Monday, April 28, 2008
Word on the Street #1
To the body of Christ, Well these past few days on the streets have been hard-mostly emotionally and mentally as I adjust to a whole different perspective-worlds different from my own perspective previously. I spent the first night under an overhang in a parking garage and the past 2 nights in the Hope Center (the only shelter in Lexington for men). They have drug and alcohol rehab there and then they have a service called "General Population" for guys like me that just need a place to sleep. General Population needs to be out during the day and returns at night for supper. It costs like $1 each night, but my first 5 days are free. I've met a lot of people and it can almost be a little overwhelming. It's been an uncomfortable adjustment. Even yesterday, it rained and poured like crazy and I was cooped up in the Hope Center most of the day-it felt like prison from the food to the type of people I was around. It's so different being out here as a homeless man from being out here as a middle-class consumer. God even convicted me as He kindly reminded me that I regard the middle-class lifestyle of comfort as my home, when in reality that is not true. It's not my home anymore than the streets are my home. My home is in Heaven and in the presence of my God. My comfort and pleasure is in Him. And truly, the Lord has been my source of hope the past few days. I haven't been able to have the kind of times with God as I have in the prayer room or when I'm alone with some privacy. I have read the Word a lot and prayed a lot though when it seems like I have nothing else to do. Alone time with the Lord is sort of a commodity now. I'm so thankful though for the refuge that I have had in the Lord because He's certainly present whether I'm alone or with others. That relationship has been such a lifeline. Praise God, I have had the opportunity to minister some to some guys and even to pray for a gentleman with some back problems. There's a couple of guys in wheelchairs at the Hope Center too that I look forward to praying for. A trend I've noticed among a lot of these guys is that they seem to have a mental understanding of doctrine and a feeling of love for God, but they don't know Him in the biblical sense. A couple of the guys I've talked to are pretty negative to-feeling as though they're entitled to something and they're just down on their luck. This is proof to me that they haven't experienced the grace of God for it would make them very grateful for what He has given them and it would convict them of their sin too. In addition, about everybody in there smokes (I'm probably inhaling so much second-hand smoke, lol). I still feel pretty unsure of myself until God assures me that He's guiding my steps and I am not responsible to produce any ministry, but only to trust Him and let His Spirit flow in me. I have some prayer requests. Steve-a guy I met with major alcohol problems, the injured back, and in need of the hope of Jesus in his life. Andrew-a former biology teacher with major alcohol problems Kevin-a guy I know from a local McDonald's who has a bad knee and needs healing That God would bring His manifest presence to these and many other guys that they would be changed from the inside-out beyond just their mental assent to Jesus, that grace would pour out on them for them to see their sin and repent to know full salvation. My mentality, that I won't be affected negatively psychologically by the lifestyle I've adopted (becoming lazy or aimless), but will keep grounded in the Lord, unafraid and focused on Him and the mission He's put before me; that I wouldn't miss opportunities. Also that the Lord would show me how to minister best. I feel very unsure of myself right now, but I know the Lord has placed me. Also that God would assure me of His presence. I've had many tell me that God's with me and I know He is, but I've struggled some with doubt. Opportunities to love and to minister and insight into future steps. Blessings ya'll,Know that I'm safe and doing well,Nathan P.S. I will have the weekend to recharge over Easter as I'll be back in Wilmore with friends and in church too. I'm definitely looking forward to it.