We can start off this note with remembering our breakfast buffet last Saturday, yummy. All sorts of good food, cooked by all sorts of good help, was enjoyed by all sorts of good folks. Momma T had the help of a group of young people from Alexandria from the Horseshoe United Methodist Church. They were friends of Ms Ellen and were visiting with us. After they finished cooking and eating! they joined us for our visits. Always good to have new faces to introduce them to our old friends. One of the highlights of our breakfast was enjoying the peaches picked from our tree. First fruits of the Cedar Grove peach orchard! Maybe Ms Patty we can do something about expanding our orchard of one tree!?
On our first stop, the only person at the gas station, was a long time friend of ours and Issidor, Daniel. I told Daniel, I will let Izzy know you are in town. We met Robert shortly after that and he traveled with us the rest of the morning. We visited the Bridge boys camp. It had been awhile since we were there and found Carl relaxing in their living room! They had couches, chairs, ice chest full of ice and waters and the entire area carpeted! I mentioned to Carl, they may need a vacuum cleaner next! Carl said he was trying to get an apartment this week and that would only leave Mike there. We will go by this week to see if Mike is there? Pulled into our Hamilton stop and there was already a long line of folks. Too many to name, too many to feed and clothe. Icee Joe did the best he could but it was more than we could handle. Where are all the agencies that are there for the guys? Something is not happening, that should?
As I was returning the van to the church, I rounded the corner behind the center and there was Izzy sitting outside. I had already forgotten to tell him about Daniel, so what a "coincidence" Izzy was there. I stopped the van and told Izzy, Daniel is under the bridge and wants to visit with you. Izzy couldn't get out of his chair fast enough and say can you take me? I said, I can take you to him but don't have time to pick you back up later? Izzy said, no, no, no, we have to go get him out of this hot weather! I need to bring him here! The thought never entered my mind, but that was all Izzy was concerned about. His friend needed his help and he was going to do whatever it took to get him out of the heat. Izzy said he had been down to the bridge several times last week but could not find his friend. I showed him a different spot and there was Daniel, laying under the bridge, trying to survive. We put Daniel in the van and took him to Izzy's house. Dr Phil said, it was great to see two old friends sitting under the shade of trees, enjoying their time together. An example of our community.
Gus, Ms Abbie and myself had the pleasure of attending worship time at Brookwood Saturday night. Always a blessing to experience the gifts of one of own, Spencer as he shares his talents with us. Can't wait to hear him in our chapel one evening!? An example of God expanding His Kingdom in our community.
Summer Camp continues to be a blessing to all who come and all who are helping out. Monday was roller skating time! Did not notice and crutches needed as they got out of the vans! The interns have added to the staff this week and what a blessing it has been. Two of the older boys, long time friends of ours, have become helpers, staffers, leaders in camp. A great role model for the younger children to see members of community stepping up. A big thanks go out to our interns for allowing the Spirit to flow through you to expand the Kingdom of God. Wow, another example of our community.
Monday evening, we had a huge group of middle schoolers from Grace Avenue Methodist church, somewhere in Texas move into the warehouse and have been working at the center for three days. With the help of Gus, Ms Sarah and others, they have done all sorts of things around the center. Everyday I would come into the center and I would see changes. It is awesome we have become a place where young people can come and experience community. Another example of our community.
We had a group of volunteers from CASA have their monthly meeting at the center. Ms Lisa shared our story with them and then took them around the center. They work with children like our who have challenges in their little lives, helping them along the way to make better choices. Hopefully we can work together in some way so that all children will have a chance to make a difference.
We had a nice group of folks from Calvary Baptist church join us Wednesday evening for our meal. They helped serve the meal, pass the plates, fill up the cups and visit with the folks. Hopefully they will come back for another visit. We did have another one of those moments, we do not like to experience, but we did. Not sure what happened but two ladies standing in line to get groceries, started yelling at each other. With the help of David McCormick, we moved them outside and the confrontation continued for a few minutes more. Thankfully, nothing happened more than verbal words back and forth but it was not pleasant to see. Many folks were upset at this happening, I heard comments like, isn't this church? We are all supposed to be respectful of each other, at least here? Why do they have to act like that?
None of us like to see this type of behavior, but it just reinforces to me, why it is so important for our community to be here. Life is messy, life is hard. Our community faces challenges everyday of abuse, neglect, anger, frustration. When you are in the streets, it gets messy. We have to learn it will be hard at times, things will not go smoothly all the time, but that should not discourage us. We are not in this journey alone, God is there. If we are not there, who will be? The next day, thinking back on what we saw and experienced, a thought came to me, how can we get those two ladies to Ms Tywana's Bible class on Monday night? An example of our community.
We had a big group sitting around our tables Thursday evening, well I should say we had a big group at the start! We lost some of our interns along the way due to exhaustion from summer camp activities! Henry, Hat, Charley, Beth, James, Lauren, Joey, Dr Phil, Allison, Kelli, Byron, William, and Chuck were there at various times of the evening. Don't ask Henry what we talked about, he slept through the evening! We finished up Chapter 3 and also chapter 4 of Acts. Boldness of the Holy Spirit is what comes to mind about our discussions. Peter preaching before all the people, not worrying about the consequences. Where did his boldness come from? Not too long ago, Peter denied Jesus not once, not twice but three times and in a few shorts months, he was preaching the Good News, bringing 5000 into the new Kingdom, being arrested, not succumbing to the wishes of the leaders of the church, but only concerned about spreading the Good News! How awesome is that. Many times we pray, asking for guidance, for faith, for boldness as long as it fits into our box, but what happens if God says, go and visit those who have no homes, feed my sheep, clothe the naked, welcome strangers into your home, share your story, are we willing to step out, willing to be persecuted, willing to lvoe others in way that society will say, that is strange?An example of what our community is all about.
Gus will be busy again this week! We have another group of young people coming from Duncanville, Texas. Allison and I don't know where that is, so someone help us out? In fact, I think we have folks coming just about every week for the next several weeks. Ms Lisa and Mr Scott are working on a calendar and will have it up and running soon.
Prayer concerns from Thursday evening. Lauren asked prayers for her brother, Taylor as he leaves with her in a couple of weeks for his freshman year at the University of Arkansas. Lauren will be a senior!
prayers for Ms Sarah, Momma T and the other leaders of Weekend of the Cross. We will need help serving some of the teams, next Friday and Saturday, 29th and 30th. Need to be at the center kitchen around 11:30 each day as they start arriving to help serve a meal prepared by Mr Tom.
Mr Brian and the interns will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs to the VBS group at Grace Saturday night. Help is needed. We will start cooking around 4 and serving at 5:30 at the YMCA camp next to Grace.
prayers for Lomax, and his grandparents. When Lomax is not working, helping with camp, he makes a run over to Center, to help with his grand father and supporting his grandmother. Tough times when illness hits a family, especially the elderly.
prayers for Kelli and her granddaddy, Mac. He is going through health issues. Also for Kelli as the challenges of life become stressful.
Another example of our community. One that is willing to pray, one that is willing to listen, one that is concerned for others.
What does your weekend look like? Enjoy the blessings God has for each of you. Each one of your are special, unique, awesome followers of God. He is doing special things through you. Another example of our community. I am blessed beyond words to be a part of our community. Amen.