Posted by: jcwillyams | September 29, 2009

Coffee, Sugar, & Cigarettes

My Dear Friends, Family, Brothers & Sisters,

Coffee, sugar, and cigarettes. These three things are major uniting factors for much of the population of Louisville, KY. If you ever want good conversation, find the nearest smoking section. If you ever want a casual hang-out, visit Quills (or maybe Starbucks?). If you want a community where you can experience the combined three, visit Jefferson Street Baptist Center (a local homeless shelter). You might need to bum a cigarette from a buddy, and you’ll be sipping out of a small Styrofoam cup full of whatever coffee and sugar is provided – but one thing is true: you will be experiencing a community of people.
The busy world often groups these unique individuals together as ‘the homeless’ and pushes them aside in their minds as an inanimate difficulty. We pretend ‘it’ doesn’t exist – we pretend ‘it’ doesn’t affect us. All the while we forget that the ‘it’ is really a ‘they’– that’s the real dilemma. People become things, things are forgotten, and that’s what brings about hopelessness. That’s why HOPE for Louisville exists. 
After my first week of HOPE I’m realizing that I had been calling these people ‘its’. I had been robbing them of their name, of their identity, of their self. Each name is the title to an amazing novel, I want to hear their stories, and add to them. I want to look past the cigarette smoke, I want to dig deeper then the sugar coating; I want to embrace the coffee stained problems of their lives and share them. 
So this month, share a coffee with someone you might not know. This month, give a cup of sugar to a neighbor that is desperately seeking it. You can do it directly by visiting Jeff Street and building relationships, or help by supporting me and my team. We aren’t perfect humans, but we are here on a godly mission. We are here to bring God’s hope where perhaps the rising smoke of cigarettes is just a bit too thick for someone to see the path ahead, at least, without a friend to show them the way.

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isa 42:16 (ESV)

God Bless,

JC Williams

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