Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crazy as usual

We had an event this Thursday that, as bizarre as it was, seemed fitting given the way that our work with drug rehab has been moving forward. Around midnight we were at "Fora de Hora," our town's only open all night place, chatting with our friends that help us with the youth group. A guy walks in and sees Eric (pictured here) and walks by motioning for him to come to the bathroom. When that doesn't work the guy motions to him from the bathroom. He thinks that only Eric can see him, but most of the table is watching this guy through the mirror next to him as he gestures and asks, "Cocaine? You got cocaine?" Eric shakes his head and the guy goes back outside. Most of the table is laughing in disbelief of this guys bold shot in the dark! But Eric was indignant for having been treated like a dealer and decides to go out and confront the guy. He finds him in the parkinglot -

"Hey, do you know me?"

* "Aren't you Chez's friend?"

"I don't know Chez and I've never seen you in my life! I'm an addict in recovery and you wanna come in and push me for drugs? And in front of my family???" (family - that's us)

* "Dude, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't know. You're in recovery? My bad... so... no disrespect... but do you know where I can find some cocaine?"

"Man, I can't help you."

And he comes back in. This grinds on Eric the rest of the night. The next morning Eric brought it up again, "I thought about that kid all night - I saw myself in his eyes. I know what that phase of withdrawal feels like, and it bugs me that I didn't talk him about Jesus."

Later that morning we were prepping for homeless lunch and there's a knock on the gate. Eric answers it, and guess who? A friend of ours from the next town over, and the cocaine kid!

Our friend - "Eric, I have a friend for you to meet,"
Eric - "I know him..."
Cocaine kid - "I know you... I tried to buy drugs from you..."
Our friend - "How do you guys know each other?"
Eric - "Come on in and let's sit down."

So apparently cocaine kid used all night long, and then that next morning went to our friend's LAN house and asked for help with his addiction. "I know of some friends who can help you," our friend said, and brought him to us.

(He just called and Eric is on the phone with him right now)

They talked for about two hours. The plan right now is for him to start attending our support group. We'll be keeping close contact to support him in his recovery, and if it proves necessary, help him get into a rehab clinic.

Running into people who need help, that happens. But this being followed up with them being brought to your house within 24 hours to get help... that doesn't just happen. But to me it's one more confirmation that God is in this... and given the way things have been progressing, it makes sense.

Crazy crazy life!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Visit from friends

We have often said that we keep an open home and love visiters, last month two of our friends from Texas took us up on our standing invitation. Chris Frizzell and Billy Martin and pitched in for a week of service. They did an amazing job of using who they are to bless our community!

The first day they arrived was my night to spend at the rehab clinic, so Billy jumped right in. A little nervous about not being able to converse, Billy took a special snack to prepare for the guys upon his arrival, and immediately made friends in the process! Early the next morning we had a devotional led by Billy. He shared how his relationship with God has led him to care for the oppressed, and pointed to our responsibility for having received mercy, to be a people who extend mercy.

After speaking at rehab that morning, Billy spoke to the youth group at night. He pulled from his experience working with fingerprinting in the FBI to share how we are each uniquely created. He illustrated this through some fun FBI stories from his past, and by finger printing our kids and allowing them to see the differences. He also used this to communicate our worth as unique and valuable members in the kingdome.

After this we had two great seminars led by Chris Frizzell. His first dealt with conflict management and led to some really good discussions. My friend Zacca who manages a car parts store commented afterwords how helpful the subject was to him given his daily responsibilities.

Chris and Billy, thank you so much for coming! Granburry Church of Christ, thank you for sending them! We know we are all part of the same kingdom and the same work, but having you here in action was a wonderful tribute to how big and widespread the movement of Jesus Christ actually is.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mothers Day (to a great Buckeye mom!)

Dear Mom,
I have to admit I'm a little jealous of Scott, Danny and Carla... because I would loooooooooooooove to be able to be there to have lunch with you today! I miss being able to do that. You put on the best Sunday lunch in the western hemisphere.
Even though I can't be with you for Mothers Day, I want you to know that I love you very much and am so thankful for who you are in my life.

Thank you for your warmth and readiness to receive us kids back home any day, and for your supportiveness in our leaving to live our our dreams and callings.

Thanks for passing on a simple love for nature that has kept me enchanted with God's creation and critters.

Thank you for teaching us the simple enjoyment of life and light heartedness that makes you so fun to be around.

Thank you for the high value you have given to friendships, and quickness to take in my friends as your own.

And thank you for the love of family that comes through so clearly through your time spent with us.

I miss being with you today mom. Know that the blessing of who you are in my life is not lost on me. Thanks for giving me a life full of so many great memories with you. I love who you are and look forward to the next time we get to be together.

Happy Mothers Day!