Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A phone call.

Yesterday afternoon, our family went to watch Darius play a basketball game across town. During the game, a boy from the freshmen team sat down next to Trey. He seemed downcast and when Trey asked why, he replied that he'd call him later.

This morning, he called.

His family had no food for Thanksgiving and could Mercy Street, or us, please help them out?

Mercy Street had 270 mentors deliver Thanksgiving baskets to their kids this year. Additional baskets were put aside for the staff to deliver to families who may have been missed or that they personally knew would be in need of a meal.

Even with that effort, there are still countless families in our community that won't have food this Thanksgiving. This one in particular has probably received the most help from the ministry over the course of several years. The mother, grandmother, and stepfather have been continually in Trey's office asking for rent assistance, jobs, groceries, and legal help. Their children have had great mentors who have walked alongside them through the chaos that has defined their lives. Because of this help, and their apparent willingness to continue to lean Mercy Street for bailouts, Trey is frustrated and feels like he's simply becoming part of their revolving door.

What stops us in our tracks down the path of judgment, and breaks our hearts, is the fact that, not the crack addicted mother, nor the grandmother, nor the stepfather but, a 15 year old boy picked up the phone to call Trey and ask for food.

We've used the same Thanksgiving recipes for years and we joke that it would almost be heresy to deviate from them.

These kids probably don't have any traditional recipes like we do, because, for years, they've simply eaten whatever came in the Thanksgiving basket that was donated for them.

Poverty is like a solvent that is stripping away the dignity of these children year after year.

Please pray for this family, for this child, his brothers and sisters, and all those in our community; that they may know the hope of the Living God even this very hour.

I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.
Ps. 140:12


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10 comments:

Kori said...

Beautifully written Melissa. I will be praying continually. Love and Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours.

Michelle said...

This post gives me chills. That a 15 yr old is the one in the family who has to go out a procure a dinner for his family, is sad. Prayers will be with his family, and so many others like his the Thanksgiving weekend. Thanks for bringing to plight of the poor straight to my laptop, it is a much needed reminder.

Tracy said...

I am lifting up this boy and his family now. I am especially praying this Thanksgiving they will see how much God loves them.

hannahgarippa said...

Praying.

Henley on the Horn said...

THANK YOU for ministering to this community. It is so needed. We are praying!

Hauswife said...

Melissa, I know you don't think you are... but you and Trey are angels. Angels to boys like this one. It's so hard to know what to do when no amount of help or financial aid can ever be enough, when people quit trying for themselves, when they choose to perpetually rely on the help of others. Because, like you intimated, it's the kids that suffer for it. :( Which is why they need you. You guys are Jesus' hands and feet in their lives.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy all those family recipes that cannot be detered from, and know that you have friends on the outside of the Hood who are thankful for you and praying for your ministry! Blessings.

These Three Kings said...

Just prayed...

This is why the LORD has you all in the hood...for such a TIME as this

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIEND..COntinue to submit to the LORD's will as HE USE you in your hood

daughter of the King said...

I understand the frustration. When do you make the parents feel the consequences of their decisions and when do you show grace? Especially when children are involved that one is tough. Jesus handled tricky situations with great wisdom. May you have His wisdom as you interact with this family. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jennifer said...

I can give you a big AMEN with this frustration. My husband and I discuss this dilemma constantly. I'll be praying for you and this family.

Brandi said...

Melissa, I am a regular reader. . .but not a regular commenter (sorry!). Thanks for this post. It describes the struggle so much. We are working through much of this at our church. . .and yes, once you factor the kids in, "tough love" and not being a part of the problem is so much harder at such a deeper level. I want you to know that I am thankful for your ministry and your writing. I appreciate your family and your heart for the least of these right here in the US.

Brandi