Just A Nobody

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This blog was started to share the journey of what God has called me to do, serve our friends whithout homes. A long the way it has also become part of my journey as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Park, Sunday 10-19-2008

Well this past Sunday was the day of the annual move back to the winter spot. During the summer the pavilion that is used in the winter, is rented out for different activities and we are not able to use the covering. With summer over and families and companies no longer using the covering we are able to move back. With winter coming it does help some when it is raining or snowing. It doesn’t provide any shelter from the cold, but at least some are not getting wet. For those who are asking, yes, we are outside all year long. This move brought some worries and excitement at the same time. Worry, because winter is approaching and I am very concerned for my friends during these cold days. They leave the shelters at seven in the morning and can’t return until about eight thirty in the evening. Try staying that long outside in the frigged cold. The move did bring a sense of excitement though. As I stood in the park Sunday, I realized I had come full circle. This is the spot were I started a year ago. A year ago on my first day down there, I remember sitting in the truck shacking, scared to death to go by myself and boldly go and just start talking to the homeless in the park. I almost drove off that day and I thank my God that I did not. In one year’s time, my life has drastically changed and I would not ask to go back and redo any of it. In these beautiful people, I have found friends, family and I have seen God move in ways that just floor me. They tell me that I am one of them, what they don’t realize is that they have become such a part of me, that I can’t ever think of not having them around.

Sunday Terrica met me at the house, James (my son) got off work early, and we packed up the truck and headed down. When we arrived at the park, we unloaded right away and were instantly mobbed by people. With in about a half hours time we were out of everything. I could not believe the crowd down there this weekend. Dianna arrived shortly after. Her heart is really with the young children we get there. She sat at a table and had foam pumpkins for the kids to decorate. I rounded up some kids for her to do the project with and they had a blast. The part that just cracks me up though, is the adults that wanted to sit down and do one also. Tough street guys and they are sitting there with stickers and glitter pens decorating pumpkins. I watched in amazement, it wasn’t about getting to decorate something, what they wanted was the time she was willing to give to each one. The time to sit, laugh, listen and love on them. She had a young man there, who has been in the park for a while, he just would not leave, he so much wanted to be loved on and she gave that to him. It was like watching a mother spend time with her child. She made a deep connection with him and it is something he will remember for a long time. Terrica also was at the table and was able to have a deep conversation with one of the people there, which has a special place in her heart. This person has been hurting for a long time and she is beginning to trust Terrica and because of Terrica’s beautiful heart, this person is learning that she is loved and accepted unconditionally. She no longer sits alone in the park and when she arrives she comes right over, knowing that she is always welcome.

I tried to walk around and visit at the park, but sometimes there are those days when the unexpected happens and your focus is on that one person. There is an older gentleman that I have been trying to talk to for a year now. Ever week he is in the park and every week I try, but he is angry and really doesn’t want anything to do with me or anyone else. I was standing in the park and I realized someone had walked up long side of me. I turned to see who it was and it was this gentleman. I said Hello and asked how he was doing. I expected the usual and thought he will leave like always. This man turned to me and started talking; telling me about himself and his life and it was about an hour to an hour and a half that we talked. As I stood there, I wanted to cry. For a solid year I have been trying to talk to this man and here he was, pouring his guts out to me. Then there is the young Goth kid. I have had the same results with him, not wanting to talk, shun me as I tried to talk to him and about two weeks ago, Terrica was standing under a tree and he walked up behind her. She said hello and he just watched every move she made, examining everything she did and every word she said, but like Terrica says “ He was looking for something in her, she could feel it.” You could see part of him was waiting to be rejected and when that didn’t happen, doors were suddenly opened. They talked and laughed. He was there this Sunday and felt right at home with us. I told Terrica that Monday when I stopped by one of the shelters, he was there and came over and joked and talked. Monday at the shelter was mind blowing. I arrived to help one of the guys move some of his things to a friend’s house and as soon as I pulled up there was a swarm of people. A lot I know from the park and a few new faces, but each one wanting attention. So, when I dropped the young man off, I spent time just visiting.

