Friday, August 29, 2008


Last night was a good one in Hollywood. Some of our Biolans were back, David's mom joined us, and we had several good conversations...and pizza. :)

Oddly enough, I ended up at the same table in Donut Time as last week, once again talking to a 30-something Christian black man, doing his own thing and trying to avoid the fray. He said he knew who we were, he'd seen us around, and knew that we were Christians and what we came to do. When people say things like that, it just makes me more excited for the day when we will have our own building there. Because people recognize us for being there 2 nights per week...but if we were there every day, offering help and hope, so many more would know who we were, what we were there to do...ideally implying that they would also begin seeing Jesus on the streets and coming not only to hang out with us, but to get to know Him.

"Seth" was stuck in a bad situation, he said, homeless even though he had family nearby, but planning to move home to New Orleans in the next few weeks. He decided to join us for the bible study, and while I didn't actually talk to him after that, found out later that he had recommitted his life to Christ after the service!

Antquan was diving into our study on Romans this week, worried and asking for prayer knowing how harshly Romans 1 deals with sin, in particular sexual immortality (including homosexuality). It would have been easy for people who hadn't met us before to take it the wrong way, think we were coming just like all other Christians, to point out their sin, focus on their homosexuality, and leave it at that. But the service went very well, our visitors barely seemed to notice, and one even gave his life back to God.

On the way to the service we let everyone we passed know that we had free food and invited them to join us. 2 of those, who I assumed would not come because they barely responded (like everyone else), ended up coming. The guy took off after getting his pizza, but "Lindsey" decided to stay. Why, I'm not sure. Well, that's not true. I would venture to say the Holy Spirit...but if there was a reason that Lindsey could point out, I don't know. I just know that he was sitting on the curb in his short skirt and heels, enjoying the free pizza when I got there. I sat down in the open spot next to him and began to get to know him before the service started.

Afterward, we had small group time to get to know each other, pray and share. We heard a lot more about Lindsey at that point...he's been on the streets for almost a year, wants to get off of them after years of abuse from men, a drug addict, lives in his car, wants help, but doesn't seem to want it bad enough to actually make the change. But Lindsey isn't completely hardened yet, and in fact said that he sees himself becoming that way and doesn't want to be. That he has to be mean and act tough to handle the life out there...and as he said, "I go around looking angry and mad enough to beat someone, but inside I just want to cry." Maybe one of the most honest comments I've heard out there.

And he did cry, as we prayed with and for him, assured him that this is NOT what God has for him, and continued to fight against his feeling that while God exists, he's not sure he totally believes the bible or religion or that God answers prayers. It was clear talking to him that he doesn't fully believe that God has more for him and didn't create him for this life, as much as he'd like to believe it. And probably never has anyone encouraging him and letting him know that he is valuable and that God does care about him.

I'm finding that what can be hard is getting to the point of understanding that God cares and loves them...but they are still serving their sin and addictions and living for themselves. Until they recognize their need from him, God may be letting them succumb to their "evil deeds". And so I've been praying since that God would reveal himself to Lindsey in a new and powerful way, show him that he cares, and allow the Holy Spirit to do a great, renewing work in his life, and provide a way out of this lifestyle. Because at the end of the night, Lindsey had to leave to make money for gas to get to Palm Springs to pick up his stuff so he could come back and find a shelter to get into....

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