Part 3: Homeless
When I left the country in February, I also moved out of my residence in East Nashville. Although I would only be gone for six (ish) weeks, I knew that I could not afford to pay rent, and I had no idea what I would be doing when I returned. When it was time to make a decision, it was clear that I was to move.
Fast forward to April 15.
Upon returning from South Africa, I had no job, no place to live, and little money. What I DID have, was exactly what I needed, no more and no less, at all times.
I stayed with friends. Alicia, Jonathan/Tish, Holly/TJ. There was never a night where I even had to consider not having a place to stay. Not once. For a good part of June, I dog/house sat. The timing was fantastic, and the homeowner was gracious to allow me to host several guests. This was a great joy for me, as I love being a hostess and hated the idea that friends could not stay with me for a visit. These gracious friends all opened their homes to me, and reminded me how joyous it is to live in community with one another. Not only did they allow me to stay in their homes, but generously provided for me through food or free internet, and friendship. There is never anything that I could do to repay friends for the way that they have cared for me, and I know that I don’t have to. And the recurring theme of this blog? How beautiful, the body of Christ.
Shortly after returning to the U.S. I was invited to join “Monday nights”. I was told a little about it, but didn’t realize the impact that it would have on me. It started nearly one year ago, with a group of people who had some leftover food. Instead of tossing it, they decided to put meals together and offer the food to the homeless in downtown Nashville. Starting out with six meals, it was sometimes an effort just to get folks to take the food. The small group didn’t give up, knowing that God had asked them to do this and they needed to continue. In the last year, the group has grown to more than 20 people serving 17o+ meals each week.
I will never claim to relate to the people that are daily living life on the street. I do believe that God allowed me to go through what I did to allow me a further glimpse into poverty. To continue to see people as people, not as homeless or poor or whatever other title society (read: me) gives to them. They are Theresa, John, Tonya, and Richard. I was one step away from being homeless. My education and relationships kept me from the street. This time. Poverty is isolating, my education and Facebook friend list prevent me from the deepest of poverty (whether it is financial or emotional or physical or spiritual), even in my lonliest of times.
Please watch the below video and be encouraged. You are greatly loved by a great Savior. It is an overflowing joy to share that with others, and I hope you have found a place to do so. Thank you to those of you who have invested in and cared for me. Not only did the Lord abundantly provide through you my trip to South Africa and the last few months, but He allows that care to overflow into others. I hope that you continue to find ways to serve Him and give all that you have.
Visit www.peoplelovingnashville.com for more information about caring for Nashville’s Homeless.
All praise and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.