After church Sunday we went out for our normal feeding. The past couple weeks have been different, as now we have more helping hands. We now have 6 men rehabbing in the church, a couple of which normally come and feed with us. This week it was Jose and Juan Carlos. As we walked up to the park, our last stop, I could see George. I walked straight up to him and said, “How ya doin’ man?”. George just happens to be from a gang in L.A. We have helped him get into a rehab before, but it didn’t work well for him. His struggle is crack and alcohol. He said, “Not so good dog, but I’m here.” I asked him if we could pray for him, like I have many times before. Today was a special day because he seemed to be pretty clear headed. The men from the rehab prayed for him, and after the prayer I looked into his eyes and said, “We still believe in you man”. Just then I realized the man sobbing next to him…”Yo quiero oración por favor” (I want prayer please) he said repeatedly through sobs. He looked desperate. So I motioned to the men to gather around him to pray. We prayed for him, and I left him with this word “Dios es contigo!” (The Lord is with you). As I walked away I could no longer hold it together as compassion filled my heart for these men on the street. George who was deported back to Nicaragua and who’s entire family is in the States. And this other guy who so desperately wanted prayer to lift him from the very spot he’s in. After I wiped the tears and got myself under control Jose asked, “Con respeto, por que lloras?” (With respect why were you crying?). I told him a little bit of George’s history and told him I wish we had a rehab at the time he needed it. I went home thinking about the compassion Jesus had for the people he came in contact with. I thought about how much I want to help these people and the realization hit that they have to want it too. All we can do is continue to show up, in hopes that we are there the day they decide they’re ready for something different. Running a rehab is terrifying, because you know at any minute these people you’re pouring your life into can run back to what they know…what’s easy. Then you realize, that life you’re pouring into them, isn’t yours in the first place…it’s His. Then the faith comes and the realization that nothing you say or do makes any difference…it’s what He’s saying and doing through you.
This is a picture of our kids in front of the public school they attend. All schools just re-opened after being shut down for 3 weeks after a 6.1 earthquake…and MANY aftershocks. They were very excited to get back to their friends.