Sunday, May 31, 2009

theres one thing you need to know and thats that you cant count on me

My calgary community stay was way more intense then I expected, Im extremely appreciative of the uncomfortable feeling its stirred up in me, im just waiting for whats next...

It started out with a prayer outside a church, Tim and I each had a blanket it tow, I also had my journal, we slowly started walking towards princess island park, at first it just seems like any average night, there are limos because its grad season and small groups of laughing people walking around, as we get into the park, there are smaller quiter groups of people who stare as we walk by, we go down to the river to find Adrian, we greet him and then continue on our way to find a place to sleep...we dont even really know what we are looking for
"um do we want to sleep in darkness or light? under something or just on the grass?" we dont really know, we come across a small bridge with rocks and grass under, we can see everything around us but it is dark under the bridge so we are harder to see, this is a good spot, at 1:00 am when the sprinklers turn on we are especially happy about where we have chosen.

We lay down and make a joke about being like jacob because we have both selected rocks to use as head rests, the parkcade lights are our constant companions. We talk for an hour, starting to get used to the sounds of people walking around us and all the other noise the park offers. I didnt fall asleep once, for a few hours it was paranioa but around 3 i got up to just walk around and i knew i wasnt scared to be there my mind was just moving to fast. Tim woke up around 5, I still hadnt fallen asleep, we decieded to build a 12 stone alter (like Jacob again) to remember what we learned as we slept under this bridge, then we headed down to the river to hang out, we couldnt start panhandling till 8 am.

After we left, we started walking towards the core to hit up some public washrooms, we got stopped by an animated yet down Ricardo Farara, "are you homeless?" he askes us "no, we where spending a night in the park to understand what people go through and to make some friends" "why would you do that?" "we love Jesus...He loves people...we want to follow that example" i was suprized by how humbled and excited he seemed about that "you are christians? will you pray for me?" absolutely! (if you guys also think of it pray for Ricardo Farara)
we arrive near the public washrooms and the park is completely trashed, we sit down and wait, there is a custodian who walks by mumbling resentments at us about the mess he must clean...he wont unlock the bathrooms...its okay though cause we find some friends and have a prime time for breakfast.

william and shena are both on the street due to medical reason, their stories of being so mistreated by "the system" and by people really confuse and upset me. After having a morning primetime with them we head over to a busier street to see if we can panhandle breakfast, the "busy" street was actually mostly unsheltered friends, so we deciede that sitting down with a hat really wasnt going to work, so we deiceded to ask people as we walked by them...I know this could seem aggresive and silly because i could have gone home to get some food but it was something we felt we should do...
I think this is the part that really stood out to me, i have never felt so hated...i can so perfectly see the looks we got from some people...and what for? $2.35 enough for us to each get a ice tea for breakfast.
William gave us each a orange with a smile...he has nothing...he is also hated by people, people like me who have anything...yet he gave so freely...

Im still kind of processing what went on...i am a little overwhelmed but im ready to move to go to do...i have a idea for my first plan of action, which i will blog about in the future.

I also have plans to stay in the drop in center...we will see what that does...

I just want to feel like feel like im really trying like i really put my life on the line for something that matters, just like my best friend did.
doing stuff that involves this and hanging out with "youth" that are around me seems so much more important then getting a job...i just dont know what to do...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

can you see me through the glare of the lamp post?

"True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding out the true path and fearlessly following it" - Gandhi

This Blog is going to be all about Fridays adventure/ community stay.
It is my mission along with my friend tim to spend a night on the streets of Calgary, this is something i have wanted to do for a long time and tim and i are both at a place where we feel ready to do it...this is just going to be the start! my objective is to learn some empathy and to understand more of street culture in calgary, and to make some more unsheltered friends.

wesnesday may 25:

Had an extremely lovely experiance with tim this morning, we where scoting out places tosleep for friday and as we where walking we came across one of Tim's unsheltered friends, Adrian.
we sat down with him and he said business was rough (he was panhandling) so we took him down to the Mcdonalds and we had lunch and as we did a number of things struck me:
first of all how he said this was the first time in a month that someone has talked to him for five minutes, how painfully slow he ate his food, how he is super okay with being on the streets because he thinkis its his karma for things that have happened in the past and how the only thing that scares him about street life is the spiders.

Tips from Adrian for staying on the street:
-station yourself near a washroom, resturants are good gas stations are not.
-stay out of site of by law officers
- dont hang out in a place where there are lots of bottles and garabage, that is mosty likely where drinking and other activites go on.

thursday 27 may :

we went down to the river to wash our feet, from where the park is to where the river is you have to walk through a bunch of bush, and as we did we saw a little shelter made out of plastic tarp and there was someone inside, and i immediatly thought of adrian and when we walked past i called his name just to see if it was him and it totally was!
hows that for random? or totally unrandom? Im begining to wonder if God is planning all the path crossing with him....

Friday 28 may:
I am getting so excited! last time i talked to Tim he was a little nervous but that is to be expected, I researched bylaws today...turns out panhandling is not illegal, which is good because tim and I wont leave on saturday till we panhandle enough money to get a meal.

I called the mustard seed today to get the status on the resume i put in, if they get the go ahead from the people above them they will call tomorrow or monday for a interview, i really really want this to work out, i dont want my time is calgary to be wasted just making money, i want to make to be involved in whats going on here as well...i have to keep reminding myselt that God will bring things around, i just feel very directionless in this moment

Prayers for friday and for everything will always be appreciated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

the lesson of my life

Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. As busy, active, relevant ministers, we want to earn our bread by making a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer. Those who can sit in silence with their fellowman, not knowing what to say but knowing that they should be there, can bring new life in a dying heart. Those who are not afraid to hold a hand in gratitude, to shed tears in grief and to let a sigh of distress arise straight from the heart can break through paralyzing boundaries and witness the birth of a new fellowship, the fellowship of the broken.

I dont even know how to start this blog, I'm really excited about stuff, still rather be in africa, but stuff is starting to come together here...I refocused, my life is not about africa, my life is about loving people where I am at, africa holds a huge part of my heart and will always feel like home, but right now I need to remember to love people where I am at.

Tim and I are spending next weekend on the streets in downtown calgary, Im excited to makes some friends and put some faces of poverty in calgary

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

waiting for my favorite song

Since being home I seem to feel other people's pain way more then before, I am often holding back my tears and shaking over very simple things. (or...bursting into tears and sobbing but thats usually when Im alone)

So other then that bit of depression, I am stoked about SAS (servants anom society) the commitment is big, alot of responsiablity and almost seems like it needs a different person as well, but it would start into the heavy stuff till august so im going to try my best and if it doesnt work i will put the brakes on well before that...I'll just go and love people as best as I can.

Reality is a fine wine...not enjoyed by children, Im really trying to be mature and see this time period as something that will grow me cause it will and it wont only grow me as a person it will help me and Jesus get even tighter...Im learning to lament