Philippians 3: 2 “The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—“
Dear God, I want to be one of those real believers. I want to work on Your Ministry. I want to fill the air with Your Praise!!! I want to carry through with Your work, not my work. Lord I want to be a real believer… one who truly is following Your will. I know that we are all fallible and no one is perfect, but I want to keep improving in hearing and obeying Your voice!!
To God be the Glory for the great things He has done!!! I want my praise to God to fill the atmosphere!!!!
The sun shone brilliantly today on North First St. The line was long and people were hungry, but always so grateful and kind. Today the staff from Chesterley Meadows Assisted Living Home prepared and donated bar-b-q beef sandwiches, macaroni salad, corn on the cob, and rice krispy treats! It was wonderful!!! We appreciate it beyond words. The Lord knew the load was getting too big for me to carry and He has blessed us with amazing people to walk with us and help pick up the load. I am so grateful and appreciative. We also have our regular volunteers who never cease to amaze me. They faithfully bring down cookies, fruit, water, toilet paper, hot dishes….like big hot dishes that took a lot of time to make. They donate their time, their money, and their love. I am humbled by how the Lord hears the cry of our hearts…God wants His kids to keep asking…and so lovingly and creatively supplies our needs.
One of my favorite parts today was when in all of the racing and running…I looked over and saw one of my beautiful friends sitting on the curb with her guitar in hand singing so beautifully to the Lord while another young woman sat next to her hungrily attacking her food with a ferocious appetite! What a contrast…one woman addicted to meth….the other addicted to Jesus….both beautiful women living their lives. The music continued throughout the day and it was such a joy! It just set such a beautiful atmosphere!
Another beautiful event of the day was when Keith brought out a power chair for one of North First St. friends who desperately needed one due to the pain that he suffers from. The man was so so happy! He sat down in it and drove all around with a huge smile on his face, but not before he and Keith prayed over it…. The guy was so appreciative!
This last week the West Valley Interact Club got together and made over 800 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in about 1 ½ hours. It was amazing and very fun….well those sandwiches blessed so many people today. They were able to take them to eat later this evening or tomorrow. Again…our friends on North First St. were so appreciative….so grateful!
A bike was donated a couple weeks ago which blessed the young man, Tad so much! Today when Keith was visiting with him he shared with Keith that he went to massage school. Keith shared with me that he thought….wow…..things happen….somewhere along the way in this young man’s life…. “stuff” happened….stuff that tripped him up and caused him to fall off the path that he was on….. It is so easy to say that “those people” got themselves into the situations that they are in…you know…in that judgmental way that drips with the underlying statement….”They deserve what they get…and if they would only work harder…and try then they wouldn’t be there.” Contrary to that thought process I would like to share another conversation that occurred today….One of the North First St. friends shared that he had a normal life until he got in a very bad car wreck that left him in the hospital for weeks. When he got out and the circumstances/bills unraveled…he had lost everything “And here I am,” he said matter of factly. “Stuff happens…” Sometimes really bad “stuff”. I thank God that He cares about all of us….that He provides for all of us…to those who have bad things happen…..even those who have “really bad things happen.”
Julie is a woman who lives on the streets of Yakima and suffers from serious mental illness. She is probably in her early 40’s and lives in and out of reality. When I drove up today, I saw her sitting on the side of the lot with bright red blood on her upper lip and nose. I am not sure what happened to her this week. The last couple weeks she has come for food totally beat up…some of the homeless people try to watch out for her, but it is rough out there. When I left today I saw Julie sitting crouched down next to a fence with a camouflaged hat pulled down over her eyes and a camouflaged coat zipped up to her chin. She crouched down trying to dodge the wind next to a grocery cart that carried her belongings. It left a sad sinking feeling in my heart as I saw her disappear in my rearview mirror. How will she survive the week? How does she survive every week? I pray that the Lord will protect her and keep her safe…I pray that people will stop abusing her and that somehow she will get some help. The problem is….when adults have mental health problems….you can’t force them to get help. You can’t force them to take their medicine….you can’t force them to live indoors. I can only pray for Julie….I pray that if you read this…you too will pray for Julie…and for all of the people on North First St. who struggle with the pains of life….whether we understand them or not.
One of the little mama’s that has come through the line for the past 4 or so months is pregnant with twins. On my way out today she stood talking to her husband rubbing her large full tummy. I told her that I thought that she had her baby last week. She smiled widely and replied, “No, but I am 2 centimeters dilated!” My comment back was, “Wow! If possible….ask for an epidural!!! Lol! I will be praying for you and for your babies!” Please pray for Cynthia, her twins, and her family…..It is awesome to be part of this community!
The last story that I want to share with you touched my heart a lot. A young man (19ish…) has been staying with various people down on North First. He has some special needs and gets an SSI check each month. He trusted some people who ended up letting him stay with them until the rent was paid with his money and then they kicked him out. I am sure that this is not a real surprise to the people on North First St. This kind of thing probably happens a lot…one person taking advantage of another. What is surprising is how this young man chose to react to the situation. He shared, “I forgive them because that is what God asks us to do. I don’t want my life to have hatred.” He continued, “I try to tell people down here that we need to live in forgiveness and love. God will take care of the rest.” This young man may not have the cognitive abilities as many…but he does have a beautiful heart…the childlike love for God that is referred to in the bible. It is the kind of heart that we as adults could all benefit from. I pray that the Lord will continue to protect him, provide for him, and keep him from people who take advantage of him.
Lord, I want to sit at Your divine feet and breathe the air You breathe… I want to fill the air with Your praise!!! I want my heart to beat to the same beat as You my Lord. I want to shout on the mountain tops that Your are My Master, My Savior, My Lord! Praise You God for I am fearfully and wonderfully made by You!!! Thank You for the opportunity to serve You and love on Your people.