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.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas is just another day!

I was driving to work this week and passed one of our guys from the park, flying a sign. It read “CHRISTMAS-it’s just another day when you are homeless.” My heart ached as the reality of this sunk in. Most of us will gather with family and friends, sit down to a wonderful cooked meal; spend the day laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Our friends will be outside in the cold, some alone with no place to go and no family or friends to share the day with.


About a month ago I asked our friends in the park “if you could have one thing for Christmas what would it be?” They all responded that they would like a place to hangout, get out of the cold and share the day with other people. So that is what we have decided to give our friends on the streets. We will not cancel this coming Saturday’s dinner just because it is Christmas, but instead will be spending it with them, like my son said “it would be like spending it with family anyway.”

We will open the church up early and let our friends have the day to hangout and enjoy movies, games and an awesome dinner. We will open the doors at noon and probably start serving about one in the afternoon and go until the last one leaves. It is going to be a great time and I am really looking forward to spending the day with all.

It is going to take a lot to pull this off and we have taken care of most of it. We have the main meal taken care of, but are looking for people to help with side dishes and desserts. If this is something you might be interested in helping with please contact us. Every little bit helps and it will bless many who otherwise will be spending Christmas alone.
Merry Christmas to you all and praying the New Year bring you many Blessings!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gas Station Encounter

So I got of work about midnight tonight, as I walked outside there was my son waiting for me. Was nice to see him and have someone to ride home with. As we walked to the car, the wind was kicking up and it is so bitter cold out tonight. All I could think of was get home, change clothes and curl up on my couch and get warm.

As we drove down the street I had an urge to stop and get a soda at the gas station, why I wanted a cold soda on such a cold night…well God knows! I pull up to the gas station and I instantly notice the man just entering the store. I can tell he is on the streets. As I get out of the car I then notice his friend who was on crutches. I said hello to him as I entered the store and got my drink and watched his friend scrape up enough to get what he wanted to buy and then head out the door.

As I left they were standing close to my truck and I stopped and ask how they were doing. We spoke about how they came to be here in Boise, that they had no place to get out of cold, they said they were told the shelter was full, but to not worry that they would be fine. They had a friend who would feed them elk heart for breakfast in the morning and then they would be heading to Santa Cruz. Stating that it should only take them a few days to get there. So what can I help with right now I asked them. They stated their needs and I went back into the store and got what I could for them.

As I entered back into the store customers were complaining about the young men standing out side. Stating that they felt uncomfortable with them there and the store clerk should make them leave. I was so proud of the clerk, he stood up for the men and stated that he would not ask them to leave they had the same right to be there as anyone else. Funny thing about the whole situation was the two men on the streets were probably more polite and caring than anyone of the customers in the store. Sad part was they were not seen for the two beautiful people they were. To many times we are too quick to judge before seeing the whole person.

I left the store and spoke with the men a little longer and as I left I told them I was worried about them and wish I could do more, but would be keeping them in prayer as their journey continues. I asked if I could have a hug from each of them, as I got ready to go. I hugged the first man and he said he would be all right. The second young man for some reason my heart was really drawn towards him. He reached out his arms for a hug, he gave a big ol hug and then as I got ready to leave he said “Thanks Mom” and “don’t worry.”

I stood motionless for a moment when he said that. Why would he say that to a perfect stranger? I could feel the tears coming to my eyes. I turned and had an overwhelming need in my heart to telling him I cared about him and I loved him. He smiled again and said, “see ya later mom.”

Much love to you my new friend… You will be on my heart and in my prayers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

DJ's Pantry-Honoring a loving and giving man!

Part of the big pictute that God gave me, included a food pantry. How this was to happen, I never could figure out and even though I had thought about it from time to time it was always stored in the back of my mind. Then one Saturday that we couldn't use the park, we were serving at Essential Truth Ministries. They are generous to let us use the kitchen and dinning room when we can't get into the park, what a blessing! I had noticed a woman with four children sitting by herself. She seemed to not fit in with the others and I decided to talk to her. I listened to her story of how she lost her job, her husband is still working, but they don't have enough to buy food sometimes and keep a roof over their head. She was new to all this and had no idea where to go for help, so her and her children go to the local dinners to eat. As she was telling me her story she broke down and sobbed and at that moment I could hear His voice telling me it is time. Time to go beyond the park and start reaching others in the community that are in need. So in addition to our Saturday dinners for our friends outside, we have now been given space at Essential Truth Ministries to start a food pantry, making it possible to be His arms extended to even more people.

We have decided to name the pantry DJ's Pantry, after Rachel's father in-law. We thought it would be a great way to honor him. Below is what Rachel has written about him. Even though Dennis may no longer be here with us, may we reach out with loving arms and bless those who come thru the doors of the pantry in the same way that DJ has blessed so many. His love of people, his willingness to help and generous heart may we continue to show this to the people we serve.

We are honored to announce the addition of DJ’s Pantry to Mosaic Street Ministries. This pantry is named after Dennis Jay Johnson who passed away in August of 2010. His life’s goodness embodies many of the qualities this pantry stands for. To say he was a good man would be an understatement. He had a heart of gold that could rival even the most faithful humanitarian. Easygoing and agreeable, his legacy will be, not only this pantry, but the philanthropy he offered so freely. His life’s wisdom was displayed selflessly through his genuine goodness towards everyone he met, making him the type of man who would give you the shirt off his back; even if he hardly knew you. Spending time with him was a true lesson in how to live. His enthusiasm for life was contagious and he exhibited a genuine kindness and love that many of us could only hope to emulate. Strangers became fast friends. Friends became family. Family was his life and his greatest passion. He didn’t believe in getting paid back from others, he believed in paying it forward. So please, take what you need, be blessed, and if one day you can pay it back, instead, help someone in need and pay it forward. Just like Dennis would do--

If you or if someone you know is in need of help with food in the Boise area, please contact us at MosaicStrMnistry@aol.com. If you would like to help with donations to help us stock the pantry we would be grateful. There are many needs out there and we are already seeing the people come thru the doors. Be Blessed!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Giving

Our friends in the park have been given different labels. Depending on how you see them depends on the label you give them. I have seen them have things thrown at them as they walk down the street. Harassed, spit on and even have had a few of our friends beaten with in a inch of their lives, all because they have less than most of us have.

