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.