Guest blogging today is my friend, Niki Nowell, of Sevens Ministry. To read more about the blanket drive, please click here. I’ve asked her to share some of her stories about the teens they’ve ministered to on the street. All names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of those they help.
The wind was blowing through my jacket and I huddled closer to my husband as we stood there watching the sun sink in the distance. We were at one of our Thursday night meals for our friends that live on the streets. Our kids were playing with the kids that happened to be at the park with their parents for “The feeding.” December was a few short days away and we were in for some record low temperatures. Since beginning our work with streetkids, cold nights took on a whole new meaning to me. I thought of the places our friends on the streets had to choose from to get out of the cold. Some of them didn’t have many choices and were just bracing themselves the best they could. Tunnels, under bridges, in bushes, in rundown empty warehouses, and tents set up where they could find a place to hide them. Some of our friends would just wander the streets during the night and find a place to sleep in the sun during the day. Some would collect spare change from people downtown and put their money together for a one night stay at a run-down hotel on Colfax. All of them, just trying to survive another day.
As we were keeping one eye on our kids and chatting with a couple of our street friends, another one of our streetkids brought a new kid up and introduced us.
“His name’s Ricky and he doesn’t have anything man” said our friend. “Could you give him money for a hotel or something?”
“We’re not able to do that, but he can check with…” the conversation lasted less than five minutes. Ricky was high and there was no way he was going to get money from an agency to stay anywhere. He was about to spend his first night on the streets and boy was it cold out. My heart sunk as I reminded myself why we had our policy to never bring home streetkids for the night. I went to the van to see what we had that might help Ricky stay warm. I remembered that we keep an Indian blanket in the back for emergencies. Thankfully we had two in there. As I handed them to my husband, our eyes met and he said, “I know.” He knew I was worried about Ricky and feeling a little helpless as to how to fix his problems.
That’s me, always wanting to fix things. It’s hard when I can’t. Even though I couldn’t fix Ricky’s situation for him, I could do something. Two blankets, hot food, friendship, and maybe some hope. I knew God had us right where he wanted us, providing two blankets for a scared kid. Maybe next time we’ll get to talk more, hear his story, and eventually share the greatest story ever written. Two blankets=an opportunity to live out loving our neighbor. That reminds me, I should go check the van and make sure I have a few blankets in there.
Father- we pray tonight for the hurting teens like Ricky, who are on the streets for the first time. Provide them with a safe place to spend the night and surround them with your angels. We pray that they would have an unquenchable need to discover your freedom and love.
Father, open the hearts of those who have become hardened or insensitive to the needs of the homeless in their area. We pray for an outpouring of your Holy Spirit to fall upon them so they can experience the blessings you have for them through giving.
Thank you for Nowell Family and the faith you have given them to step into this calling. We pray for abundance in their ministry both spiritually and financially. Move on the hearts of the hurting souls they help, and the hearts of those who have the financial ability to contribute blankets and other donations.
In Jesus precious name, Amen
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ – Matthew 25: 34-36 (NIV)