The point I guess I am trying to get across in the blog is, not just what happened Sunday in the park, but how if we give of ourselves and invest our time into people’s lives, the doors that will open for you to speak into someone’s life are unlimited. We are looking for the instant miracles, the dramatic to happen and sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way. We have to be willing to be in it for the long haul and not give up on people so easily. No matter how draining or heart breaking, no matter how much you want to throw in the towel and say I quit, each life is valuable, is deserving of love and is just as precious to our God as you are. It may take a week, a year, a few years or even a life time, but my friends without homes, our families, friends and acquaintances all deserve the same love that He has shown us. We should not be so quick to give up on any of them, you never know when that day will come and an open door to their heart will suddenly open.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


She approached the old wooden door, stopped and looked at the key she held. Even though she stood there tired and feeling alone, her companion was by her side. He never left her, but there were times she felt as though she was fighting the battle alone. He urged her to open the door, reminding her that there was no time to waste. She placed the old skeleton key in the lock and opened the door.

The room seemed old, had a beat up wooden floor and walls. There was one window, no curtains and when the sun came thru you could see the dust in the rays of the light. Though the room seemed empty, in the corner almost hidden from the light, was a old dusty chest, a chest that she had become very familiar with. When she first received the chest, it was bran new, shiny and was perfect in everyway. Over time it had become dented and the shine has dulled, but even with its flaws it was precious to her, for inside it contained her armor, the armor she did battle with.

Her companion reminded her that it was time and she need to prepare. So, she walked to the chest and as she knelt beside it, she opened the chest and started to remove the items she had been given. When she first met her companion, he gave her the Helmet of Salvation, Shield of Faith, Shoes of Peace, Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness and the Sword of the Spirit. All of these items had become very important when she went out for battle, but there were other items in the chest that she had received from her companion over the years. Once again she reached in the chest and removed the new set of eyes he gave her, these were so she could see those in the loving way that he sees them. He had given her strong arms to love and hold those that were so precious to him. Then there it was, his heart, so she could understand and express his love and compassion to others with his heart. He told her that in time other pieces of armor will be added to the chest, but they will come in due time.

As she stood there adorned in her armor, she had a sense of excitement and was always willing to go, but she asked her companion why must she do it alone? The battles are becoming harder and more intense and she did not know if she would have the strength to continue. She knew there were others in far off places also doing battle, but why is there so few and why have others not stepped up in the battle. He did not answer and once again reminded her that it was time to go. So, even though she was weary and tired, she headed through the door and off into the world.

Her battles were fought not with hate and anger, but with love and acceptance. She battled among the most lost, lonely and hurting souls of her town. Sometimes battles were won and sometimes they were lost. But she knew the battle needed to continue and no matter how weary she may become, she would continue until her companion said it was time to go home.

As she returned to the old bare room, she knew today’s battle was over, but also knew there were more to come. Tired she began to place the armor in the trunk as her companion stood waiting. He told her that today was a good battle, lives were touched and hearts were opened. She smiled, but still wished that she had others to help, others to give of themselves to those who don’t have the strength to battle for themselves. Just then she noticed something on the other side of the room. There stood a shine new chest, one like she had first received. Was this a new chest for her; was this a new chest that was also to be filled with new items of armor? She was confused; her chest had not been filled yet, so why would she be given another so soon? She looked at her companion puzzled and before she could ask, he told her that the chest was not hers. This chest was for the one that would be joining her in the battle. He went on to explain that there would be others and soon the room would be full of chests. He was preparing them, but soon they would arrive. How she loved her companion, even when she felt as though he was not listening and felt alone, he heard her cries and in his time provided what she needed. As the two of them walked out of the room and she locked the door, she knew they would return again soon, but she had a new sense of joy and excitement as to what will come. She knows in the end her companion will emerge victorious, but with each new battle she learns the love, faithfulness and strength of the companion.

This is a dream I had about a few months ago and it keeps coming back to me, so I thought I would share it with you.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Well I know I said I would try and keep those who are interested, updated on the park and I have fallen behind. So, here is an update on the park.

