If Riley ever decides to open a meat service, then he'll have to do it somewhere other than Butte.
I was walking back to work today from school, and in a little dug-out for a doorway next to Bagels on Broadway there was a girl who looked homeless. She was pretty young for a homeless girl, probably around 23 at the most. She had dreads and a knit hat on her head, and the general unkempt look of someone on the street. Anyway, she had this little harp, and some music sheets sitting on the ground. She had made a cardboard sign that said, "need smiles" that was standing up in front of where she was sitting. I wasn't sure if it was a statement or question. I usually feel a mixed set of emotions when I encounter homeless people, from sorrow and pity to annoyance, though God has made me better about the latter. There are all different kinds of people who are homeless. With her though, God really touched my heart. At first I walked by, then I turned around and went back. When I stopped, I asked her if she would like a cup of coffee or something. I was thinking I would give her a couple of bucks to go buy one, but it ended up sounding more like I was asking her to coffee, which I guess was okay, but not what I planned. Right after I asked her, I noticed she had been crying and still had tears in her eyes, which were a pretty sea green color. I asked her if she could use a few dollars, and she said kindly, "that would help." So I pulled out a few dollars that were folded up in my pocket and gave it to her.
I walked away, and across the street, but she was still heavy on my heart and mind. It just really broke my heart to see her there, so I stopped at a picnic table in front of the courthouse, and started to pray for her with tears in my eyes. Then I thought that God wanted me to give me her the lunch I just bought at Sawaddee, but I'm never really sure about those things. So I walked back to her, and got an XA card ready, and stuck my month-old RAOK card in the napkin. When I got to her, she had been crying more. I told her that I was just praying, and that I thought God wanted me to give her my lunch. She said politely that she didn't want it, so I offered it again. She said that was really nice of me, but she was fasting, and also that she was just having a really bad day. I had given her the XA card already, and told her a little about us. I said she should check it out if she was interested, and that we were just over on campus. I wanted to help her so much in some way, but I just didn't know what I could do. So I left after that, and came back up to my office.
I chatted with Shannon a little about it. I just couldn't stop thinking about her crying on street. After I finished chatting, I had an idea, but I wasn't sure about it. Maybe a flower would cheer her up a bit. I left the courthouse, and noticed she was still in the little nook, so I ran down to Safeway and bought a peach colored rose. I got a little card there too, and just wrote on it, "I really hope your day gets better." I had been thinking that if she was still there when I got back that I would call my friend Jess and tell her there was someone who could use a girl to talk to. I just didn't feel like she would really want to talk deeply with some strange guy, so I hadn't asked her much. Then I ran back to where she had been sitting, but she was gone now. So I thought maybe it wasn't meant for me to give her the flower, but I went into Bagels on Broadway and used a pen to write on the envelope, "to the girl with the harp." I set it and the flower in the little nook where she had been sitting, and prayed that it would make it to her somehow.
I got back to the office and prayed that I had mistakenly given her the fold of money with the five in it rather than the three ones. I looked in my pocket and I had.
I still can't stop thinking about her sitting there softly crying, please pray for her.
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, ...
8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
They are full of stories about the way God has used them to minister to the people in Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland.
First let me give you a little background information. I am involved with a college campus ministry called Chi Alpha (XA for short) at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. You can find out more here. I play guitar in the worship band on Thursday nights, and help out in what ever ways I can. I believe that this is where God has called me to minister for the time being.
Yesterday, at about 4 a.m., the team of seven left for Slovakia. I wasn't able to go, and I didn't really feel called to go either. However, I did feel a call to support those who were going, and so I did. I helped out with the garage sales by donating old stuff and time. At the first garage sale, Shannon (my wife) and I donated a couple truck loads of old stuff we didn't want or need, nothing special at all. From this about $380 was raised for the Slovakia team! Each person needed to raise over $2,000, and God has provided. They are off on the three week trip now, and in my prayers. You can pray for them too!