Last Thursday was another totally amazing night! It started with a handful of volunteers that showed up even though it was pouring rain. I know how they were feeling because I was feeling the same way-“are we really going to deliver meals in this weather?” Well, yes. We had to stop a couple of times during our sharing and praying time before we left the center because the rain was so loud we could not hear each other. Ahhhh! After stalling as long as we could, we headed out. Amazingly enough, when we arrived at our first destination, the rain had stopped!
The first man that God had brought across our path had previously shared his struggles with alcohol to some of our volunteers a few weeks ago. They were able to pray with him and encouraged him to seek help for his addiction. What was great with that was the volunteers that had shared with him had themselves also struggled with alcohol addiction and God was able to help them in their own addiction. Who better for God to use? He again shared his continuing struggle and desire to quit (although desire needs to be followed with action). God was able to use us to strongly encourage him to take the necessary steps for his recovery. We are not sure what he did but are excited to find out next Thursday.
On to the next stop (one of my personal favorites). We agreed not to stay to long due to the threatening weather. Well, as always, God had a better plan. We came across a man who had been living there for quite some time and who seemed very glad to see us. He shared with us how important our Thursdays nights were to him-having little to do with the actual food we deliver and more to do with the encouragement and friendship he felt (not to mention a bit of a buzz he was also feeling that evening). He really encouraged us by telling us that we (or actually Bryan) was the only person who he felt believed in him and accepted him right where he was at in his life. He went on to share that he was 95% ready for us to take him to church on Saturday night-leaving 5% apparently not ready. We encouraged him to come with us that upcoming Saturday night but the 5% won out so we will continue praying and visiting with him.
As we were getting ready to leave, we came across a friend who stopped by knowing that we would be there delivering meals. He, himself had once lived in some of the local hotels (which is how we met) and wanted to give Bryan a present. It was a tie with one of the Blues Brothers on it and underneath the Blues brother it said, “On A Mission From God”. He blessed us so much! That’s what it’s all about. Again, impressing upon us how important this outreach is.
Next stop was heartbreaking. We came across a woman who had just lost her job. She was alone, broken and scared. One of our new volunteers noticed that she kept coming out of her room and just looking at our crazy Jesus Was Homeless van and going back into her room. We approached her with a meal and were able to listen to her fears, praying and encouraging her with some direction before we left. We also gave her our phone numbers and offered to take her to church with us on Saturday night if she would like. No call, so we will keep on praying.
We than came across a young man who shared his struggles with making ends meet. He (like so many) has no transportation so he walks to and from work every day. Bryan asked him if he had a bike would he use it and he very assuredly said yes. We did not have a bike to give him but told him that we would keep our eyes open for one.
Next we headed back to the Center to end the night (so we thought) and drop everyone off. Our night was not quite finished though, we had to make one more stop to pick up a check from a faithful donor/friend. We went to visit with him and afterwards he gave us the always needed financial donation, he then asked us if we needed a couple of bikes. Wow! Way to go God!!! We knew that we were too excited to go home and sleep, so we returned to the hotel where our new friend was at and gave him the bike that God had just provided. He seemed very grateful and we were again, mega blessed.
Can’t wait for next Thursday!