’s story was heartbreaking.  He told us
his mom died two years ago and that he had to give up everything he had
to give her a burial instead of a cremation.  The thought of his mother
being cremated disgusted him, to put simply.  Otee was a hoot.  He sang
for us John Mayer and revealed that he was put up for adoption as a baby
and never got to meet his mother until the age of 27.  The sight of her
brought him to tears, he said.  As someone pulled off to the left side
of the street towards oncoming traffic at an intersection, Otee screamed
“Wrong Side of the street!” so loudly that I think it alarmed the
undercover cop and there he was with his flashing lights soon enough,
chasing after the lawbreaker.  Otee saves the night.  A guy with no
home, no food, no family–but a bicycle, an ipod, and a sharp sense of
the traffic regulations.
Otee had asked for money earlier but we had come to the consensus
of having nothing to give.  (Each group was given $3 to share with
whomever we came across).  In reality there was still the three dollars
sitting in my hoodie pocket. So we put it in his styrofoam cup while he
wasn’t looking.  He ran after us as we walked away and was overjoyed
with gratuity.  He told us Christ was in his heart and that he didn’t
like going to church because people were all about gossip. To him it was
just a social unit. I hope that Otee gets to see his mother again one
day.  He is 51 years old now.  If not in this life, then in the one to
After our small mission we sat with our group in a parking lot with
a few handfuls of Imogen Heap fans waiting for her arrival outside for
some snapshots and autographs.  We waited forever with the crowd but
apparently she was too busy, making out “with some scruffy dude” as I
heard one fan phrase it.  Anyway we never got to see her and we were all
dying from hunger since the last time we ate was around 6 and it was
about 12:30 at night by this time–plus all we got to eat were
pb&j’s and for some reason mine was only jelly.  I don’t care
though, I’m not here to be comfortable or spoiled.  Oh yes, I forgot to
mention that in the beginning when we were transporting our luggage from
the airport to the Safe House (name of the homeless shelter), it poured
down buckets of rain the whole 8 blocks and we got soaked like crazy. 
Not to mention some of my clothing inside my suitcase got wet.  What’s
the deal, we’re not even in Nicaragua yet! Ha! 
 So I learned that all people really want is to be heard, for us to
listen to their story, their voices, their lives.  They want an open
ear and for someone to just hear them and really care.  The 3 we spoke
to all seem to understand that God takes care of them.  We prayed with
each one of them–that they would grow in Christ, share his word, and
that God would take care of them and keep them happy and healthy. 
Charlie was the only one that got upset and walked away because the
topic of death was brought up and he just didn’t want to think about
it.  He didn’t want to worry about dying, only think about living.  He
is 55 years old.  I was surprised to see each Charlie, Otee, and Erick
so willing to talk to four random strangers about something so
personal.  It was awesome.

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