“That Was the Week that Was.” This was the title of an old BBC show in the 60’s. As I sit here the phrase comes back to me as I reflect back on my week. Often people ask me what a typical week at Street Hope looks like and I usual answer that there are no typical weeks. This week typifies that!
Last Friday we welcomed a great group of people from Penfield who brought and served 80+ people a homemade dinner. I was able to sit and chat with our guests and never even had to wash a dish. At the end of the evening the folks who had travelled in to serve, thanked me profusely for the opportunity to serve!
Sunday I got to ‘shill’ for our electric blanket project. I offered folks the opportunity to sponsor a blanket for $45. These will be given to our guests at our Christmas morning breakfast. The response has been most encouraging and a few of us will be going Tuesday to pick up 100 blankets, in faith that we will have enough sponsors.
Sunday night at Up Town we enjoyed music both live and on CDs and the prayer time was particularly wonderfully as folks cried out in utter honesty for God’s help in some very trying circumstances. Our study of Luke continued with a look at the “Widow’s mite” and Jesus’ call to surrender all we are and have in order to receive all He has. The response was humbling.
Monday we continued our study in Genesis. We discovered how much like an addict Esau was. He traded all that was precious for instant gratification and the consequences to him were huge. One of our long-time friends interrupted to confess that he had had “a slip” a few weeks ago and that he had been burning up with guilt ever since. Through this study he had been convicted that he must confess. His confession was met with both compassion and truth. It was great to see our little ‘body’ at work in this man’s life.
Monday afternoon I went to meet with a fellow who was very angry, partly at me. The afternoon meeting was hardly successful in resolving things but that evening my friend called and asked to come see me. We were able to talk through our differences but more importantly he has begun his journey back to God.
Tuesday evening I take part in an effort to ‘evangelize’ the AA community. For years I have run Christian 12 Step groups, with very limited attendance, so the idea of influencing existing large groups rather than banging my head against a wall, seemed worth trying. My pal Kris teaches what the original AA program was and what “The Big Book” really says. Each week we are seeing eyes opened to the original concept that this is a spiritual problem with a spiritual solution and that the answer lies in “firing the old manager (self) and hiring a new manager (God).” This is quite exciting to witness.
Wednesday evening our “Mending the Net” circle met with one of my long-time friends to investigate how we might be used to help him move towards his life goals. This was our first foray into this. We are now discerning if my friend really needs that much more support or if we might seek out another core member for our circle. Things are in need of clarification but as I often say, “It is easier to steer a moving car than a parked one!”
Thursday I travelled to Truro Nova Scotia with a contingent from Saint John including our MLA and a city councillor. We are looking at how best to develop a Social Enterprise which would provide 2nd chance employment to our friends and generate income for our ministry. We were meeting with leaders of a Social Enterprise which has been successfully operating for the past 40 years. It was great to meet with practitioners! I learned a great deal and hope that we can project further along in the near future.
Well that was the week that was! Typically it was different from any other week I have experienced. Welcome to the world of Street Hope Saint John.