Monday, August 29, 2016

Faces of Change

Lucy.  A beautiful pint sized woman with a huge heart. However, things were not always this way. People say that “He who loves much has been forgiven much.” I guess this can be said of Lucy. She was a drug addicted young lady set free from the terrible grip of addiction. She grabbed hold of the Master’s garment wanting healing. Life changed for her after that. She was set free from the addiction. Her heart was burdened for Camden. This is the city she grew up in.

Now a growing group of people that have the same vision as her come out every Sunday afternoon to feed, clothe and offer rehabilitation to those who want it. Lucy smiles and I hug her. She thanks everyone for coming.  I reply, “Thank you for having me.” She tells everyone the main emphasis is love.

Teams are formed and we get whisked to a street where everyone is setting up. I am assigned to the soup line with others. “Would you like some soup sir?” “Yes. Thank you.” I hand over a cup of soup to weather worn hands with a smile. Kids come up wanting the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We give them as much as they want. Kids who grow up poor usually don’t know they are poor. Parents know if they are poor. One of the boys rubs his belly looking at it. The sensation and satisfaction of a full belly. I look over to the man who is sitting after eating with the 3 little boys. His head in his hands while looking at the concrete sidewalk. “Don’t cry.” I tell myself. Is he a parent overwhelmed? As I am thinking and praying, another person comes over and chats with him offering help. 

Less than 1 hour all the soup is gone. The line disperses to find clothes at another table. Faces look familiar as I look through the group.  Each person is so different but we all have basic needs. Miracles happen every day even though we may not see or hear of them. Behind me is the reassuring uniformed cop smiling as we start to close up and leave.

The sun setting sky colors the backdrop of the skyscrapers of Philly as night quickly approaches, as I look across the Delaware River from Camden. Summer is quickly ending. I wonder where will they go?  Soon it will be colder and the winter winds will roll across the river cutting into the skin feeling like a thousand knives. We all gather together and pray. Hugging and encouraging each other as we depart.

Restless as I go home. Sleep evades me as faces of the homeless fill my mind. Faces of Change. It’s appropriately named for Lucy and her husband Will’s vision and ministry for Camden. Many people have been changed and rehabilitated in the last 3 yrs. It’s so encouraging to see the ones who were homeless, coming back to serve after they are rehabilitated. More photos are here:

In appreciation of their work, artwork bought from my Website for this year will result in a portion of the proceeds going to Faces of Change.