After almost 4 years of hitting the streets about every Monday night, I have decided to hang the backpack up for a while.
As I reflect on the last night (this past Monday) and almost 4 years, I have come to realize that I have made friends with people that I would have never crossed paths with, it. I think back to my first nights out on the streets and coming across a man that was quiet and wouldn’t give us his name. Finally, after weeks of seeing him and showing some love, we got his name, Joshua.
I think back on all of the nights that I have spent with Drew and listening to his stories about his grand kids and his love for them. He would be able to see them about every weekend as his daughter would bring them down to see him. He would talk about the multiple church services that he went to the day before. I think back on the night that I will never forget seeing Drew in the water and having the fire department pull him out of the river and then end up in ICU at St. Joe Hospital.
Papa Smurf will never be forgotten. He was one that I will always remember with his white bushy beard and big belly. He was on the streets for so many years at an old age, and then off the streets in his own apartment.
I reflect on the times that I have had with Dan, Michael, Brad, Curtis, and many more. I will never forget these past four years and my friendships. I think about the times that I have had with Bernard and Marcus sitting in the ‘spaceship’ just talking about their walks in life and what they learned in church the day before. I will never forget the night and the smile that I saw on Bernard’s face when we were able to bring him a new pair of shoes. I will never forget all of the nights that I would stand there talking sports with Marcus as he would listen to a basketball, baseball, or football game. I would put him up against any person in sports trivia.
There are just too many memories that I can’t express in a blog post and these are just some that stand out. I know that I will come across some of these guys again in this city, but I know that I will see most of them when we come to the Gates of Heaven as I know where their hearts are. I know when I drive through the downtown streets of Fort Wayne, I will always remember all of our spots that I would see my friends that I have made over the years. It has been a blessing to be a part of their lives, but better yet, they have made me appreciate life and what I have in my life when it comes to not only material things like a house, but also the spiritual life as well as I have been challenged over the years by some on the streets.
SOS will still continue on Monday nights, but I will be taking some time off as seasons change in life. This will be my final post personally, but someone will be taking over the blog post. I think of a song Moments by Emerson Drive and I will leave you with this. I think it summarizes the last four years well.