Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Street Ministry 5-25-10


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Had a wonderful evening tonight on Middlebury Street. The weather was sharply crystalline sunshine, a frolickingly pleasant breeze, mid summer warmth and moderate humidity. Walking west into the sun was downright hot. I had sweat pouring off of me, but after the turn walking back east was very nice. I was expecting large numbers of people out on their porches on Middlebury Street, as was the norm in years past. Those days may have passed, at least until better economic times. There were not abundant people to be found on Middlebury Street itself. The River Run low income apartments were another situation entirely. Life Line was having a hot dog and potato chip cookout and everyone was out. Lots and lots of people were out walking and talking in the apartment complex.

You just never know. Again and again and again, I leave a flier on a porch with not even a small clue that it ever gets read. . .you can tell the continuity of residence, by the furnishings and by the care of the landscaping, by items uniquely found on each porch. . .one such house, very well kept in all respects, tonight, unusually had a toddlers gate installed across the porch steps and a very small chihuahua, maybe a pup behind the gate. I was just trying to innocuously place my flier in a seam between the pieces of this little wooden fence. The tiny dog was making a small ruckus, but not being overly noisy or obnoxious, just enough to alert his owner to someone's presence in his domain. A Hispanic gentleman, maybe a few years younger than I, came through the door, peered earnestly into my face and asked, if I were the one who always left the fliers on his porch. His English was somewhat broken, but even with my poor hearing understandable nonetheless. I told him, that yes, I am the one who leaves the fliers each week. He seemed fascinated at my consistency. "You always, never give up?", he haltingly spoke. If I had to guess at the furnishings of the house, etc. I would say that he has lived there for probably 2 years. He said slowly, ponderingly, "That is what Christians are supposed to do. . .try and reach people." He asked if I were the pastor of the church. I told him, that no I am a chaplain. I'm in the jail on Wednesdays and on the street on Tuesdays. He said that his name is George (using the Hispanic pronunciation ~ Hor-ge), or as he repeated it again in English ~ GEORGE. . .I told him I prayed for the neighborhood. . .for the drug houses to close. . .for people to quit shooting each other. . .for good things to happen to people. I told him that Jesus healed people to show them how much He cared for them. . .and that He still answered requests in the same way today to show men that He loves them. . .I never asked him, but George volunteered that he would come visit our church. "I will come visit you", He said. . . I told him that we have Hispanic services in the afternoon. I gave him one of my cards showing the service times. Later at the other end of Middlebury Street I saw him riding his bicycle toward town. I gave him a familiar salute of recognition. . .he tipped his hat at me in return. . .It was a sweet moment on the street. . .one that makes everything worthwhile. . .

I prayed with numbers of ladies. On lady in particular I prayed with 2 weeks ago for her shingles. She said that she was improved since we last spoke. Talked with several ladies who I believe were working the street. The did not want prayer. They scoffed not at me. . .not at God, but embarrassedly at God's being interested in their prayers. . .not a laugh directed outward, but toward themselves as being unworthy objects of prayer. . . Prayed with some real toughs in the apartments. One particular big man who threw out maybe without meaning to, out that he needed a financial blessing and then, after I said that I would pray for that, seemed to be shocked that I would pray for God to bless him in that way. He did not want anointing. He said maybe next time. . .lol. I prayed for God to bless him in a unique way. . .

The highlight of the evening was a group of 5 or 6 children maybe between 6 and 12 years old, almost back to the church, within a half a block or so of LTC. They met me at the sidewalk, not accustomed to me or my wagon as are the children in the apartments. Curious as to what I was doing. They like all the children, loved my fliers with the colorful string and pretty little bead on each one. I told them I was praying for the neighborhood and if they needed prayer for anything to let me know. . .They all took their fliers, and started walking away until one of the last little boys, mentioned that I could pray for a friend "Lance" who was in jail. I asked, "juvenile hall?" "Yeah", he said. He was in Goshen, but now he's in Indianapolis. The name Lance was a magnet for all the children. When they heard his name, they quickly came back and all drew close. I poured oil into each one of their hands. Had them rub their hands together, and then we held hands and made a little prayer circle, there on the sidewalk. The 6 or 7 of us lifting up Lance before God. . .asking for God's protection for him. . .asking for God to let Lance know He was near. . .It was a very very wonderful moment. . .I say it again and again. . .there is nothing better than this. . .nothing better than lifting up God and praying, especially with children!!!!! in the golden warm sun on a wonderful May evening. . .

What a great great night. . .

I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .

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