Thursday, October 15, 2009

As it gets colder.....

Thank your lucky stars if you have a house with heat or a living space with heat. This year it got cold really fast and for some it may not be a big deal but for those with out shelter it is something that is hard to deal with. Hunger and homelessness isn't something that just happens on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and all other holidays that we collect food baskets for. Hunger and Homelessness happens every day to children, teenagers, adults, seniors, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles all around America and the World. Two years ago I participated in a 24 hour retreat with my church on the UNH campus called City Reach. We went to Boston and had a tour of Boston from someone who was Homeless. My tour guide was Larry. He was homeless for 7 years and was on his way to recovery. He showed us the door step he called home and slept on at night during his time of homelessness. It was a door step to a store that had an indent...he said it helped keep the wind out. (It really didn't) After our hour long tour Larry had tears in his eyes and pointed to a building in the distance with the light one and said- "That's where I live now. I have been off the streets for 6 months."
After he gave us the tour that night we all went inside and all of the students slept inside the church...yes, inside the church on pews and the church floor. There was only a door and a wall that separated us from the homeless. On our way into the church there were 20+ people gathered together with blankets on the steps of the church. When I went to sleep I could hear them coughing and moaning from the cold. It was a tough night.
The next day we walked around boston with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in back packs and handed them out to anyone who looked hungry. We also invited people into the Cathedral to have a warm meal and pick up some warm clothes for the winter. City Reach was a good experience and I still have the cross that symbolizes Common Cathedral. There is a church service held outside every Sunday by the fountain for the homeless. It is an experience I will never forget.

Tonight in the Exeter area the temperature is 39 degrees. It's cold out...and many Americans are sleeping outside tonight. I am thankful for many things.

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