Friday, August 21, 2009

Last night in Hollywood was a pretty eventful evening. To start, it was Krista's last night for a year, because she is moving to Hong Kong to teach for the next 11 months. It's a sad loss to Broken Hearts, as Krista was one of the very first people in Broken Hearts and begin ministry in this new territory. She's been faithful in coming for the last five years, rarely missing a night.

We started out in Del Taco, where she could say good-bye to our security guard friend. Also inside were 'Frank' and Naomi, people that we see almost every week. Last week when I'd talked to him, he told me they broke up (which was a very good thing). This time they were sitting together looking like they were having a serious conversation. When we went over to talk to them, we found out they'd been fighting (physically and verbally), because Frank had blood on his shirt. In case I haven't mentioned before, Frank is a straight guy, who has strong feelings for Naomi, a transsexual, even though he normally dates females only. I guess the fights are a little different when both people are actually guys and capable of fist fighting each other.

As I talked more with Frank (who looked horrible), I found out his appearance was partially due to smoking crystal meth over the past 4 days to stay awake at night so he could watch out for Naomi and be around him. Frank deals, but doesn't normally smoke anything beside weed. Which really worried me because he's one of the few people who isn't completely messed up by drugs already and has a good head on his shoulders. And one who comes to bible study every week, knows God, and seems to be taking steps forward in getting closer to God. So, as usual, we talked about the need for him to get out of Hollywood and to stop coming and getting in trouble. He said he was going to stop smoking meth, because he hated how he felt, so please pray that he stops before he's addicted.

He and several others came with us to bible study - 2 girls and 2 guys with them, all very friendly and showed more interest in us and our bible study than I'm used to. After the bible study I had time to get to know the girls better and it seems that they both know God, but are struggling in some areas. One was very quiet, but the other shared a lot about her life, her 6 kids, her desire to go back to school and do something better with her life (she'd prostituted in the past and I have a feeling wasn't just out there to hang out). We all prayed together at the end, and both of them actually prayed for each other and me, which rarely happens. People at the bible study are often too uncomfortable or intimidated to pray, so it was a good experience to all lift each other up.

'Ravi' and Bryan also came out, as they do every week. Gary, an older gentleman we met a few weeks ago showed up as well and told me afterwards that he makes a point, no matter how far he is, to come every Thursday and Friday because he wants to be around Christians more and he needs more of our 'magic' (which I'd say was a way of referring to the light and joy of the holy spirit). He expressed how he wishes he could be around Christians all week because he's wrapped up in so much bad stuff all week. He said he tells everyone that I saved him - or something like that - because I was the first one who met him and invited him to bible study. Since then i haven't talked to him too much, but he's gotten to know other people on our team as well.

After that I also saw Jose, who has been gone for 6 months. He's one of the first people I ever met in Hollywood, so it was awesome to see him again. But I didn't have too much time to talk with him, except to find out he'd just gotten back from vacation in New York and has a place to stay and a job. Then, I saw 'Alex', who I've written about many times. We didn't have much time to catch up either, and though it was good to see one of my favorite people, it's always frustrating to see him back out prostituting.

Overall, a lot of conversations and a lot of old, familiar faces. And the more time I spend with these people and get to know them, the more I just want to be living in Hollywood and investing more time and energy into their lives as they pursue hope and purpose and something better. We're there to show them what that something better is, and they know...but the more time we can spend in their daily lives, I hope that they will see God more and more and when they're finally ready to turn to him, we'll be there to walk with them.

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