A New Realization in My Life
Serve the City has revealed a new realization in my life. It has shown me a faction of life that I thought I knew existed, but really had no clue as to its reality. This way of life ranges from people struggling with relationships and health problems to a material poverty so deep that some people literally have almost nothing at all. I always thought that if you had a house, you probably had a bed. Now, I realize that isn't always the case. It's heartbreaking to realize the amount of people that are living in the East End of Lexington and sleeping on the floor... a hard, cold, sometimes dirty floor, with just a few blankets for comfort. I have witnessed children sleeping on the floor, some of them having never slept in a bed. I have witnessed a mother who gave up her air mattress to her kids, only to contract a severe staff infection from sleeping on the floor. I have met others who had bed bug infestations in their homes and were forced to get rid of everything. It seemed that everywhere I turned there was another heartbreaking story of a family sleeping on the floor. The need was so overwhelming we began to pray for God to provide beds.
I'll never forget the first time I met Patricia. A few of us were standing on the curb talking with a lady who lives on Race street. From the corner of my eye I noticed a woman walking towards me with both arms stretched out saying "Help me, help me, help me." She looked tired, broken, and desperate. It was a face of despair I will never forget. I immediately hugged her and told her we would help. She explained to me that her home was infested with bed bugs and she had to get rid of everything, including the couch she was sleeping on. She showed us the bites that were running all across her neck and up and down her arms. I told her to contact her landlord and have him work on getting the house treated. In the meantime, we would find the things that she needed.
A few weeks later we got word that the bed bug infestation had been taken care of and we were able to bring her a new bed, a couch, and a few other pieces of furniture. She was so thankful. The look of despair was now a look of joy. The following week, my good friend Garrett and I were driving up her street and to our surprise--she flagged us down. As we parked and got out of the van she came over to us and invited us to see the inside of her home. With great pride she took Garrett and I through her home showing us how she had arranged all the new furniture. As we were about to leave she asked us to pray for her. I can’t remember much of our prayer but I do remember her hugging us and saying, “God bless you, God bless the both of you.”
Expression #4 at Southland says that we will generously extend hope to the poor. We have that opportunity through Serve The City to do just that... to give the greatest hope of all—Jesus Christ. If you would like to learn more about Serve The City contact me. If you would like to volunteer with us, visit our Hope to Our Neighbors page and fill out our volunteer interest form found near the end of the page.