Saturday in the park was a lesson on the heart of people. After we served up our meal I was approached by a gentleman who reached over a placed something in my pocket. I looked to see what he had placed there and in my hand was a twenty-dollar bill. I told him I couldn’t take his money and after debating back and forth, he insisted I take it and use it for food for the park. No less than a half hour later another one of our friends came up and placed another twenty-dollar bill in my pocket. This is when I lost it, I broke down and started crying and spoke to him about how deeply his generosity had touched me and what it meant to us. We both stood crying and hugging each other. My son and I hung out for about another hour or so just talking to people when someone else approached us and asked for water, I told him he didn’t need to ask to just take what he needed. He did and walked off, to my surprise he returned about fifteen minutes later and he places a dollar bill in my pocket, saying it was to help others.

So your sitting here reading this and thinking, okay so it was a couple of twenties and dollar bill, what’s the big deal? Let’s see twenty dollars could buy them a cheap hotel for the night to stay out of the cold and rain. It could feed them for a few days. It could buy a sleeping bag to keep them warm through the winter. The list goes on and on. Instead they choose to give all they had. To give from their heart, putting aside their own needs and wants. Giving to help provide for others. They gave out of love for others. These are the same people who have been called bums, worthless, users and the least of our society.

Society may conceder them the least, but there are lessons we as a whole could learn from our friends on loving and giving unconditionally from the heart.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Loaves and Fishes

Saturday morning I woke up early and started preparing the meal for our dinner in the park that afternoon. I figured on serving about fifty or sixty people, our numbers vary and lately we had only needed enough to serve about that amount. As I was fixing my totes with the various things we would need to serve, I grabbed a sleeve of plates and then started to put another in the tote, but then thought I will only need one of these, but then again thought what the heck and threw in the second. Okay at this point you need to understand that each sleeve contains 150 plates. My son and I then loaded up the truck and headed to the park.


As we turned into the park my son says, “My God look at the people.” I looked around and panic rushed through me like you wouldn’t believe. There were people everywhere in the park waiting on us to serve the meal. We don’t have enough food, I don’t know what to do right at this point, “what do I do...what do I do” is all I say. Then I thought well Lord I am giving this one to you, I am not going to panic over this and you let me know what you want me to do.

So we unloaded the truck and shortly afterward the Tonya, Jim and Ashley show up. As Tonya is getting out of the car, part of the salad she brought fell on the ground. So now we have even less food. Rachel then showed up and thankfully brought a pasta salad with her, but it still would not make up for the amount of food it would take to feed this crowd. At this point I thought lets start serving and see what happens.

So we began dishing up plates and didn’t really hold back on the amount, just dished it up. The line never seemed to end. More and more people kept showing up and even had some coming back for seconds, plus those one’s who will take a to go plate for later. As the last person went thru the line, I looked over to the last pan of food and there was still enough in there for another two or three servings. I looked at Tonya; she looked up at me and said, “I think we just a loaves and fishes kind of day.” How those words hit me later on that day. I thought back to what just happened in the park and realized what the Lord just did.

Remember the sleeves of plates; well we went through a whole sleeve (150 plates) and then some. I had taken extra to go plates; about ten or fifteen, we used all that day. By the end of the day we had served up at least 170 servings of food and just to remind you remember I only made enough for about fifty or sixty people. You do the math. After it all sunk in that evening I sat and cried over the goodness of God and was filled with the excitement of being able to see and witness exactly what our Lord did… the story of the loaves and fishes happening before my eyes.

The Lord’s blessings didn’t just end there that day. I picked up Gerald after the park. There is a friend who was formally homeless, but now has a place. Gerald said he just had double bypass surgery and wanted to take some food to him. So we ran by the church and fixed him up a box of food, took it to him and let him know that if he needed more we would bring it by. We don’t have much on our shelves right now as far as a food pantry goes, but it is getting there and we wanted to bless our friend with as much as we could. As I arrived at the church this morning the box we have out to collect food for the pantry was over flowing on to the floor. Once again tears welled up in my eyes and I just stood and stared at that box. A few people said look at all the food today; once again I could only stand in amazement of what the Lord had done. Thinking about all we read about in the bible and the things Jesus did and realizing he is still doing those things today… we just need to have our eyes open to see it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Her beauty comes from the heart


I want you to meet Rachel. I met Rachel online via my blog. We started corresponding online and she decided to come down and check us out at the park. When I first met her the first thing you notice about Rachel is the amazingly beautiful woman she is, but as you get to know her, you realize the beauty she possess goes beyond her outward appearance. 

Rachel and Jessie

From the first day she came down to the park she made a impact on those that she met there. The love she has for people is felt by those she has come in contact with and will make an impact on their lives. Though some may only get to see the outward beauty this wonderful woman has, I feel truly blessed to get to see where her true beauty and love flows from.........Her Heart!


Tony, Jessie and Rachel

What a blessing to have such a compassionate Heart join with us as we reach out to our friends. Looking forward to getting to know Rachel even more in the days to come.


