Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's amazing in this type of ministry how the smallest thing can be such a huge encouragement. This past Thursday was...well, just kind of blah for me. I didn't feel like I had any productive conversations, didn't feel like the bible study had any major impact, and it was one of those days that I left feeling discouraged and useless.

Then today sitting at work, I got a call on my cell phone from a number in the LA area that I didn't recognize. I ignored it, as I usually do with numbers I don't know. But then they called back about 10 minutes later. Knowing there was a minor chance it could be someone from Hollywood, I answered. I couldn't have been more shocked to hear, "Hey Holly, I don't know if you remember me, but this is "Andy"...from Hollywood?..." I met him two weeks ago and wrote about him on this blog. He had been out on the streets for 2 days when I met him.

I can't even remember how many times I've given my number to people in Hollywood, told them to call if they needed anything or just wanted to talk...and never heard from them. Especially 2 weeks after the fact. I haven't seen him since, and two weeks later he called to check in. I'm still in shock. He wanted to let me know that he'd gotten into a shelter and wanted to say hi.

Two things stood out after we got done with a brief conversation. One was that our conversation must have actually had some impact. To remember me 2 weeks later, and actually to have kept my phone number and name and not lost it, and then to actually call me must mean that something stuck out to him about our talk. People rarely call even when we have deep conversations...and yet he called after about an hour conversation. Did God actually do something in that time? Crazy! Of course I like to think and believe that God is at work in those moments, but so often am truly in doubt because I never see anything come out of them.

The other thing that stood out, but on a much more somber note, was that he's staying at the gay and lesbian center. And if I remember right, I think someone else we know is staying there now as well. This also happens to be a place that several teens go to finish their GED, find housing, gets AIDS tests and find other kinds of help. It's a place they know will help them, and where they know they'll be accepted. It's a helpful place to this community, and it always breaks my heart that the secular world, and a place that embodies things we as Christians stand against, are the ones actually providing service to people and giving them a place to go. Shouldn't Christians be the first ones down there, providing for the needs in the community and being known as a safe haven and refuge for these types of people? A place that they can depend on for assistance, relationship, and acceptance? Why do we so often avoid this community, while the gay and lesbian culture provides a stronger light and hope than we do?

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