May 10, 2013

An Uplift from an Unexpected Source

I was having a challenging day. There is a resurgence of drug use (tweaking) in a group of our clients. There is a certain amount of complacency in an even larger group of our clients. In fact, today, I was having a hard time finding any of our street-bound clients who were ready to work on getting anywhere.

Now... ministry is not about me feeling good about what we do. And we do celebrate tons of clients who have gotten up off the street and gone places with their lives. What's going on right now is that we have a lot of people who aren't ready to make change. Maybe it's Spring fever! But it was a hard day to get through. Clients came for food and left. "What's in it for me NOW" sort of ruled the day. Clients said “hi”, but otherwise avoided conversations about change. They were more interested this day in partying than planning. 

I came across a client I haven't seen in a while. He was viewed by man as "hopeless." He was certainly hard to manage back in the day! He was a big drug user, practiced sex as a means of entertainment, and was quite violent. His mental health challenges were huge, as well. 

Today, he was sitting on the ground waiting. I asked him how things were. "I've been sober for months. I've been taking my meds and they really help. I've gotten my social security reinstated. I'm getting ready to move into a place and figure out how to get some kind of job." Wow! That's a big contrast to the rest of my day. I shared that with him and thanked him.

He had more to say. He goes to church regularly. He loves it. And he's involved in worship, study and fellowship activities three times a week. He's not dating anyone right now, although he admits he's like to be. He still struggles with sex but he led a conversation with me about the virtues of wanting to be with one person and about taking the physical stuff slow. Awesome! That really made my day and I told him so. 

But he still had more! He has been helping another client. The second client is challenged with a severe but treatable mental health issue. The client was mistreated by "Christians" in the past and is very hot/cold on having a relationship with Jesus. But the first client is helping the second client, taking him to church, helping him to keep up with things and plan, and encouraging him to be open to mental health treatment. The first client talked in terms of his leadership skills and wanting to help others! Wow!

I'll go through all the bad days ahead in exchange for seeing street-dependent clients get up and help themselves and then start to help others who struggle in ways that they can understand first hand. It's just awesome to see! 

What a great day it is today. I better get going and find out why! Volunteer with our ministry.

"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
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