This week we are hosting our last short-term team of the summer. Without fail, someone from each team will end up asking me the question, “So what do you do every day, you know, when we aren’t here?” It’s a great question and it is one that we are used to being asked frequently. I have come to realize that the majority of my “job” is simply being available to the people around me. I get to work in a place that puts me in the path of people who are walking through very difficult situations and I get to be the person that helps them through it. Yes, I feel inadequate. Yes, I feel under-qualified. Yet at the same time I have found that most people are craving a hug, a prayer, a gentle reminder that they are valuable and loved by God.
I thought I would give you some snapshots of what a day might hold for us here in Houston.
- Hugging and praying with a Mom whose kids have been taken by CPS and then scrambling to make sure that photographs of them are sent to her that night so she has the peace of mind to fall asleep.
- Running to Wal-Mart to buy a gift card so that a former prostitute can have the funds to purchase school supplies.
- Putting countless band aids on scraped hands and knees at Street Church and making such a big deal about it that they finally start giggling.
- Sitting in rush hour traffic to help change the tire on a van that is the sole living quarters of three adults and three children.
- Cheering up a two-year-old in our office who will be going into foster care with stuffed animals, chocolate and coloring.
- Buying adult diapers and then hand delivering them to a wheel chair bound lady in the UofH library (yes, it was fun walking through the campus carrying adult diapers).
- Sending notes of encouragement to a foster family who has had to say goodbye to a little one who had stolen their heart and become part of the family.
- Reassuring a mother that her beautiful baby boy is safe and healthy who was released from prison, yet still unable to visit her child. Reminding her that we are praying for her and that she is valued and loved.
- Delivering children special gifts on their birthdays who might otherwise go without.
- Helping an elderly homeless man read and understand legal documents that he had been given.
- Reiterating over and over again to Street Kids that God has a plan for their life – there is hope for a new beginning and a new future.
- Writing letters to inmates in the city jail – reminding them of the love of God and people who are praying on their behalf.
- Answering countless questions from teenage youth groups about how they can live missionally in their home town.
- Driving, driving, driving!
As we balance our time with the mundane and the not-so-mundane, I try and keep my eye out for the little moments to love, comfort and pray with those God has placed in my path. Now you see why it is so hard to describe our “every day” schedule. We have none! It is definitely an adventure that looks different every single day. Just when I think that I have gotten the hang of it, I am doing something I have never done before. I thank God for the sharp learning curve he has us on, for building my character and opening my eyes.
Thank you so much to our “far away family” for your encouragement and support! We wouldn’t be here without you!