I posted a blog last Friday 5/10/2013 entitled: Yesterday, An Astonishing Day…5/9/2013…
I promised to detail it so here we go…..
On Thursday morning at 5:00am, 5/9/2013 the horrible week had climaxed on me…
I had been trying to raise funds to help some specific people in need….
I was furious, saddened and sick to my stomach…literally…
For the first time….I had to let the jail social worker here in Clearwater FL know that we, STA would not be able to assist an inmate of theirs being released on 5/9/2013. I let her know the day before. We simply did not have the funds or the gasoline to help in the way we do so, which in this case would have been over a 5 day period. It would have taken extensive gasoline and other funds.
Next, even worse I had to make a call to the inmates wife the night before he was to be released to tell her we would not be able to assist like we had thought we would. I asked her to keep in touch though, just in case.
My blood was boiling….
I cried, i fell apart, i felt like a piece of crap, a loser, i hated myself, what i am and who i am.
Yep, I was angry with God and His Son Jesus…..Directly.
I have been on their team for roughly 28 years, they know me well.
Normally when I “Meet & Greet” an inmate as they are released from jail i am up at about 3:00-3:30am to be to the jail by 4:30am.
Thursday 5/9/2013….3:00am came and went…5:00am came and went…
I was even more mad….discouraged……heavy in heart….
I made a decision that morning to “Throw in the Towel” on Straight Ahead Outreach. I don’t even make a wage doing this work i thought, why am i putting myself through it. I thought if Jesus doesn’t want to help or doesn’t want me to help Him anymore, then so be it.
So on Thursday, 5/9/2013, I sat down at my computer like i am now and began to write a couple blogs about the situations. I was not happy.
While i was writing my blog about the inmate we could not help, i received a call from an elderly disabled man about to be evicted and put out on the street. He was asking for rent assistance. He pleaded.
I told him we were not able to help and offered some suggestions for him of other places to call which is not my norm to do.
It was almost noon and i was done blogging my rants.
I was just about to do my “Last Blog”….I was just about to start typing a blog stating that Straight Ahead Outreach (STA) was putting all services on hold indefinitely or until we could secure proper funding.
Then it happened….
Jesus knew I was serious this time….He knew i was tired….
We have a very tight, intimate working relationship….
Sometimes with this heavy work, satan/Lucifer gets in there and tries to destroy….well almost daily actually…..it’s a constant battle….
Sometimes, like 5/9/2013, Jesus gets in the middle and runs interference for us…we all need Him to do that and must trust Him to do that….A Multiple Repeated Lesson.
So just as i was about to write that “last blog” I get a phone call…
It was a friend of the family of the inmate we were to assist calling from Knoxville TN. It was noon. She told me she had bought him the needed GreyHound Bus Ticket and it was waiting at the Clearwater FL terminal for him. He had to be there by 2pm, 3pm at the latest.
The thing is, since i didn’t meet the inmate at jail that morning no one knew where he was. We knew where he was supposed to be but i knew he would not be there, at the local shelter near the jail. The point was he was going to have to stay at that shelter for the next 5 days until he could get assistance with a ticket from a local organization.
I had 2-2.5 hours to find him and get him on that bus.
NOW WE COULD HELP!!!! Now all i had to do was drive about 50-60 miles to try and find him.
I left within minutes, (Mobile Crisis Mode) I went to the local shelter where he was had supposed to check in upon release from jail. Never did.
My head was racing as i know how long it takes to drive where i had to go in order to look for him…..Downtown St. Petersburg FL from Clearwater. About 20 miles one way.
As i was standing in the shelter a young man needed a ride the opposite direction i was going so he could go spend some time at the library. I told him to give me 10 minutes and when i was done i would take him.
We still didn’t have a full tank of gas, but i had my wife and mine last $30 personal dollars in my pocket and i thought well, we will find a way.
SUCCESS #2 that we were allowed to help on 5/9/2013….
I had advised the inmates wife to have him call me if she heard from him just in case there was anything we could do or if anything turned up.
As i dropped the other young man from the shelter off at the library in Clearwater….my phone rang…..
IT WAS THE INMATE!! YOUZA!!
I said ….MAN WHERE ARE YOU?
He was right where i thought he would be…at Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg….not a good place for him to be.
Fortunately a good lady from St. Vincent DePaul had seen him and was with him. That made me feel better. She let him use her phone.
So i headed to St. Pete to pick him up and get him back to the greyhound bus depot in Clearwater, FL. I picked him up about 1:30pm. I needed to try and have him there by 2:30pm to be very safe. So we bolted back to Clearwater, stopped at our storage facility and got him a suitcase since he had his belongings in a clear bag from jail and got him to the bus depot at 2:20pm. One hour early……WHEW!!!
I kept in contact with the family the whole time and everything went without a hitch…..thats Jesus working by the way.
The inmate —former inmate was now on a bus headed for Knoxville TN to re-unite with his family and go back to work at his construction job.
THEN CAME THE BIG ONE!
The guy who is elderly and disabled??? Being evicted???
Wellll, a long time personal friend of mine from Minnesota had seen the blogs i guess and as i was racing around looking for and getting the inmate to the bus station i get an email from this friend.
The friend asked how much was owed on the mans rent?
I emailed the amount back needed back to my friend…..
My friend stated they would take care of it.
I about PASSED OUT!
Talk about an answer to prayers…in my case an argument with Jesus.
The next thing i knew this friend of mine donated $750 to STA in order to help with this situation.
Today, 5/13/2013 we met with the landlord, paid off the mans rent and prevented him from being evicted.
We COULD NOT have done it without the help from my friend in Minnesota.
Helping #3 on this day 5/9/2013 in big ways.
I was overwhelmed….I still am.
The last time i was this overwhelmed was last year when we were in this exact same position when our Mobile Crisis Outreach vans transmission had gone out on us and another friend from Minnesota donated approx $1300 to fix it.
STA on 5/9/2013 had an Astonishing Day.
Helped 3 when we had turned them down.
Doing What Ever It takes, Doing it Simply, Simply Doing It.
Thank You’s belong to Jesus and those who listened to His Call to Help.
Thank You Minnesota, Thank You Knoxville TN.(PayPal Secure & Tax Deductible)