Thank You Rachel for giving of yourself

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taking that first step

This past month I have been thinking a lot, reflecting on the park ministry and how things have changed and evolved over the years. I remember the day I said, “Yes I will do as you ask” and the Lord sent me to the streets. I had a bag of bologna sandwiches and was scared to death to speak to anyone, but when he sent me, he also showed me the bigger vision as to what he had in store. So I stepped out in faith and believed if I stayed focused on what he wanted, he would stay faithful to what he had shown me.

There have been times that it seemed overwhelming and I have wanted to walk away. Times of doubt of whether I am doing the right thing and to be honest those times of wondering if the Lord was still in the mist of things. I would then have to remind myself that if I continue doing what he has asked of me that he would stay true to the vision he gave me. These past few months have been a reminder of the bigger vision and that he is working, we just don’t always see him lining things up to make them happen.

Part of what he showed me were individuals working together for the sake of others, loving and serving those in need. He showed me beyond the park and what will come out of serving those there, serving not only our street friends, but also others in the community with needs. He also showed me a need for a place for our friends to come together, a place they felt as if they belonged, to worship and fellowship together. There are many other things he showed me, but will wait until another time to share those.

I want to focus on the last few months. It was a time when you don’t see anything happening, but you have that gut feeling like something is going to happen and then God shows you the next step in his plan. We were serving at the church one Saturday (couldn’t use the park) and this lady with four children came to eat. She seemed different than the others there and I watched her from across the room. As things calmed down I went to speak to her and she explained that she was not homeless, but she had lost her job and they only had her husband’s income right now. She had a choice as to pay the bills or put food on the table. She then broke down crying. At that moment I heard God speak to me and he said it is time. He showed me many years ago that we would have a food pantry to help those in the community and back then I did not know how that would be possible. I went to Essential Truth Ministries and explained the need and felt it was time to start such an outreach to help those around us. There was no hesitation and we now have a pantry room at the church and many will be blessed with it as soon as we can get it stocked…. I believe he is already making provisions for this as well.

I see other aspects of his vision coming together as well. He showed me a church that all would come together, no matter their status in life. At the same church that we served at (which is only about three or four blocks from the shelters and not far from the park) I am seeing this happen. Each Sunday I am seeing more and more of our friends from the park and shelters come thru the doors. It’s a place they feel like they can be at home in and it shows on their faces. It’s a place they don’t run out the doors when service is over, instead feel comfortable enough to hangout, get involved and most of all a place where I hope they know they are considered family and they are loved. It brings tears to my eyes to see our friends come thru the doors and feel so blessed that my friends would feel so welcome.

The Lord continues to show me those who are within the church and not within the church, those who have and those who don’t have, but each with a servants heart. He continues bring people from various parts of the community to join together to work as one body, to lay themselves aside and do what it takes to help another in need. I see Jesus moving thru each and everyone of them. I am thankful for their hearts and their willingness to also step out in faith and do what he has asked them to do. Many are and will be blessed by their humbleness and self-sacrifice. I look at them and see an example as how we should work together as one body and pray that others would see their example. What amazing things God could do.

So I reflect back on the first day in the park and my bologna sandwiches. I think back to those who said I was crazy and I can’t do it or leave it up to someone else. Then I think about all the amazing people God has brought thru my life during this time, the wonderful journey he has taken me on, the things he has shown me most of all the incredible faithfulness and love he has poured out. He gave me a vision at the time I thought was impossible to achieve, but I took that first step of faith and said, “Whatever you ask of me.” I see what he has done and I get a sense of excitement as to what is down the road, how this grand vision is going to all come together, the lives that will be touched and the wonderful people who will play a part in it.

Some of you are feeling that tug and you know that he is calling you to take that step of faith. Your afraid and you know it will come at a cost and your life may even be turned upside down, but if you step out, take his hand and let him lead you…. he will take you on a journey like no other.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Postcards from the edge: A modest vignette of a man no longer invisible.by Kenneth James

Ronnie--post and photo by Ken

Ken is a friend, who when he has time will join us in the park. This is his post of a chance meeting he had with one of our friends from the park.


I’d like you to meet Ronald Timothy Merritt, a gentleman I met while taking pictures on a cold snowy day last December in downtown Boise. He plays harmonica, likes a beer or two, and sleeps where he can. Ronnie (His dad used to call him Ronnie) and I visited for about 1/2 hour that day. He shared a little about his life, we had a few laughs, and I took a few pictures.


Mr. Merritt was both surprised and delighted that anyone would want to take his picture. He didn't think he mattered enough. He thought he was too ugly, but I assured him that his was the perfect face for a great picture. Before we parted ways, he asked if he could have a copy. Of course I said yes.


Ron doesn’t dream of riches and fame. He doesn’t dream of someday owning a luxury home on a golf course or of driving a BMW. Life dealt him some tough blows over the years, broke his spirit, and he’s been down and out ever since. But what he does want is to be remembered, for someone to know that he once existed, that he once played and laughed, that he once loved, that he once had hopes and dreams, that he was once just like you and me. Ron was pleased at the thought that having his picture taken might, in some small way, fulfill that modest desire.


So here is Ronald Timothy Merritt; a child of God who was once his mother's pride and joy; a man whose father used to call Ronnie; a man who walks the streets of Boise and sleeps where he can, who plays harmonica and likes a beer or two now and then...and who will, from this day forward, not be forgotten.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Her paperback world

I parked the car and started walking down the alley. There was a group of the guys there and stopped to talk to them. We laughed, joked and shared their company for a while. Through the group I could see her sitting there trying desperately to hide from the world.

She is beautiful, young and I had seen her around before. She sits alone with her books, never looking or engaging with anyone. I watch her as the others talk to me and I wonder what lies beneath. What has life done to her and what hurts and pains is she trying to escape from. Her books that are so dear to her, are they her world that she runs too? A place she can sit alone and escape to, do they hold a world that she wishes she had? Does she read of a love she longs for? I have never seen anyone who has tried to close themselves off from the world as much as she does.

