This week I have had Jesus rock my world in so many ways. Not only do I not have control of anything at all, but I am reminded every day about how I am such in need of Grace. However this week I’ve learned more about Charlotte street living then any other subject in school.
Room at the Inn is one of the best programs to conquer the problems of sleeping on the street that I have ever seen. Located at Urban Ministries this program has an intake process that involves some basic screening before being bussed off to local churches. Beth Hardin, a vice chancellor at UNCC invited me to come to the intake process a month or so ago, and I learned all about the process of being brought into RATI(Room at the Inn).
Last Thursday I went urban camping at Hickory Grove Presbyterian Church. Straight after work, I went and spent the night at the church with 13 other homeless men and women. Since walking on the streets is much more tiring then running around school all day, they go to bed around 9 or 10. After chilling with Jake and Steph for a while, I fell asleep exhausted on a loveseat while our neighbors slept in the room next door.
The alarms started going off at 4:30 am when breakfast was supposed to be cooked up and served. Stumbling sleepily to the kitchen I was greeted by cheerful Hickory Grove church members who were baking up biscuits and dishing out grits. Around 5 am the small crowd lined up for the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast. Sitting at the table I got to hear several people’s stories of how they got to this place. Resident A was told by a judge he could have no contact with his girl friend who is currently living at his house, and resident B who was laid off and is collecting unemployment while he gets back on his feet from his disability.
I have this fascination with learning people’s stories. I think one of the best gift in life is sharing your heart and learning how to let people love you and how to love people. I visited Room at the Inn again today. I forgot that SIFE was visiting a church to help the neighbors, and quickly decided that my basketball game was not important as talking to David, who was at Hickory Grove 3 days before. David had recognized me from the previous church and we begin to strike up our conversation. I learned about his life, stuff he had done in his past, why he was in the situation that he was in, and what is going to happen after his court date.
I met the exception tonight. Someone who was not supposed to be there and it rocked my world. It could happen to anyone. One little slip and you could have a jail record and find yourself eating out of soup kitchens instead of your house. Over our multiple checkers games I found out that I know nothing about life, and I’m totally in love with Jesus and how he can turn someone from cold to a burning fire for Him. Praise be to Jesus.