Posted by: Lindsey Albertson | May 26, 2009

May Newsletter..kind of late

As May begins, I am counting down the days until the summer team arrives on May 26th. Many changes are about to take place in the near future. I will be moving when the women’s team gets here into a house with them and will no longer be the only girl on the team. There are also things going through my mind such as figuring out what I will do once the summer ends and HOPE is over. My mind has been in many places and in the midst of this, God is reminding me to live in the moment and not continually be looking for the next thing.

Recently, a friend and I went running from Jeff Street, over the bridge to Indiana and back. Once we had gotten back to Jeff Street, we sat out in front of the building for a bit. As we were sitting out there, two men that I recognized from the day shelter walked up. Ray is around forty years old and Endre is in his mid thirties. They are both pretty regular at Jeff Street and have been since I arrived in Louisville almost a year ago. They were both on their way somewhere but stopped and sat down with us to talk for a bit. I introduced them to my friend. After introductions were made they told us that they were on their way to a church that gives out free meals on Thursday evenings. Ray sat down and started to pull some papers out of his backpack. He pulled out a few and handed them to me to read. They were jokes that he had printed off of the internet at the library. I expected them to be either corny or dirty. They were actually neither. As I read them out loud, we all sat around and laughed at jokes and come backs to pick up lines. Ray told me that he tries to bring in a new one each day and shares them with other folks who come into the day shelter. He continued to talk about the need to laugh and how people in his situation often don’t do very much laughing.

After we finished reading jokes and laughing together, Endre pulled a planner out of his bag. He said he had found it somewhere and talked about how he wanted to use it and be more organized with his life. He opened it up and showed it to me. As I looked through the days of his planner, there were a few things that I noticed. For the most part, his days all looked similar. Every morning he had penciled in ‘Jeff Street’, where he comes in, takes a shower, changes clothes and gets ready for the day. Every day he had also written in different places that served free meals and what time to be there. The last thing on his daily “to do” list was getting back to his campsite before the sun went down. A few days had things like “look for a job” or “give plasma” (to make some money). Endre worked at a sandwich shop for a while but doesn’t anymore so he is now looking for another job.

God used such a small thing as hanging out with these friends to remind and give me a reality check of what it is like to be homeless. When I come into Jeff Street each day, it is for totally different reasons than why everyone else is coming in. Even after being here nearly a year, I am still learning new things about what experiencing homelessness looks like.

I wanted to ask you to pray for a few things. Please pray for the summer team coming in and the transition and changes that will be involved with that. We have nine new members plus Matt, Kerry, and I. Pray that God would unite this team and show us how to best serve Him and others in working at Jeff Street and in our neighborhood this summer. Please also pray for the folks that come into Jeff Street and that God would show us how to best love and serve them as well.

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