I try to speak to her and all I can get out of her is that she is okay. I so want to put my arms around her and hold her and tell her how much she is loved. I know she is not ready for that now. She has built walls so high that it will take time to break them down. I will continue to check on her, keep her in prayer and hopefully in time those walls will weaken and crumble.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"AS IS"



Was going thru my Journal the other day and came across an old entry. I had written about a trip to the thrift store that I had taken with one of my sons. He was looking for a cd player he could use at work.

When we got there, we were directed to the backroom of the store and told we might have to dig a little. James had said that he didn’t care how it looked or what shape it was in as long as he could play his cd’s on it. So we spent some time moving and digging thru things and then there it was, this awesome CD player buried beneath all the junk. It had a few dings, but James felt like he scored big time.

After we got home I was looking at it and noticed the tag taped to the player, it stated that the item was sold “as is” with all it’s dents, flaws, uniqueness and beauty. I sat and thought about the digging and the junk we just went thru to find this treasure and had to wonder how much digging and junk are we willing to go thru with someone to find the beauty and uniqueness they posses or are we to quick to toss them into the heap of undesirables?

The next time you come across that person who has been labeled “undesirable” and dicarded, are you willing to take the time to dig for that beauty that God placed in them and will you look him/her in the face and say “I will accept you AS IS”?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Pain Cuts Deep

“Hey girl, how you doing” I yelled to her as I saw her coming down the street.

She lowered her head as she approached and replied, “I’m fine.”

“Talk to me, what’s going on?” I knew something wasn’t right.

She looked around nervously and asked for me to come with her to a more private spot, so I followed her. She just stood and stared at me and after a few moments I once again asked, “What’s going on?”

She looked around one more time and then began to pull the sleeves of her shirt up. My heart sank and was filled with overwhelming sadness. There beneath the sleeves and the blood stained bandages was her pain. There was the fresh cuts of the torment she was going thru. Even beyond the fresh cuts lay months, maybe years of old scars. Pain that she had been caring around for who knows how long.

She goes on to tell me how the pain inside is too much to handle. That it just consumes her and the only way she can get rid of it is to cut. That there is a release, a easing of the pain when she cuts, but also explains that each time the pain gets worse, also comes the need to cut deeper.

The young lady mentioned above is doing fine now, but I think of her often and the hidden pain she concealed from the world. I think about the others in the park and even others beyond them. This is not something unique to the homeless; it is in ever aspect of our society. Hurting people, who mask the pain, conceal it and hide it from the world in one form or another. You pass them everyday in the store, at work, on the street, at the park anywhere you go. I pray that we hear their screams for help before it is too late. I ask that my eyes be opened even more to the needs of others around me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who's time schedule



I look in his crystal blue eyes that now sparkle with a bit of joy in them and think back to when I first met him. I don’t want to say I was afraid of him, but I was uneasy with the anger that he would bring to the park. I would see him coming and honestly I would want to run the other way. He would always show up so drunk that most of the time he couldn’t stand for very long and most often would end up sprawled out and passed out. I will not go into detail the things he would say in anger as he went thru the line, but you can get the idea.

I didn’t know how to deal with him and honestly would ask God at times to please don’t make me deal with this man. I know it wasn’t right, but I was so unnerved every time I was around him. Each time I was told in response to just keep loving him. So I would make it a point to approach him smile and ask how he is doing and if there is anything I could get him or help him with. Each response from him was a response of anger and basically a get out of my face attitude. I would smile, telling to have a nice day and as I walked away I would say I love you. He would mumble something not nice and I would pretend I didn’t hear it.

We went back and forth like this for the past year now and about four or five months ago I approached him again along with his friends. Expecting the same response as always, but this time he stood up, got in my face, raised his voice and asked why? Why do you care, why do you keep telling me you love me, why do you waste your time on me?

This time he didn’t unnerve me and something rose up in me, I stood my ground with him, looked him in the eyes and I have to say I raised my voice to him. Not in anger and not something I normally do with our friends. But as he stood there with his friends I told him of the beautiful person God created, the worth and value that God saw him and the love he has for him. I then told him that he could continue to bad mouth me, direct his anger at me, do what he want to drive me away, but I wasn’t going anywhere and most of all he could never make me stop loving him or the others there in the park. It got quiet and they just stood there no one moved, I looked them all in the face and told them to have a nice day and remember, “I love you” and walked away.

A few weeks later here comes my friend again, but this time he held his head down as he walked thru the line, said hello and walked off. A little later I turned to get something out of one of totes and sitting directly behind me was my friend. I about jumped out of my skin, totally expecting him to go off on me, but he ate and then left. Each week I would notice that he would be eating his meal closer hanging out and each week I would do and say what the Lord asked me to say to him. Then as he stood one day with a few other men and with his head hanging he asked “What you keep telling me is it true?” Oh sweetheart you have no idea the love we have for you and we could never love you as much as God loves you. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes, which made me start to cry as well. Not too much was said after that, but something happened, something I can’t explain. Each week he now shows up, his head lifted a little higher, a smile on his face, he sits close by and drinks a lot less when he comes down. I make it a point to put my arms around him, hug him tightly and never leave without telling him he is loved. God is changing him from the inside out; He is working on the heart.

