Posted by: Jessica Rood | March 14, 2010

March Newsletter

February has been another emotional month.  I have been trying to love people more. I have been trying to dig deeper into their lives.  I have been trying to see them through the eyes of Christ.  I have attempted this in one simple way by asking the many people I encounter how I can pray for them. A basic question.  It is how we have been encouraged to approach our neighbors, but applying it in the day shelter that has brought on brand new conversations.

The first time I asked someone how I could pray for themit was a dud.  I asked a former participant in our addiction program. He told me that he had no prayer requests. I was a little discouraged.  But when he came in a few days later, he asked if I remembered the question I asked him...I couldnt. He explained that out of the months he had been in the program I had never asked him “how could I pray for you?” We had talked about God, but I never really asked what was going on in his life at that moment.  I told him “that is very sad, I am sorry and I should have”.  This was a defining moment for me, as well as a spark of encouragement for me to ask this question much more.
A week or two later Christine came in. She was going through a rough time which in turn caused her to lash out at other people.  Due to this, she was very loud in the day shelter, causing people to get frustrated with herwhich of course added to her frustration.  My teammate Emily had to take her aside and ask her to keep it down. Her emotions got the best of her, but she eventually calmed down, and later apologized to Emily. Something must have changed in her heart that day, I was at the front desk when Christine came up and asked if she could talk to me and another teammate. There were tears in her eyes, and we graciously accepted her conversation.  She explained that she had been doing drugs. She explained that she grew up knowing Jesus, but turned away from him.  Her voice broke as she explained that she was trying to turn her life around. We listened patiently, but as she prepared to leave, I interjected Can I pray for you?  She eagerly obliged, and I grabbed her hand and prayed for her right there. She cried the whole time. Later that day, I shared my experience with Emily and we discussed starting a Bible Study with Christine. She agreed to meet with us on Thursday morning.
Thursday came.  Emily, Christine, and I went into the residents cafeteria and had a Bible Study.  We studied Psalm 22.

My God, my God, why have you forsake me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I pray out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent..” Psalms 22:1-3

This was the chapter we studied in church the previous Sunday. After more conversations it seemed that this chapter was very applicable to Christine’s current situation.  As it turns out, Christine felt the same way.  She felt abandon by God and persecuted by others, but knew God was still there.  We did not always stay on topic, but it was a time of just answering questions and just talking to Christine.  After we closed in prayer we said our good-byes.  She came in the next day and told us about some more things going on in her life, but I have not seen her since.  That was over a week ago She was in a rehab program so I hope she is still in it.  Please pray for her.

I feel that the women so often just come in for a short time and then are gone.  I just continue to pray for them and hope they are doing okay. I hope to see them again, but then in the same breath, I hope I do not because that could mean they have a place to stay and are no longer on the streets. I just pray for them and their safety. I may never see some of these people again, but God can change their lives. I am just thankful that I can be a part of their lives even though it is very tough emotionally.

Please pray for Christine.  I do not know what is going on in her life, but she was going through some hard times. Pray for all of the women at Jeff Street.  Please pray that I can share the Gospel and how Christ died for them because He loved them and always will love them. Please continue to pray for me as I work with these people who are broken.  It is very tough to see people hurting and not have a way to fix it instantly.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers.

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