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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MY STORY--by Tonya Haught

When I write my blog, you get my view and perspective on what goes on down at the park. Tonya emailed her story this morning and I wanted to share it with you, a look at the park through another pair of eyes and another heart. Tonya, Ashley and all the others are a blessing to have there. May you enjoy and be encouraged by her story.....It brought tears to my eyes! Be Blessed my friends!
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TONYA AND ASHLEY

My Story . . .

All of us have a story. This part of the story I call my life began in January 2009 when we met through a mutual friend a gal named Denie. She had been going down to the park to feed her friends without homes for over a year. My daughter, my husband, myself and 2 of our dearest friends with their daughter, began to visit and meet Denie at the park. What a beautiful interchange we saw witnessed with these people and Denie. They were kind, considerate, and genuinely respected Denie and the simple, nourishing food she brought them each week. But there was so very much more to see. It is not the food that these lovely people show up for each week. It is the love and acceptance that they have received from Denie as she pours her heart and soul into this ministry that she has been called to. For me personally, it took a few months of feeling very inadequate and humbled by what I saw. We began to bake goodies, and help serve hot meals to these incredible people, and bit by bit, they too began to open themselves to us. Now I stand in line with my daughter beside me, and watch their eyes shine as she passes out some of their favorite home-baked chocolate brownies. . .they love those brownies. . .but again, it’s more than that. They are kindred spirits with Ashley. One day one of the regulars did a little mock hold-up and told Ashley not to turn around, because this was a stick-up and to give him as many brownies as she could. Of course she recognized his voice, and he was able to stuff as many brownies into his pockets as he wanted. They love her so much, and she returns that love whole-heartedly.

Denie warned me that there might come a time when my own heart would be broken. That happened a few weeks ago, when we had so many people that we ran out of food. Not that we haven’t run out before, but there is usually enough so that everyone has at least one turn in line. In this case we literally had a few chips left, and that was it. One of the regular couples came late, and I will have their faces etched on my mind for ever. . .a look of hopeless shock and disappointment was there, and I truly felt helpless at that moment. But within minutes, people were offering to them a few extra sandwiches. They really weren’t extra, as this was their supper they were giving up. Without hesitation, they gave. I was amazed at this selfless act. They have so little themselves yet they give so generously. Like the widow’s mite they have shown me the faith of a mustard seed.

Being down at the park with our friends without homes, has taught me something that I have never known in my life. There is still so much to give. . .of myself, my heart, my time, energy and resource. When I think I’ve tapped those things out , it doesn’t take me long to realize, I’ve only scratched the surface of what I can give. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I have concern. (my concern translates to worry in 10 seconds or less. . .) But, a good friend just recently reminded me that “Our heavenly Father owns a cattle on a thousand hills” so, I am going to trust “Our heavenly Father.”

10 comments:

lifehouseministryoc said...

Denie and my good friend Tonya. I feel so honored to have you as my friends. Tonya - years long friendship and Denie - we are new friends but kindred spirit. This thing that we do - looking at the folks who live on the streets in the eye and really honoring them - it brings me to my knees. it makes me realize what a rich rich life i am leading. I am a patriot. i will wage war for my friends on the street. but alas, that commitment has yet to be challenged... will it? will it be challenged? will I be put in a position where I lay my pride and my very life on the asphalt alter to be crucified so that my brother or sister who lives out of a grocery cart is shown respect, dignity... ? will I? and how will I respond? will i take out my sword and hack that f'ing soldier's ear off or will I look at even the 'authority' with respect and dignity. I cant answer that yet... but perhaps that is coming.

Thank you for giving me a sense of purpose... not pride but humility - because i know i suck... and He's God and I'm not.

Denie said...

Thank you Life house for your beautiful words. Most of all thank you for doing what the Lord has asked you to do, serving our friends without homes. Not many are willing to take on this kind of ministry, it is hard and most of the time you walk away with your heart aching. You stated in your comment "i will wage war for my friends on the street. but alas, that commitment has yet to be challenged... will it? will it be challenged?" Yes, it will be challenged and it will be challenged hard at times. I found that out this past Saturday. Everything the Lord has called me to do was challenged, scrutinized and layed out on the chopping block. Will you lay your pride and your life down so your friends will have respect, you will and you will do it with honor and love for your people. As much as I wanted to put my fist down someones throat yesterday, I stood with the Lord on my side and took on the battle for my friends. The enemy did not win and we walked away with a deeper respect and a closer relationship with our friends, it just reinforced the fact that we are there not to just feed but we are a family and we stick together. So, dear friend when your battles come big or small and they will come, I am going to remind you as to what my friends without homes said to me "stand your ground, be strong and always remember the battle belongs to the Lord and he always wins!"
Be blessed dear friend. What you all are doing there is a beautiful thing and lives are being touch and changed. Will keep you in my prayers and thank you for giving of yourselves and loving on some of the most lost and broken people. They know they are loved because the love of Christ shines through you.

Brother Frankie said...

denie,

not a day goes by that i do not think about or pray for you.

your prayers and emailed word of encouragement are a gift from the Lord we serve.

YOU ARE LOVED!
Brother Frankie
A Biker for Christ

Denie said...

Brother Frankie,
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. You have been on my mind all week and I hope all is well with you. I to think of you often and keep you in prayer, as well as what you are doing in the park. You are a blessing Frankie, not just to me with your friendship and kind words, but you are a blessing and a example of Christ's love to the people you are serving. Stay strong in what you are doing and when everything starts to come against you, put a smile on your face, look the enemy in the eye and know that the Lord has your back and he will not be defeated.....Much love to you Brother and big hugs and love to all your friends without homes, they are blessed to have you on their side.

Denie

Brother Frankie said...

denie, i borrowed from the lifehouse folks, hope they do not mind. posted on my midweek blog.

thanks, ill send an email in a day or few. quitting my pain meds. need prayer.

Brother Frankie

Denie said...

Frankie....don't think they will mind at all. Have a beautiful day my friend. Hey Frankie, what day of the week do you go and visit with your friends in the park, want to be praying for you when you go down there.

Denie said...

Frankie...will also be praying for you as you go off your meds. Can be rough and I pray that the Lord holds you close and tight....love to you dear friend.

Brother Frankie said...

i go sat, tues, thurs, fri..

sat morn, pm on weekdays.

thanks

Denie said...

WOW Frankie....they are blessed to have you come down so often, will most certainly keep you in pray... :)

lifehouseministryoc said...

Hey Brother Frankie - you are always welcome to use anything i have. it's not much! as a matter of fact, that list was 'borrowed' as well - I thought it was such great and practical list!

Take care... i too will be praying! what an amazing community this is!