Why am I telling you about my friend? I am learning and being changed as well. What we do in the park has been a lesson on the heart of God for me. It is also a lesson in waiting or having patience. We live in a world where we want everything fast and now, even results we want to see immediate results and the Lord just doesn’t work that way. He is loving and patient. God has been working on this man’s heart and continues to work on his heart, but it has been a yearlong struggle with him. I struggle that to be honest I wanted to walk away from. I am being honest because we all have those people in our lives that you just don’t know how to get thru to them and you just want to walk away and move on to the next, but God doesn’t work that way. He waits never turning away always working on the heart. We don’t always see the work that God is doing and we shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to throw in the towel. There are those who are immediately changed by the love of God and then there are those who will need a little more time, maybe years…but we need to learn that no one is worth giving up on. We need to be at peace knowing that God is in control and he is working on his time schedule not ours.

Friday, June 11, 2010

THE LOTUS


I have always been fascinated with the lotus flower and recently have had this picture in my head to draw. As I started drawing, a song from a cd Ashley gave me kept going thru my head. “Beauty for Ashes” by Steven Curtis Chapman, he sings how beauty will rise from the ashes and we will dance among the ruins.

Then I thought of the lotus flower. It starts its life beneath the water in the murky mud, struggling to make its way thru the mud always searching upward to the light. When it finally breaks through the surface and finds the light, it blossoms and becomes a beautiful flower.

Much like our own lives, some have found the light and others are still looking and searching for it. May we all breakthrough and find the light that brings us beauty and life.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I did it

I walked in Corpus (the shelter) today. As I entered I noticed her across the room, she smiled and locked eyes with me. I went to talk to her, but was stopped by someone wanting to talk for a minute. As we talked I could see her standing patiently waiting with that look on her face. I have seen that look many times and it means something was up and someone needs to be heard.

I finally made it over to her and asked her what was up. She then beamed with the most excited smile on her face. She made a decision to try and get her GED and had passed the first four tests. Something she thought she would never achieve.

After speaking to her I walk over to the new education center they have and was met by one of the young men who joins us in the park. “See what I got,” he says. There displayed on the wall was a certificate showing that he had completed schooling to be a firefighter, the kind that goes around the country fighting wild fires.

After telling me their wonderful news,they would slightly lower their heads and wait for your reaction. I felt as if they were waiting for a bomb to be dropped on them. Then I had to remember that some, no matter how hard they tried, they were told they weren’t good enough, had no worth and would become nothing. Was this what they were waiting to hear? Well not this time.

I thought it was a privilege that they would share such wonderful news with me and I smiled with excitement, I felt like a proud mama. The kids were taking the next step and I couldn’t have been more proud of them. She then went on to speak of how she would like to go to college and he spoke of all he had to go thru to get his certificate and what life was going to be like soon. The world had knocked them down, but for right now they are holding their heads high, they are learning that they are more than what the world says they are and they have a dream for the future. I am so unbelievably happy for them.

As I was leaving a passed a gentleman I had never seen before and he asked, “Is this where the smart people are? They say I am dumb and I came in here to see if I can get some help.” I went from excitement to heart break in a matter of seconds. But it’s okay because sweet man you don’t know it yet, but you are going to get to know what a beautiful person God created you to be. I will be praying for you and I know in my heart God is going to touch you in ways you don’t know, I could see it all over you today.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I wear my sunglasses at night




No I don’t wear my sunglasses at night! It’s just when I was trying to figure out what to call this blog that song popped in my head.

So why are we talking about sunglasses? Well I have noticed from time to time with our friends in the park that when you switch things up, it throws things out of whack. Consistency and trust with our friends is a big deal and is a big part of forming a relationship with them.

I realized when we changed big things, like in the past the time and location, etc. these things took them time to get use to and readjust to as well. But it is the little things that I never thought would make a difference that really have bugged some of our friends.

Little things like, one time Tonya decided to wear her camo pants to the park. She wears them often, but had never worn them down there and when she did it really bugged them. Her daughter Ashley use to wear a big floppy hat every week and then something happened to it, so she began to wear a different one and this bothered them so much that one of them went out and got her another floppy hat.

A few weeks ago I wore my sunglasses at the park and was told they don’t like it when I wear them. They say they look like cop sunglasses and they can’t see my eyes. So the sunglasses I can understand (they are mirrored), it reminds them of the police, but not being able seeing my eyes I wondered if it went further than that. When speaking to them if they can’t see my eyes then they don’t know if I am really looking at them and they don’t know if I am really paying attention to what they are saying. So I will try to remember to not wear my sunglass there…I always want to look eye-to-eye with someone. I want them to see in my eyes that when they are upset I care, when they are hurting my heart hurts for them and when I tell them I love them I want them to see it not just hear it.

So that brings us back to the Camo pants and Hat………still can’t figure this one out. If anyone has any insight......inquiring minds want to know!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

I was blessed this week by two very unique gifts I received from two wonderful families. I thought they were beautiful and wanted to share them with you.



Tiffany and Keith gave me the above card with the photo of the flames. I love this picture and the more I look at it the more hearts I continue to see in it. Thank you for your gift, it really lifted my spirits that day. I see your hearts like the one’s in the picture, burning with the Lord’s love for others.



Don and Susan gave the above tile to me this week. Susan hand carved the mold and then cast the tile. I have a thing for crosses and I love to collect them, this one is extra special that it was made by hand with love from a beautiful heart. Thank you both for the wonderful gift.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Refined in Fire

He holds your heart. Refining in fire what is emerging is the Heart of the Father.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Briefcase



The day after Robert died, I went into the shelter to see the guys. As I was getting ready to leave, a gentleman who I had met only one time before approached me. He asked if he could talk to me privately, so we sat and talked.

He showed me the briefcase and explained that he carries it all day with him, afraid to leave it anywhere in fear that someone may take it. He said that his whole life was in there, who to contact if something happened and who he was to the world. He then asked if I would please take it home and keep it for him.

So I brought it home to hold for him. It sits in the corner of one of my rooms. As I pass by it from time to time, it brings thoughts of this gentleman to my mind. I think of what a privilege to be trusted as the keeper of all that he thinks he is and what is important to him.

