Last night I made it down to Waikiki for the first time in quite a few weeks.
I got there a bit late and they were already handing out pizza. I greeted Like and we chatted a bit. RK and Like just celebrated an anniversary so we chatted about their visit to a hipster Mexican resturant.
A guy came through the line and made eye contact with me and exclaimed “RK’s the man.”
I positioned myself to run into this guy again as he came through the pizza line, I figured if he spoke to me, that’s my open door to chat. I wondered actually if this was the same guy I met the very first week. It wasn’t. I asked him his name and he told me, this morning it slips my mind. Our handshake didn’t really lead to more of a conversation.
I said hello to Cindy and then RK. Bucko came over and chatted with me. Bucko did some time and when you googled his name, mugshots would come up. So RK has been helping him with SEO and getting some new positive content to the top of google when you search his name. Today’s version of Galatians 2:20 and 2 Cor 5:17.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
17″Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Check out Bucko’s video here. I love this guy. Every week he’s genuinely excited to be alive and serving Jesus.
If you can’t see this video check it out on youtube here.
Bucko told me about how he’s helping a guy out who’s been clean for a few weeks, and is letting him sleep on his floor.
I also heard this testimony through the grapevine, but last night all the pieces came together… check this out.
Bucko was walking around in near Mccully park and pointed to a homeless guy and said “Jesus thinks your amazing!”
The guy walks towards him and is notably touched, tears in his eyes, and asks something along the lines of “Why’d you say that man?”
I’m not sure what else transpired, but Bucko went home and then felt the Lord leading him back to that park to talk more with the guy. As it turns out the guy was going to kill himself that night, but hearing that Jesus thought he was amazing was enough to give him hope. He was invited to Tuesday night pizza night and got baptized.
So last night I’m chatting with Bucko and trying to explain that I actually live in Clarksville TN, and we’re just visiting Honolulu, and Bucko lights up.
“Tennessee, let me introduce you to my friend James he’s from Tennessee.”
So I meet James, he’s from Chattanooga. We chatted about my limited knowledge of Chattanooga, and some civil war history of which I really need to brush up on now that I live in the South. He talked about how before moving to Hawaii he was a homeless outreach director, and how God has a sense of humor since he’s been homeless now for the past year. He shared how he’s applying for another homeless outreach job here on Island and has submitted a bunch of the paperwork required.
James talked about how he’d learned a ton now that he’s actually experienced homelessness. I asked him what things he’d do differently now when it comes to outreach. He said he’d listen a lot more, and talk a lot less. He used to think that he could judge people and know what services they needed. And he also said the difference between a warm bottle of water, and an ice cold water is huge, that homeless people don’t see a lot of ice in their tents.
I found out later that evening that James is the guy that was going to commit suicide. And met with Jesus because someone had the boldness to say that Jesus thought He was amazing.
I’ll be honest, this week, I didn’t want to go again. But I’m always glad I did.
Homelessness is a huge and difficult problem. But writing this reminds me of Matt 18.
“12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”
What if in our judgement of societal issues, we moved towards individuals?
Is everyone down there getting back on their feet? Nope.
Will people back slide? Yup.
But if there’s one, is it worth it?
I guess that answer is up to us.
Who are you moving toward today in love?