About a month and a half ago, Terrica started joining me in the park. After her first visit there she was hooked. My friends without homes just love her and she has fit right in. Dianna started joining us a few weeks ago and she really has a heart for the kids, the little kids who are there. She also has been really accepted and welcomed by those in the park. I am so grateful and blessed to have these two wonderful women join me down there. I have been praying for others to come down to the park and help. It sometimes can get overwhelming and these two women have been an answer to my prayers. They have been a blessing to my friends and a big blessing to me. Right now it is just the three of us, so if anyone out there would like to give of themselves and just want to love on some wonderful people, let us know, you’ll never be the same after your first time in the park!

We have about 100 to 200 people each week in the park. This includes single men and women, young adults and families with young children. There were a lot of children this past weekend. We still supply sandwiches, water, socks and other necessities. With cold weather coming on, we have started to try and collect gloves, beanies, coats, scarves, hand warmers and anything else that may help with the cold, especially for those who stay outside during the winter. If anyone can help with these things, we would be grateful.

When God called me to the park, almost a year now. He said I was to love on them, accept them right where they were and have a relationship with them. I thought at the time that he was crazy, how can that make a difference in someone’s life. Well, the effects, of just giving of yourself, loving on someone and how it can change a person’s life, have blown me away. By loving, accepting and having a relationship, walls are coming down, doors into people’s hearts are opening up, trust is being formed and they are learning that we love them because they deserve to be loved and we truly do love them. They are no longer our friends in the park, but our family in the park.

I see a lot of my friends come and go on the streets. Those who now have homes, I have been trying to keep in touch with and make sure they are doing all right. I have been trying to help out during the week with any appointments and anything else they may not have transportation too and stop by the park when I can to just visit with those who maybe hanging around.

Some new things going on: We have decided that starting this Sunday that we would once a month start acknowledging those who have birthday’s each month. We will make sure they have a birthday cake and make sure they are recognized. This may not sound like much, but many have not celebrated a birthday in many years. Terrica has been working her fingers to the bones knitting scarves. We took some down last week and they loved them. She has also been crowned the brownie lady! They love her brownies. Dianna has a heart for the kids, so we are going to try and have something for the kids to do while they are there. This week there is a small craft project for them, try and make them feel special. We are trying to get help from others to do something nice for them for Christmas. We would like to not just feed them but also, do something personal for them.

Before I finish this blog, there are some people I would like to say “Thanks” too, some thanks are way pass due, but I would very much like to “Thank You” now:

Sweet Rose, who had a lemonade stand and sent what she made so we could buy socks. Your generous heart blows me away.

Andrea, who sent forty pounds of much need and welcomed clothes and funds from WI. My friends were blessed and were thankful.

Thanks to Terrica and Dianna for all the water, lunchmeat, socks, and everything else you have given. Most of all thank you for giving of yourselves. You have loved and blessed my friends in so many ways.

Joan from Agape Christian Worship Center, thank you for the bread this last weekend. It was a real blessing to us in the making of the sandwiches. Thank you for thinking of those in the park.

Nicole who gave us a box of books. A lot of those in the park spend the day reading and they were excited to receive new books. They pass them along when they are finished. This was a treat for them, thank you!

I think I am going to close for now. There are many things going on in the park, but I promise I will let you in on them soon. I don’t want to turn this blog into a book. So, I send you all much love and blessings. Love you all

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Homeless Stats

Repost of some statistics I found, these were taken three years ago and the numbers surely have risen since:

While browsing the Internet, I came across a blog that contained some interesting information about homelessness in a part of the US:

In January 2005, an estimated 744,313 people experienced homelessness in the United States. In Idaho there are estimated to be 5,092 homeless people in shelters and 332 without shelter, giving Idaho one of the highest rates of homelessness per capita. The national average is 0.30% of the total population. Idaho's average is 0.38%. In comparison, Utah's average is only 0.13%.
56 percent of homeless people counted were living in shelters and transitional housing and, shockingly, 44 percent were unsheltered.

59 percent of homeless people counted were single adults and 41 percent were persons living in families.

In total, 98,452 homeless families were counted.

23 percent of homeless people were reported as chronically homeless, which, according to HUD’s definition, means that they are homeless for long periods or repeatedly and have a disability.

A number of states had high rates of homelessness, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington State. In addition, Washington, DC had a high rate of homeless people.