But then I begin to pray for my friend, praying that he will learn to know that the Creator All Mighty has given him more worth and value than what that small briefcase can ever hold and the love the Lord has for him can never be contained and stored away in a corner.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

MY FRIENDS ARE BEAUTIFUL

What a day! We were going to be down about five people today to begin with (they had previous plans for the weekend). Woke up late and which made me late getting things started for the park. Half-hour before going down the chicken was still cold, poor oven had to be put it into overdrive. It just seemed once thing after another and then was faced with a bigger crowd than I have ever seen for the first of the month.

I arrived at the park drained already and didn't want to even get out of the truck. Before I knew it though, the guys had emptied my truck and got things setup. Ashley was already setup with her stuff, Mac, Eric and Darlene (our friends from the park) jumped in and started serving. About a 140 plates later we were finished and we could step back and breath.

Then you realize what a beautiful day it was, the sun shining, everyone in good moods and such awesome people to spend the day with. I stepped back for a minute and looked around and thought about how blessed I was to be able to get to spend the day with such wonderful people.

When I got home and unloaded everything, I remembered Mac had given me something and I went to take a look at it. I have to admit it brought me to tears. You see we go to be a blessing to our friends, but there are those times when at the end of the day, you are the one walking away being the one truly blessed that day!

"THANK YOU" to all my friends in the park for making it such a wonderful day and beautiful Mother's Day cards....you have no idea how much they mean to me and will always be treasured.......I Love You!!!







Friday, May 7, 2010

Touching the Heart with Love


I saw her Saturday sitting with one of our friends in the park. Deep in conversation, not knowing what they were talking about, but delighted in the sight of her sharing her time and heart with him.

Days later she would tell me a little of their conversation and as to how at one point he held out his hands to her and asked “Would you pray for me?” Tears began to fill my eyes when I heard her tell me about this. What she did not know is that God has been working on in this man’s heart for few months now. I have watched little by little each week seeing the transforming power of Lord working in him, being patient and allowing it to happen in God’s time.

Then that day the walls came down and the door was open, he extended his hands out to her and she extended the hands of God back to him. Holding his hands she spoke love into his life and showed him the love of the father, a Love that will forever be planted deep within his heart.

What a beautiful sight to see Jesus shine thru you Tiffany!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weeding



I was on my way down to the park one Saturday, driving thru the neighborhood people were out mowing their lawns, but God directed my attention to a little old lady weeding her flowerbeds. “Why are you showing me this I asked”, but got no response and I didn’t think much about it until later.

There have been some shifts and changes happening with the park since about the end of November. Many times the Lord telling me to remove or cut off different things or influences that have been brought in, not always understanding the reasoning behind them, but always knowing that it is best to listen to his voice and do as he asks.

As I got home that Saturday I was thinking about the park and all that has been going on and he reminded me of the older lady weeding her flowerbed. He spoke to me telling me that good seeds have been and are being planted. During the growth process of these seeds, many plants sprout up. All looking the same, but some coming from a different source. As they continue to grow and mix with the good seeds, they take on a look of their own and stand out for what they are, weeds. If not removed they will continue to grow, suck the life out of and eventually killing off the good seeds that were planted.

So we have been going thru a weeding period. Though it may have been hard at times it has been worth it. We are seeing new growth on many levels with our friends as well as the ministry, new seeds are being planted and those that have been planted are beginning to emerge with a bigger desire to be watered, fed and cared for and we have had the privilege of having some of the most wonderful people to tend to his garden. Each gently caring for each seed planted.

So when tending to his garden some of the work may be hard and painful, but the end results will be worth all the work put into it, for he will grow a garden of beauty and that beauty is already evident in what is already beginning to bloom.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jesus on both sides of the table


Tonight’s our contemplative group night at Tonya’s and I was sitting here thinking about last weeks group. I sat there watching the storm outside. She had the patio doors open and I could hear the rain, then there was this cool breeze that swept through the door. At that moment God showed me the park. I was standing at the end of the serving line looking back down the middle of tables. On one side of the tables was Jesus dressed in a glorious white robe standing in the middle of all those who came to serve. He had his hand stretched out and with the most beautiful smile on his face he was handing a plate of food to one of the guys in line.

I turned to see whom he was handing it to, it was one of our guys in the park, but then I noticed the next man in line. It was Jesus dressed as a homeless man. So we have Jesus on both sides of table, on one side he is the humble servant and the other side he is the one being served.

Tell me your thoughts. I know what God was trying to tell me, would love to hear what you get out of it though.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hands


They can Give..or they can take away.
They can Built up…or pull down.
They can Reach out….or push away.
They can Extend in Love….or hurt and destroy.
They can Embrace and comfort ……or reject.

With a simple touch on the shoulder, a handshake or an embracing hug you can make a hardened heart begin to soften, make someone feel like they have worth and to that invisible soul you let them know that they are seen and truly loved.

It’s your choice as to how you want to extend yours.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some of Ken's photos from a few weeks ago!

Some of our friends in the park gave Ken permission to take their photos and just wanted to share a few of them with you!








Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An UPDATE 4-21-2010

Just wanted to share some of what is going on concerning the park. I think the worst of the bad weather is behind us and warmer weather has graced us at the park (thank you Lord). With the warmer weather we are see the numbers of those coming increase. With this increase we are seeing more new people on the streets, some who are new in town and also more of those who have a home, but need help with a meal. With the generosity of wonderful people we are able to continue feeding our regulars as well as all the new faces we are seeing. Many people are having their needs met because of your beautiful hearts….Thank You!

I also want to thanks all of you who come and give of yourselves to serve and be with our friends. Each week I see and hear how you are touching lives, you are a group of people who are individually serving our Lord through intimate encounters with those He leads us to.

