Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

What a privilege it is!

Since becoming involved in ministry to the good people of the streets of Kensington, I've had the occasional privilege of taking someone to a detox center or hospital for treatment.  Yesterday, February 2, 2018, was my first road trip to a place well away from the influences and temptations of Kensington.[1]
I left home around 8:00am and drove to Anna's house north of Philadelphia.  We then drove in her car to Episcopal Hospital where we were expecting to meet a woman who had recently decided that the time had come for her to detox, rehab and get on with her new life.  For reasons that only she knows, she decided not to go at this time.  As a sign of respect, we don't try to convince her otherwise.  We made sure that she knew that when she's ready, we will do what we can to walk with her during that first step of reclaiming life - and beyond of course.
At about the time that we were learning that the woman would not be joining us, the man who we had also arranged to take contacted us with a request that gave us insight into his character and the depth of his determination to succeed in this process.  To get from the house where he had stayed that night, to where we had arranged to meet him, this young man would have had to walk right through the neighborhoods of his drug dealers and his drug use.  His determination to find healing through detox and relearning life was stronger than his desire to continue to use drugs.  He did not want to risk the temptation of being close to where the bad has happened in his life.  He contacted us and requested that we pick him up close to where he had stayed that night.  We gladly did.

And so our road trip began.  We asked him how long it had been since his last injection of "medicine."  I fully expected to hear him say "Just now before I came out of the house."  That would be typical because it gives the person an approximate four hour period before dope sickness begins to set in.  His answer took Anna and me by surprise:  "Last night."  That meant that he was something like 12 hours without his medicine.  Dope sickness was settling in but he said he'd be OK. 
On our journey, the three of us talked a bit but for the most part, our young friend just wanted to stay quiet as he anticipated the events to come over these next few days and months. 

Once near our destination, Anna wanted to make her traditional stop at a certain Wawa Store.  Thanks to a variation between our GPS units, we missed that store but found an awesome little restaurant which has now replaced Wawa as a stop for something to eat on our way up.  Anna has traditionally stopped with people she takes to this organization for one good meal.[2]  The three of us ate a fantastic breakfast as this young man asked more questions about the program he would soon be entering.  Anna provided the answers and offered suggestions based on her experiences over the years.  This young man seemed to take in every word as we ate. 

We arrived and were warmly welcomed by the director.  He gave us a tour of the public areas and explained more about the program.  With our young friend's last injection having been some 15 hours in history, it was evident that he was becoming increasingly uncomfortable.  Increasing sickness and the normal stress of entering this new-to-him place was evident on his face.  Behind the scenes, other people were already working on his behalf to get a prescription for medication to reduce his physical suffering which will only increase and eventually diminish over the next few days.

Anna and I said our goodbyes and made our way back to her home.  From there, I came home to Glen Mills, arriving at about 5:00pm.  I thought about the privilege we just had of "walking with" this young man in his hour of decision, determination and action toward a new life.


Please continue to pray for Anna and me as God grows this relational ministry to and with the good people of Kensington. 

This was 202 miles of joy.

Your financial contributions make it possible to cover expenses. 

[1] For reasons of confidentiality, I cannot share with you the specifics of location.
[2] Anna does this because we arrive at our destination between meals.  I saw firsthand that all meals at this place are cooked from scratch and are great!  No institutional eating there!!!

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