This Saturday (October 22nd), we will meet behind Chick-fil-a at 59S and Grand Parkway in Sugar Land at 5:00pm.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Forgiving the Unforegivable

For those of you who are new to this site, my daughter had a prayer request that spawned a ministry.  God stirred my heart and gave me a calling to work with the homeless in the Houston area.  It started off by taking necessary (and unnecessary) supplies to them directly on the street.  Since then, I have "gone with the flow", and met a guy named Matt Lazarine.  Matt has an up close and personal ministry with the homeless in Katy.  He visits them often and is in a unique position to share God's word with them.  For anyone who would like to visit the homeless in Katy with us, I would highly recommend it...think homeless bible study.

Update on Ramone...If you don't know about him, please take the time to read my past post: The Most Fun I've Ever Had...Under a Bridge . You won't regret it.

Ramone got dunked!  That's baptized.  I was priveleged to attend the ceremony.  Since his conversion, Ramone is a new man.  I am overjoyed and proud to report that he is reaching out to his friends on the street, sharing his faith, apologizing to the people he has wronged.  Ramone has been hooked up with a veteran's ministry in Matt's church that is connecting him to much needed counseling and career help.  God has big plans for Ramone, and I can't wait to see what they are.

I ventured back under the bridge last week, and Joe (the landlord) had his friends Robert and Jackie staying with him.  The couple was married last year on the beach in Corpus Christi, and I was touched how they fawned over one another.  They had met on the streets years ago, but were still very much in love.  Jackie called Robert her soul mate. 

The mood was tense that evening.  Robert had recently been released from the hospital.  He was having rapid fire seizures.  Robert already leads a difficult life.  He survives on the street with one leg.  Robert told me stories of surviving cancer as a younger man. 

He spoke of the struggles he has had of late.  Jackie and him had saved up enough to move into an apartment, but his ex-wife swooped in and had the money garnished for oustanding child support.  Robert receives disability, but he has to hand the check over every month for child support payments.  Unlike many homeless people, who claim living on the streets is "not that bad", Robert will look you right in the eye and tell you he hates this life, but his options are truly limited.

Jackie is a loving, passionate, fiery woman.  Every story she tells is told with reckless abandon.  She cried out in pain at having the saved money garnished.  "All I want is a little place of my own", she said tearfully.
"I'm not a high maintenance person.  I don't ask for a lot.  I just want a little place that I can keep tidy and clean."

Jackie is college-educated.  She has worked for large companies before.  According to Jackie, this will probably never happen again, because she is bi-polar.  With great joy, she retold stories of helping homeless folks on the streets.  She clearly loves God, and told me about several "God Projects" she had been given--people to take care of.

We talked about an episode where Jackie was beaten by another male homeless man.  Robert came to her rescue and fought him off.  The group was still very angry about this.  Matt and I brought up the biblical principal of foregiveness.  We talked about loving your enemies.  We talked about praying for your enemies.  It was a spirited discussion to say the least!  However, there was a point where I  SAW  Jackie foregive her attacker.  It was a beautiful thing.  

I counted this as no small miracle.  Our friends on the street understand biblical principals.  The difference between me and them is, I don't have as many chances to test myself.  Would I be quick to foregive a man who meant to hurt or kill me?  Take it one step further.  What if that man tried to hurt or kill my wife?  The truth is, I don't know.  My instinct would be revenge, to take things into "my own hands".  I know this gets me nowhere, and so I have to come back to the truth in scripture.  Vengence is mine sayeth the lord. Love thy Neighbor.  Foregive others or my Father will not foregive you.  Pray for your enemies.  

As amazing as it was to see God work on Jackie's heart, it was only a small appetizer.  For God was getting ready to move a mountain in Jackie's life and it would happen later that evening.

...To be continued

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