Friday, June 27, 2014

The Sleeping Boyfriend


As Stephen and I turned the corner we noticed them immediately. She was small and standing, he was made of muscle and fully laid out on the sidewalk asleep.

We approached quickly ready to offer help. There were two other guys standing alongside her. As it turned out, they’d stopped to help and had been with her for two hours while her boyfriend slept it off on the pavement below. His muscled arms were as big as my thighs, and he did not want to move. The ironic thing is that they were only about a 5 minute walk from their hotel. Stephen and I decided to call the center to get someone to bring the wheel chair down. We figured if we could lift him into the chair, we could wheel him back.  Within 10 minutes Lucy and Jaime showed up, and we made our first of many attempts to lift the sleeping boyfriend into the wheelchair. Remember those muscles I mentioned earlier? Well anytime we tried to lift him, he would get angry and just start swinging out to hit whoever was disturbing his sleep…lashing out at the very hands that were there to help. While Steven and the group tried to lift him, I maneuvered the wheelchair and prayed. After our fifth attempt he went into a deep sleep (snoring included) and at that point we tried again with success! Once we got him in to the chair, we had him back in his room and in bed within 10 minutes without any more fight from him.

The guys who stopped to help decided they wanted to see the situation through, so they walked back to the hotel with us. Along the way one of them said to me that before we’d showed up, he’d been thinking that he wished there were people in Ibiza whose job it was to help people…and then of course we showed up! I explained to him how amazing it was that we'd run into them, since they were not along our normal route. We’d only ended up on that particular street because we'd helped someone else back to a different hotel in the area. Every night in the prayer room we pray that God would send us into the situations he wants us in. So I’d say there was a little divine leading at work.


Most nights when I go home I end up reflecting on the conversations and situations I've found myself in that night. What is God teaching me in the situations he puts me in? Tonight was a reminder that the impossible is possible! After our third attempt to get “the sleeping boyfriend” in the chair, I started to get a little discouraged. Here’s this huge guy who starts throwing punches anytime we tried to move him…how does one deal with that?! But in the end a little prayer and a little perseverance won out. It’s a reminder not to give up on the tough situations in my own life. I’m also reminded AGAIN that prayer works. When we pray we’re speaking to God our father who cares about us and the situations we find ourselves in. I think God not only answered our prayers last night, but he also answered the prayers of a frustrated guy who'd stopped to help a stranger on the streets. His whispered wish was answered by a God whose watching.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Never Off the Clock



Last week I was on my way home after a night out on the streets when God decided to teach me a lesson.

 It was about 5 am and Becky and I were walking home from the west end when we came upon a group of lost women. Turns out they were all in Ibiza for a bachelorette/Hen party. It was their first night on the island and they did what most excited tourists in Ibiza do. They go directly from the airport to their hotel, drop off their bags and head straight out for their first night on the town. The problem comes later when they need to find their way back to their hotel. None of them could remember where it was, and from the sounds of it the group had been wandering around for about an hour. Becky and I immediately recognized the name of their hotel, and within 15 minutes managed to walk them back safely.

For us on the streets we work from 11:30 pm – 5 am and when 5 o’clock rolls around sometimes I’m tired and ready to go to bed. I think the lesson God was teaching me, is that kindness and mercy never get to clock out. If I’m trying to be like Christ, that’s a 24-7 kind of aspiration. It also challenged me as I start to think about going back to Las Vegas. When I’m on mission I’m in the mindset to reach out to people. But shouldn't that always be my mindset?  The truth is when I’m at home, and I’m running errands I've got my blinders on and I don’t let anything get in my way. I really want to go home expecting God to surround me with opportunities to share his love and kindness with people. I really want to live my entire life like that, no matter where God takes me! 

Lesson learned :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New


As I write this it's almost 7 am, and I am still awake. We usually finish our street work at 5 in the morning, but not tonight. Tonight was full of opportunities for us to help people get home safely...so that's what we did. 

On my way home, I took the above picture as the sun was rising. With the sun, came the light, and as I made my way through the streets,  I saw the effects of the night before. Empty bottles, broken glass and trash carelessly tossed in the street. It makes me sad, but I  also know that within a few hours the streets will be cleaned and readied for another night of mayhem. 

It's a new day, and with that God reminds me of this verse: 

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies are new every morning." - Lamentations 3:22-23

God not only reminds us that his mercy never ceases, but he also gives us a landmark to be reminded of that. With each new day may we be filled with a sense of hope as we remember God's faithfulness towards us. God's mercy never run out. They are never tired or strained. They never grow stale.

 Each morning they are new.

With those words in my head and a new day beginning right before my eyes I was suddenly filled with hope. Hope for myself and for this place and all the people in it. 

God isn't done with us yet! 

Last Night on the Streets...for now!

Tonight was my last night on the streets...for now! And to top things off I also lead tonight. As I sat in the prayer room before everyone e...