I picked up my phone as my 7 am alarm went off. I was awake, but I didn’t want to get up, so I hit snooze and I set my alarm back down beside me. Just then, there was an obnoxious knock at my door. And it didn’t go away. I glanced at the door, which is next to my bed. I’m on the bottom bunk, so I reached over and reached for the door. I kept reaching. I fell out of bed. I sat up on my knees and reached over, opening the door. “Get up,” my discipeler told me with excitement, “we have to go downstairs for breakfast!” Now? Yes, now! But we were told nine…. Grr. I got dressed, I took my meds. Chelsea, my roommate, walked in with a very sad face. “They wouldn’t let me brush my teeth,” she said in a defeated tone. They wouldn’t let us have coffee. They wouldn’t let us bring anything but our keys and our cell phones. A sad and helpless-looking group headed down to the cafeteria.
Poverty Similation Day. We had a little oatmeal with warm water. It was gross. Just sayin. Then we got into family groups of five for a poverty game. There was a mom, a dad, an 11 year old, a 4 year old, and a 2 year old. We were given a month’s paycheck, and all of the situations that a low-income family faces in a month. My family consisted of Zack and Jenny (dad and mom), me as the 11 year old, Ariel as the 4 year old, and Noel (my discipler) as the 2 year old. Mom and Dad faught a lot. My little sisters messed around a lot and were naughty. Especially Noel. I was a responsible 11 year old who watched her sisters while Mom and Dad argued in the Social Services line. We got through about half of what we were supposed to, but I’d say that my family was pretty well off and would not have been in the hole.
The next activity included putting us in groups of 3 or 4 and were kicked out of the building for an hour. So Kyle, Chelsea, and I walked to the rescue mission and hung out on the steps outside until it was time to go back. For dinner, we had ham sandwiches. When the last group came in, we realized there was one sandwich short, so a few chipped in parts of unfinished lunch. After a game of Pond Scum, our groups of three went out on a 3-hour scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt consisted of experiences like that of what a homeless person would go through in a day, as well as just finding some people to just talk to. We ended at the St. Ben’s Soup Kitchen, where they serve meals every night for the homeless.
After the third debriefing of the night, I thought about today. We spoke with people at St. Ben’s before supper, and the man I was talking to was telling me about growing up in the south when blacks were separated from whites so distinctively. I told him that I was one who saw no difference in color and was annoyed with some of the stereotypes associated with color. Myron, the man I was talking to, told me that there weren’t many like me, but I could make a difference. a storWhat truth! This man, who had not much, but a faith in God, spoke such truth!
I have fallen in love with these people over the last few days. Their soul, their passion, their faith, their very selves….it is just so real, that I want to be a part of something here. So I was thinking. I would love to interact with people like this. Everyone has a story. Like Ken, who was living well getting natural gas in Texas, and after a hand-crushing accident lost everything. He told me that he is not sorry at all, and he’s had a good life. He still likes living it.
I am so excited for the rest of my summer with these people! Prayer requests include for the people we interacted with today, especially George, Myron, and Ken, who I talked with.
Smiling Always, Anna 🙂