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.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Sunday, January 20, 2019
- This past Friday, a group of probably 30 Puerto-Rican teenagers and a few African American teenagers who are in the youth ministry of Urban Hope Church along with their accompanying adults of the same heritages along with two other women, one other man and myself prepared hot dinners for the addicted and homeless people of Emerald City.
- While I've not done an official racial nor gender census, the men of Emerald City are more black than white and more white than Hispanic. The women are, by far, more white than Hispanic and almost absent of black. Women outnumber men.
- While not a racial aspect of this picture that I'm trying to paint in your mind's eye, here's another point to consider: Most of the people of Emerald City are from the suburbs around Philadelphia or points far beyond our specific area.
- I witnessed a bunch of inner city mostly Puerto-Rican teenagers serving dinner to, talking to, and praying with a bunch of mostly suburban white women who, in some cases, were old enough to be their Moms.
- I witnessed this total group of teens of Puerto-Rican and African American descents interacting in the Name of Jesus with all of the residents of Emerald City without consideration of that resident's heritage nor their condition of addiction.
- I witnessed amazing adult leadership, on this night all of Puerto-Rican descent, from within Urban Hope to guide these young people, these 7th to 12th graders, in this time of ministry.
- When they first got out of Urban Hope's van, the first teens to exit would have heard "Kids on the block." announced by the first Emerald City resident to see these teens. This announcement is automatically passed down the 150 feet or so that make up the community under this Conrail overpass. Whenever this announcement is made, all drug activity stops and items related to drug use are quickly tucked away, out of sight of the visiting teens.
- Upon receipt of the dinners, conversations, and prayers, these men and women who have the disease of Substance Abuse Disorder, clearly demonstrated their appreciation in the same ways that any other human being would do so.
- In one case of appreciation, a big brawny black man with long flowing dreadlocks came up to me and said "Hey Banana Man, your ears are red from the cold. Here's a hat for you." He gave me a knit hat and then started giving members of our team hats and scarves from his own supply!
Sunday, January 13, 2019
the Christian woman who always had a Bible opened on a prayer table next to her mattress. She died of pneumonia two weeks after she told me she needed to find a home for her kitten so that she could focus on putting her life back together. The kitten is now full grown and has lived with me since that day.
the tears shed by women and men as they tell me of burnt bridges with family members who they still love. I think of the messages I've passed back and forth between Emerald City residents and family members when direct communication has been far too painful and yet very much wanted and cried for to return.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
In the Absence of Dignity and Respect for People on Medicaid and Dealing with Substance Use Disorder, the "Cure" for Dope Sickness is $5.00 and a few blocks away.
Click here to Visit the website for Bracebridge.
Friday, January 4, 2019