Thursday, December 21, 2006

Return to Cass Park

The blog posts of Josh and Kara Graves have really touched my heart. Considering the undue influence of commericalism, especially at Christmas, it is refreshing and convicting to hear of others who see the mission of mercy to the lost and the least as viable. I'm reminded of Jesus's own words: "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25.40)."

Following the death of Professor Jack (you can read his story here and here), the Graves' returned to Cass Park to continue helping the homeless, connecting and sharing. Here is Kara's recap of their return to Cass Park.

Today, our group headed to Cass Park again. We are now going to be going every third Sunday of each month because it is so meaningful to all of us that go.

I first want to thank everyone who has been so supportive this time, giving of your time making soup, buying long underwear, and donating money. I was overwhelmed by all of the donations and help we received!We headed down to Cass Park with my trunk and Josh's trunk full of long underwear, my backseat stocked with about 70 dozen chocolate chip cookies (in Jack's memory, he had asked for us to bring some because they were his favorite), and others carried the hotdogs, soup, chapstick, grills, bread, pop, and fruit! Stephanie came up with the amazing idea to have pre-stamped envelopes with paper and pens so that they could write letters to family.

I wish I could have pictures for you but I don't, for one, the pictures in my head are too beautiful that a real one would never do, and we have worked hard to be friends and be relationships for the people there, not tourists with their cameras who want to do their good deed.

We arrived around 2, the long johns were all gone at 2:15 (I bought almost $500 worth of long underwear plus all the donations to give you an idea of the need and the amount of people there). We fed everyone until around 4:30 when we left.

Let me tell you about someone we were able to spend time with. Francis has become a special person to us, we have been keeping in touch with him for a couple months now and he was the one that called us when Jack died. Francis pays for a bus ride back and forth to his job at Somerset mall cleaning (for those of you not in Michigan, Somerset is a very ritzy mall where I can't afford much at all). Think of how hard that would be, working at Somerset and then riding a bus back to a shelter in Cass Corridor, I can't even imagine. He is from Jamaica and the most beautiful person I think I know, he has a smile that will melt you to pieces. Francis is trying so hard to get back on his feet after being in a car accident that caused him to become homeless for the past 6 months.

We will be having dinner with Francis on Tuesday, I hope to have a picture of us with him to show you. Pray for all of us this week as Josh is trying so hard to get him into a better living situation closer to where he works, it might mean that Francis comes and lives with us for a couple weeks which is totally fine with me, I would love it! Josh and I were talking on the way home and it broke our hearts to think that on Christmas he will be in that shelter alone so we are going to ask him to join us, I know he would love nothing more than to be able to play games and watch a movie with people that want to be near him.

I feel as if I have found my place working with the homeless in Detroit, I come alive when I get to help them and find little things to do for them. This week was so much fun buying long underwear and baking until 2 in the morning knowing how happy they would be to see us.