There are something's I would like to share with you. On a sad note, last week we lost one of our street friends.

Robert was attacked as he was helping a woman defend herself. During the attack he was stabbed and lost his life. Robert had been someone I have know for about two years now. He struggled with his alcoholism and so desperately wanted to clean up. With all he had been dealing with, I had the opportunity to see the other side of him and in our many talks I got to see the beautiful person God created him to be. They had a beautiful memorial for him in the park. His sister, wife and son were there and they were able to hear how he loved them dearly and what a wonderful friend he was to those on the streets. I ask that if the Lord lays it on your heart…please pray for his family, they could use prayer right now.

On a brighter note I wanted to share about little miss Hava and Abraham. These two are the children of Keith and Tiffany and they have been joining their parents when they come down to park.

It is the most beautiful thing to watch these two little kids interact with our friends. Hava has such compassion and love in her heart for the people. A couple of weeks ago her mom brought a stool down so she could help serve, serving was Hava’s idea and she took it seriously and she did it with such love it made you want to cry. Abraham has taken a liking to one of our guys (Dan) and they play together and sometime even argue with each other, it is so funny to watch. But to see the two of them interact is beautiful, I see a joy and a smile that comes to Dan’s face that I have never seen before. It is like watching a grandfather interact with his grandchild. For a few hours a week these beautiful children bring a sense of family to our friends and for a few ours they are not homeless, but instead a family enjoying the day in the park. These two children bring a love to the park in ways the rest of us cant. What a blessing they are to many!

NEEDS:
Books-paperback
Size 2T girls summer clothes
Have had a need for Backpacks (Tonya donated two, but we are always in need of more)
Pray-please pray for those serving that we walk in his will and prayer for those we are serving. May the Lord direct them to us and open their hearts.
We had a request from someone in the park: They wanted to know if anyone had a portable volleyball net and would they want to have a game one weekend.

Thank each and every one of you for all you do. The love of Christ shines through you and that light is reaching many hearts that have lived in darkness for a long time. I see that reflected in their eyes and the smiles that come to their faces when they see you. Blessings to you all!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Just sharing with ya! :)

One of the guys in the park gave me these Saturday! Thought they were cool looking and wanted to share!


Friday, March 26, 2010

What's Cooking for 3-27-2010

Served up biscuits and gravy this morning at Corpus shelter and below is the menu for this Saturday. Look forward to seeing all of you down there again this week. What an awesome group of people we have who come down to share themselves and the love of God with people. I am thankful for each and every one of you...true servants who only want to give of themselves.


This weeks menu for Saturday:
Spaghetti
Salad or Green Beans
Garlic Rolls
Desert
Bottled water

Sunday, March 21, 2010

HAVE YOU SEEN HEATHER?


A woman yesterday in the park approached me, she handed me a flier and asked if I had seen this woman. I told her I had seen her on the news, but had not seen her in the park. Then I looked in her eyes and her eyes said it all. I asked are you her mother and with tears welling up she said yes. My heart broke for this woman; you could see her heartbreak, pain and love for a daughter she so desperately wanted to find.

I pray that Heather will be returned to family soon and if God lays it on your heart will you also say a prayer for her and her family.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Park Update March 2010


Okay so I haven’t been very good about updating on what is going on at the park, so I am going to make an attempt to do it more often. Will also try and post the menu each week.

We made it thru the winter season and are very much looking forward to warmer weather. During the winter months, the amount of people who where coming dropped, but now that better weather is here we are starting to see out numbers increase again. With that increase we are also seeing a number of new faces. What an opportunity to love on some new people as well as our regulars.

Longer days and warm weather gives us the opportunity spend more time with the people as well as getting back into playing some football again. The guys said they are ready for a game and I found the football.

I want to thank all of those who come out each week or just when they can. I recently spoke to a couple who now have housing, but continue to come down from time to time, they walk for over a hour to just come down and they say they come for the friendship and love they receive there. This should speak volumes to those who help, what an impact you are making.

A special thanks goes out to:
The Hunter’s and the Haught’s for helping prepare food each week.
All of those you help support us financially.
Keith and Tiffany for bringing down the bus from time to time to give our friends a special treat and the donation of bread.
All the others from Boise and Nampa that come down, jump in where needed or just hangout and love on the people.
What a blessing each and every one of you are and we could not do what we do without you!

I have been rattling around an idea of having an art class in the evenings for the kids from the park. Have a place we can do it and it would be about twice a month. Probably for about an hour or two, it is still in the thought process, but if you have any ideas or input, please let me know.

Also thinking of doing something special for Easter. If you have any ideas, toss them my way.

This week’s menu:
Barbecue Chicken
Salads
Deviled eggs
Desert

Needs:Please continue to pray for those in the park as well as those coming to serve. May we be a reflection of Christ and a witness to those you do not know him.
Donations of food or financial help to obtain food
Socks
Sunscreen
Would like to obtain some more tablecloths, if you know where I can get some cheap please let me know.

Many of our friends our receiving housing vouchers and will begin the process of moving into new homes. Please pray that these transitions will go easy for them and that the new life they are about to start will be a positive one for them.

May you all be blessed and your cups be over flowing….for you have blessed many!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

HIDDEN JEWEL

The winds that blow on the streets have not been kind to him.
The harsh gusts have blown with fierceness and over time have turned his long hair gray. Looking so much older than he is.

Summer sun has turned his skin to leather.
Winkles that surround his eyes reveal the deep valleys he has walked thru.

Cracked, blistered lips are evidence of the bitter cold days of not finding warmth.

His clothes contain the stains of the streets and struggle to survive.
It’s in the crashing waves that you hear his heart screaming to be loved.

