Posted by: Jessica Rood | December 7, 2009

Thankful for the residents

“As a ministry of the Jefferson Street Baptist Center, the Fresh Start Program exists to serve and glorify God by meeting the physical, emotional, spiritual and vocational needs of homeless and hurting men in the greater Louisville area.  The six-month program provides a grace-based, disciplined and practical experience for residents in a safe, comfortable environment”.

The men in the Fresh Start Program mean so much to all of us in the Hope Program.  A lot of these men are truly seeking God to change them.  It is such an awesome thing to see.  Many of them have tried several times to get out of homelessness in the past but have failed.  They now know why because only Jesus can change you.

Arnold, who came over for Thanksgiving, was recently mugged.  Arnold is in his fifties and is working on getting housing.  He also is an alcoholic.  I have spent a lot of time with him and we have developed a really good friendship.  I have helped type things out for him and he comes to me for advice about issues and we also just sit down and have good conversations.  Darrell one of my teammates called me last Sunday (November 29th) and told me that Arnold was in the hospital because he was mugged was one of the hardest things I have heard since I have been here.  Linsey and I were down stairs discussing the sermon and Emily was sick upstairs when the phone first rang.  I got off the phone and told Linsey.  We stopped our conversation and just prayed.  We prayed for his safety and also for the people who attacked him.  At that moment I did not cry Later on that evening I got on facebook and saw a picture of him on Darrell’s profile and just started tearing up.  .  It was a picture where was  of him smiling from ear to ear. I just felt so sorry for Him.  He is seeking after God in so many ways but then this happened my prayer was that he would not be discouraged.  He ended up being pretty good.  He had a few broken fingers and maybe broken ribs but they are not sure of that.

I still was, and still am, worried about how he was doing so I asked him how he was doing spiritually on Wednesday.  He said he was doing good but had to get outpatient surgery on Thursday so pray for that. He also told me about losing his glasses and that he was going to call someone to see if they could help him get some.   Thursday and Friday the Hope Team along with our director when on a retreat.  We got back around 5:45 on Friday so we decided to stay for dinner since it was dinner time.  I sat near Arnold, and he said “do you want to hear how God is good”.  He continued and talked about his surgery and that he need to get a prescription filled but did not have the money for it.  All the Jeff. Street staff was not available at the time so he had not asked them yet.  He heard his name in the hall way so we walked out.  The man he was going to talk to about glasses was there.  His glasses were no longer a priority so he did not want them.  He needed the prescription.  The man took him for that and also asked about the glasses.  The man provided Arnold with both of these things.  Arnold was so grateful and knew it was God who did it all.  It was good to see him still trust God in the hard times.  He also stated that he was not mad at the people who did this he actually felt sorry for them and prayed for them.

Another resident that I have gotten to spend some time with is Jason, who also came over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Jason goes to church about every Sunday Sojourn, the church I also attend.  He has not fully giving his life to Christ yet but he knows God keeps calling him to go there.  He was telling Emily and I yesterday (December 6th) a story about how one time he was on his way and forgot to put his bag back in the storage closet (this was before he was a resident).  He wanted to get coffee before he went to the service.  He was saying that he thought that he could just get coffee at St. John’s, another local day shelter, but knew that God wanted him in church.  My prayer is that he keeps going to church and seeks good Christian fellowship so that he may understand the Gospel.  I am looking forward to more and more conversations like this.

Another resident recently left the fresh start program without telling anyone.  This was really hard as well. I just pray that he is ok.  He wants to come back into the program.  I just pray that God will be honored in all this.

The residents are such a blessing in my life and I am so glad I get to spend this season of my life with them.

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