Jesus once said: In the witness of two or three a thing is established.
So today I was coming home from the bank having cashed a small check. I was traveling down 92nd avenue and was approaching the Light on Holgate where I spotted this young girl under this huge back pack propped by a walking stick holding a sign asking for help. She could not have been more than 18 and her legs weren’t much thicker than those street sign pipes. I noticed she was a wee bit wobbly and I heard the not so still small voice of the Holy Ghost in my ear, encouraging me to pick her up.
So I pulled over and it did not take too much convincing for her to put the pack, which must have weighed at least 70 pounds, into the truck. Then off we went to one of my favorite haunts: the Maple Leaf Restaurant. Inside and sitting at a table Karen the waitress who knows my MO brings a Large glass filled with ice and water which the girl drains. 3 times. Then comes the menus and she orders and then she decides it is safe to tell me her name. Alexis. She is 19 and from Coos Bay. She had come up with her boyfriend to look for work but he split and left her for some other girl who had money and a car and so on and so forth.
Then in walks the Portland Police— one female and two male officers. They come over to me and ask what I was doing.
“Feeding her,” I replied. “Why?”
“Then what are you going to do?”
“I am going over to Mount Scott Presbyterian Church and get her a voucher for a shower and some clean clothes. Then I am taking her over to the Ascension Catholic Church and persuade my friend Father Bob to get her some temporary shelter and a bus ticket back to Coos Bay.”
“Why do you want to do that?”
I handed him my card and he flipped it back and said we don’t buy it.
Out of the back of the Kitchen, came the voice of Francisco Chung, the owners oldest son, “Well, you better believe it. Pastor Jeff does this kind of stuff all the time.” Following that came two more voices of regular customers backing Francisco’s testimony, followed by the waitress Karen and Maggie the dish washer.
Without one word of apology the three turned and return to their cars and left.
Alexis is at Ascension, clean, with fresh clothes, in their shelter, with a full tummy and a bus ticket to home and $30 from the folks at the Maple leaf for traveling money.
One plants one waters and God gets the increase.
In your church ministry, have you ever been in a situation like this? If so, let us know in the group Our Congregation and the Poor