But there is more to my friend. He smiles and it ignites a sparkle in the deep ocean blues of his eyes. There hidden deep with in the ocean waters lay his hopes and dreams that are locked away. Then you find it in the deepest depths, on the ocean floor, his hidden treasure box holding the beautiful jewel that he is.

The jewel waiting to be found and brought to the surface, past the crashing waves and on to shore to be revealed to the world.

We just need to love them and to be willing to help them find it, for sometimes they don’t see it for themselves.

Friday, March 12, 2010

DOORS


There are those times when you hear Him speak and He says it’s time to shut the door. You can’t continue on the way things are, but yet if the door shuts you don’t know what to do. Then you are reminded that if you stay faithful to what you are called to do, He will take care of all the needs.

So you stand before the closed door wondering where do I go from here? Then you wait, you pray and continue to listening to His voice and following His direction, even if it makes no sense and the world around you doesn’t understand.


For when you least expect it, He places that key in the next door and He flings it wide open. Blessings begin to rain down and you know that new door is the beginning of a new part of the journey. In the past few years many doors have been shut, shut because in keeping them open would mean straying from God’s calling. But with each shut door I am beginning to not stress and instead rejoice, because I know that if I just wait patiently and remain faithful that new door opens to so much more than the one that was closed! This new door looks exciting and can't wait to see what is on the other side of it!

So stand stong even if those around you don't agree or don't understand, for when He is ready your door will open and your new journey will begin.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cancer Wont Keep This One Down!--By Julie Cruz

Repost from Julie's Blog: http://www.lifehouseministryoc.com/
Each week Deb faithfully prepares a part of the meal to be served to the homeless. She loads it up and takes it to the local Boise park where she stands in line with about 15 other people dishing out a wonderful warm meal to anyone who wants one. Mostly homeless friends come and enjoy the meal and their company. Deb has become a well known fixture among their friends who live outside. They give her hugs and have given her gifts. Deb has been doing this for several months, working alongside Denie who has been bringing her friends lunch each week for over a year.

We have the same thing here in Orange County and we fight over who gets Deb for that week! Traveling back and forth from Boise to Orange County gives Deb the opportunity to share herself with both homeless communities and they both love her dearly.

At the beginning of the year, Deb found out that after 12 years breast cancer has returned. At this writing Deb is fighting a courageous battle. Her treatment has left her nauseated, tired and with an intense pain in her stomach but she is fighting on because she still has a lot of work to do hanging out with our friends in the park! Even when she was about to start her treatment, she was here in Orange County feeding the homeless and loving on all of our friends. They missed her deeply when she wasn’t there helping in February and I am always hearing them say, “tell her we miss her”. “Tell her we’re praying for her”. She has made a great impact on our friends!

I would ask you all to hold her up in your prayers on a constant basis! She is so loved and adored for the wonderful, generous, real, friend that she is. Pray that the treatment isn’t so harsh on her body but ruthless on the cancer.

We’ll see her again soon serving up a warm and nutritious spoonful of yummy!



Friday, February 26, 2010

She Wanted to Commit Suicide – She Made Me a Keychain Instead-by Julie Cruz

Got the plessure of meeting Julie for the first time, on her recent trip up from California.
Julie with out friends in the park.


She was able to come down and spend time with us at the park and then we had a day when we got to spend a little time together. Our day didn't turn out like we expected. Below is a recent post of of hers about that day. Julie has a ministry in California were she also serves and helps our friends outside. To connect with her or to take a look at what she is doing, check out her website: www.lifehouseministryoc.com


During a recent visit to Boise Idaho a friend and I went shopping at a Army Surplus store for rain ponchos for my homeless friends in Orange County, I was buying them to take back home. While waiting at the register to pay for my find, Denie got a desperate call from a gentleman who runs a day-shelter that she visits ministers in frequently. “You gotta get here right way” he said. “This young girl is talking about taking her life”.

We drove to the shelter as quickly as we could. When we arrived, sitting in the corner was a 21 year old white girl, with a backpack at her feet, a tissue in her hand and tears streaming down her face. We sat down and listened for 3 hours. We both felt that she needed to talk and we needed to listen. She expressed how broken she was – she had just tried meth for the first time in her life and she’d been awake for 2 days. She just needed friends and the ones that she found weren’t the kind of friends who care if you lives or dies. As she continued to talk, we could tell that she began to dig into the farthest corners of her atrophied heart and pull out the root of her pain. When she was 5 years old, she hid under the bed while her mom, dad and sisters were all murdered – she survived… sort of. I would be the farm that she wished that she was with her dead family. We could see that the moment she brought that out of her hidden place, a light began to shine on her face. You really would have had to be watching but the heaviness didnt seem so heavy – her shoulders not so slumped. She talked about being in and out of foster care after the murder. I asked her if any of them were good experiences for her – “not really” she said. Once she became an adult she entered into a variety of different mental health facilities. They have pumped her full of meds trying to stabilize her life – they dont seem to be working too well.

I noticed a delicate hand knotted necklace she was wearing and said something about it. She made it she said very proud – i found out later that this is how she makes her money. I asked her if I bought her some beads would she make one for me before I left. She bent forward unzipped her backpack and pulled out a keychain that she had already made and handed it to me, not looking up at me. Even to this day writing this I cant help but cry – she gave me piece her heart and her creativity as well as her livelihood.

We ran down to the store and bought her a load of beading supplies, hoping she could fit these into her backpack. when we got back to the shelter, she had managed to find a dark place to take a much needed nap but came out to receive her gift with gratitude.

I heard that she is doing well… Denie has seen her at the park. Still homeless – and hopefully not doing drugs. This is one person that I want to be off the streets and engaging in life as it was meant to be – with more joy than sadness. Be safe, be well and be whole little one.