Posted by: Lindsey Albertson | July 14, 2009

July Newsletter

The past month has once again flown by. Having the summer team here has been energizing and encouraging and a lot more things have been able to be accomplished here around Jeff Street. Throughout the past month, the Lord has been challenging and growing me in new ways since the new team has been here.

Let me tell you about the Lord’s kindness and gifts the past few days. There has been some conflict in the house over the past week. On Friday we had the chance to all sit down and talk it all out. At the end of talking and working through things, someone brought up how we could make ministry on Saturdays more effective. One of my teammates has a passion for prayer and said that she would love to see us pray more for our time on Saturdays. So Saturday morning we spent a good length of time just praying and being still before the Lord. We prayed for our day, for people that we have begun to build friendships with and repented of running to comfort and not loving others like we could. It was an awesome time of lifting up our day to God and asking Him to lead us throughout the day.

Afterwards we went to the park to run/walk and pray some more individually. As I was running, I started to think about a lady that lived near us last summer. Ever since I first met her, I have felt drawn to her. Her name is Tanya and she is addicted to crack. I talked to her a few times last summer and went a good while without seeing her since then. Every time I drove by her house though, I would look for her. Over the past year, I would randomly think about her, pray for her and wonder where she was at now. Then one day about a month ago, she came into Jeff Street. I was so excited to see her. I ran up and talked to her, but she did not remember me. It was her first time in, so I helped her fill out our entry form. As I asked her questions, I learned that she had a son that she had given up for adoption and that she had just become homeless. She seemed out of it so I didn’t get to talk to her long. But I did not think that it was a coincidence that she had walked in that day.

Well, as I was walking and praying for her, I looked up and saw my teammate Jessica walking with someone. As I got closer, I realized that it was Tanya! She was carrying around a bag with alot of her belongings in it and had dropped it and squished a banana and it had gotten all over her stuff. She asked us to help her, if we would walk with her to help her find someone and help her find a pair of pants because hers had gotten dirty. We walked to a few different clothes closets, only to be disappointed because they were all either closed for the 4th of July or were opened only certain days during the week. During our adventure of walking around with Tanya, we had alot of great conversations. She told us about her addiction to crack, and how she used to be on heroin. She later asked, “Why do you think people are addicted to different things?” We began to talk to her about how it begins when something or someone makes us feel good or secure. We like the way it makes us feel and so we run to it for that security or good feeling and then it escalates and becomes an idol in our lives to the point that we can’t live without it. We talked about how addictions range from drugs and alcohol to relationships and sports. Then we talked about how addictions and idols occur when we place things before or love things more that God. We walked around some more and I really felt God telling me to just let Tanya know that He loved her. So I said, “Tanya, you know what? You might think I’m crazy but I feel like God wants me to tell you that He loves you. Alot.” She grinned at me and said, “I don’t think you’re crazy. I believe you.” I smiled back and we continued walking.

After we had found her a pair of clean pants, we walked with her to the store where she was going to wait for the man she had been looking for. Before we left her she asked what she owed us for helping her. I told her that all we wanted was her friendship. Again she looked at us with a child like grin and said, “You already have that.” I asked how we could pray for her and she said, “Pray that my friend and I find an apartment and that we will change our lifestyle.”

As if the events with Tanya weren’t amazing enough, on our way back to our house we were praying for her and a man I recognized from Jeff Street was walking on the other side of the street. Last summer, after 31 years of alcoholism, he checked himself into rehab. Since then he has been in and out struggling with his addiction. But when I saw him today he told me that he was currently in a rehab program and had been sober for 38 days.

Honestly, right now I am in awe of how God’s hand has orchestrated all of this. From meeting Tanya a year ago, to placing her on my heart, to walking around with her for around 3 hours today. I was so blessed to get to know her and help her find a pair of pants today. I am amazed at the power of prayer and that all we have to do is ask and God provides abundant opportunites. I am amazed that God would allow me to be a part of these people’s lives; that He would allow me the privalege of sharing hope with them and at the same time, in sometimes crazy ways, they share hope with me too.

I only have a month and a half until my time with the HOPE program is over. Please pray for Tanya and her addictions. Pray that the encounter today would not be the last time I run into her and that God would work in huge ways in our friendship. Also, please pray for unity among the team and that we would finish strong.

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