Monday, August 31, 2009

Broken Hearts is not a large ministry or complicated non-profit operation, but even for us, being able to simplify and go about things in a more casual, informal manner can be very refreshing.

A few weeks ago we began praying for an hour before we head out to the streets at Antquan's apartment, now that he lives there. Most of our team typically comes, but this week it was just 3 of us. So we shared some prayer requests with each other, talked to Krista who called us from Hong Kong, and then talked some more about things going on in life. By the time we'd finished sharing, we only had a few minutes left to pray. And while that was unfortunate, it was really nice to have that time to catch up with each other and share some of what had been on our minds lately.

Then we headed out to the streets together, where three others met us. Since there were few of us and not too many people out on the street, we decided to go old school and not hold bible study with pizza, but to just hang out and talk with our friends. And if they wanted bible study, then we'd pick up some donuts and do something in a small group fashion. When we got to the donut shop across the street, our friends 'K' and 'J' were there, who we hadn't seen in a while. 'K' didn't look too great, and she told me she'd just gotten out of jail. Apparently her boyfriend 'J' had been in as well. We also saw Brendan, who had let us take him to Victory Outreach a few weeks prior, but left shortly after. Some of the other young guys we've been seeing a lot of lately were there as well. Though conversation with some of them has been hard to come by, the relational introvert in me likes seeing the same people each week and not feeling like I have to meet new people every week.

Before I could get into much of a conversation with Brendan or K, my friend Jake showed up, who I've written about several times. Since he left rehab, most of our conversations have been him saying hi and then leaving before we can really say anything. Most likely because he's high when we see him and either feels ashamed or just doesn't want to hear what we have to say.

This time, he approached us and was ready to chat. One of my first impressions was that he looked good - pulled together, clean, sober...

We spent the rest of the evening with him, hearing that he was staying at a local shelter, doing outpatient rehab and AA meetings, and (except for one slip up) had been clean for 5 days. That particular night he'd gotten into an argument with one of the girls on staff and hadn't wanted to stay there that night, so he was out on the boulevard. The temptations he might face there worried me, but he hung out with us the whole night and was anxious for bible study (although we didn't have one but just hung out as he got to know some of the Biola students who had returned.

The others met a few people at Magee's Donuts and we fellowshiped in there over some donuts. Jake agreed to join me at Hollywood Church the following week and expressed interest in joining the guys' bible study that Jorge is leading.

The following evening I went out with one of the RockHarbor 'GO trips' where we once again had a laid back night on a fairly quiet street. Before I went out I prayed that I wouldn't see Jake (because that would mean he once again wasn't at the shelter for the night) and that we'd see K and J again. I'd been thinking about her more and wanted to get the chance to talk.

And lo and behold, as soon as we hit the donut shop I saw J and he told me where K was. After a few minutes of talking with him, we headed to find K at the liquor store. She was trying to buy alcohol but frustrated that the owner wouldn't sell to her since she is only 20. She was a little distracted by her mission when she saw us, but she ended up wanting to hang out and when I introduced her to one of the guys out from RH, she told him, "this is my church sister" as she put her arm around me and took off down the street. We ended up back at the donut shop, and sat there for about 30 minutes. K had her arm around me the whole time as we caught up and talked about why the two of them are back out getting into trouble, when the previous night she'd asked us to pray for her that she'd stay out of trouble. J is a bit harder to talk to, but he shared a bit with me here and there as I asked...you know, in between making drug sales as we sat there....

I also invited them to Hollywood Church, and they seemed to express some interest. Hopefully I will see them again next week and be able to suggest a time and place to meet and get them to come.

The rest of the evening we chatted with a guy in Magee's donuts about his life and things he'd seen and experienced in LA. Luckily, this was a chance for the RockHarbor folks to join in more on the conversation since K hadn't been very interested in getting to know them and they hadn't been able to participate in conversation.

Please pray for Jake, K, and J and the spirit's work in their lives.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

The goal of any outpatient rehab center is to treat the addict for their addiction problem. That doesn’t mean all outpatient rehab centers are the same. With different practices and different people you will find each facility has a slightly different approach when treating an addict.