What is Faith?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The $64 question

Over these last 41 days, we have spoken with thousands of people. We have met with more than 50 directors of shelters, transitional housings, city officials and food banks. I keep using the word amazing and perhaps I overuse it, but it is so fitting that I will continue to do so. This trip has been amazing. I set out to be the change in the world and instead, the world has been a change in me. It's amazing.

I could never do their job. Many of them wear their heart on their sleeve as they must in the position they are in, but yet they have to have surrounded that heart in a coat of armor.

You cry yourself to sleep because a family was turned away due to lack of funding; you have a knot in your stomach because you need to tell the 30 families your community supports, that at the end of the month they will have to find new homes. Theirs is being closed due to lack because the money isn't there; To listen to the story of a young girl who cuts her wrists repeatedly so the pain she feels in her arm will take away from the pain she feels in her heart.

I could not do it. So when I come to them and ask "What can I do for you? What message would you like me to bring?" Well...at first they think I am some crazy lady, but when they realize I am serious, they all get tears in their eyes. They tell me what the homeless need the most first and foremost, then and only then do they tell me how the shelter is faltering or the food bank has run out of funding for the 60 gallons of milk needed for the teen and family shelters.

Each visit is always ended with these directors asking me only one question and that question always amazes me.

"How can I help you?"

We are doing this for them and expect nothing in return from them, but yet they offer. One of the directors took a cut in pay to be able to provide two or three more beds per year and here he was asking how he could help.

I decided to write today's blog after much prayer and consideration. It is with a very humble heart that I do ask for help. Not from those I am serving but from those who feel led to be a servant as well.

The need is so vast, I cannot do it by myself, nor can I do it in 4 short months.

I do the best I can. I write a story reflecting the importance of what has been done and what needs have yet to be met but are so very important. My stories may not do the justice that is so deserving to these supporting people, but it's all I know how to do.

These stories may not help, but I know they won't unless you all help. The stories need to get out to the public if the public is going to help. Help will still come, but it may not come in time to those who are struggling the most.

I began this journey as a step of faith, being fairly ignorant of where to begin or what to do next. I have just been putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that God would guide my every step and He has done so faithfully. I know that I know, that I know, that God has lead me down every path he has meant for me to take and put me in contact with each person I am meant to speak to.

With that said and with the urgency of this situation, I am putting more faith in the God who saved my life so many years ago. One of the things I have discovered on this trip is that things change on a daily basis. The plans I mapped out weeks ago, were just the rough draft in God's blueprints and like any good contractor, i must follow those blueprints to a tee or the house will not come together.

My website will be updated this evening to reflect the new changes, but in the mean time, I will tell you that at the moment I am in Sacramento. I will be here for three days, then we head to the Bay Area. From there we will go along the coast line into LA, San Diego and then by the first week in August, I will cross into Mexico.

From there, I am extending this trip to mid November. From Mexico, the route will be Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto and Stockton followed by the Eastern Oregon and Washington cities. I cannot say no to what God has asked me to do. This is His trip and I must follow His map and trust that He will lead us and will provide the manna needed to complete this trip.

He has provided our needs each step along the way. Sometimes the mannah has trickled in with a free cup of coffee or a sandwich provided by a stranger. When manna hasn't been there, my traveling companion has felt this was important enough to dust off his credit card. He is even willing to take out a loan to provide a small RV so we can finally put our feet up, to allow the swelling that is constantly htere to go down and to allow this walk to continue.

"How can I help'" you ask? You can help by treating us just the same way you would or in some cases should, treat the homeless. Don't give us money. Save that for those who need it.

Invite us to break bread with you. We want to hear your stories too.
Allow us to shower or do a load of laundry.
Let us park the van in your driveway so we can feel safe at night.
Maybe buy a tank of gas or a new pair of shoes
We are both loosing weight on this trip and can use some clothes that fit.
The air conditioning is broken in the van and we are coming into hot weather.
One of our two computers is broken and needs repair, the other is prehistoric and is on its way out.

There are so many ways you can help, but if it comes to helping us or helping the homeless, PLEASE help the homeless, because mostly, we want you to just drop a word of encouragement our way and send this message to everyone you know and ask them to do the same.

Thank you to all who pray for us and for those who have listened and have bcome the change.

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