Our friend Lula was killed on the streets the Sunday before Christmas. I learned about it on our drive to Memphis to see Austin's family. Lula was also murdered. It is such a harsh word, but there is no other way to say it. She was killed across the street from where Ava had been killed a mere four months before.Read More
"If only I could get a good woman, I would be different."
I heard that twice last week, from two different men who are homeless. The assumption is that their vices -- alcohol and cigarettes -- could be tamed if the "right" woman entered their life. Strangely enough, they have been chasing this ideal woman their whole lives, and they have yet to find one that helps them vanquish their addictions.
But they keep searching.
And so do we.Read More
This is Cecilia. She and her husband Raymond are homeless -- they live under the bridge. Cecilia shared the poem below with me. She was thrilled when I asked if I could record it and share it with you.
There is more to their story, and we will share it in our next post. But for now, be encouraged by this poem Cecilia wrote called Surrender.Read More
Oftentimes people ask me if what I write about here is my full-time work. When I started going to South Dallas in July 2013, I planned on continuing to work other jobs and do this part-time on the side. After several months of doing both, I decided to make this work my full-time job. No non-profit that I found had the type of job I wanted to do, so I decided to fundraise so that I could continue and expand my work. In December 2013, I began this process of fundraising.Read More
Tomorrow at 9 a.m. we are holding a memorial service in honor of Ava.
We are excited to honor her memory with our friends, those who are homeless and those who are not. For those of you who normally attend our Bible study, this will be in place of Bible study tomorrowRead More
One year ago tomorrow, my friend and mentor-by-example Larry James invited me down to South Dallas to spend time on a little corner we affectionately started calling "the Corner."
Neither he nor I knew it, but it would be a day that would forever change my life, as I began to have my heart warmed by a group of people I formerly ignored.
They are people without homes, but they moved right into my heart, and through their love for me, began to change my life.Read More
I needed it the most.
As my friend Elissa said last week, "I am the first convert of my own ministry."
You see, I needed to be changed. I needed my world opened up.Read More
"I have done bad things. I have done bad things that have hurt people I love," said the very kind-looking, soft-spoken man sitting on the curb in front of me.
The sea of men around him passed time as best they could, waiting -- most in the shade but some in the sun -- for the doors of the shelter to open for them.
I had knelt down to talk to three, three whom I had never met.Read More
He’s lighting up the world. Like lightning bugs in summertime, he’s lighting up the world.
I am astounded by his work, and how he lets me enter in and be a part of the remarkable things he wants to do.Read More
I had never been so close before. It’s amazing really. I have gone 29 years of life without ever having had so much as the opportunity to give someone something off of my own body. If you think of all of the need in the world, it is quite remarkable how insulated I have been from it that this opportunity would never have presented itself before.Read More
The needs are so deep. The needs are so human.
They are just like us.
My heart is heavy and I want to snap my fingers and pull them out—out of their depression, pain, seemingly hopeless situation. Though it is not hopeless and they know it. The more I talk to them it is clear they know that when they are ready, support is there.Read More
All I could think today when the barefoot man with half a right foot walked up today was "Did Jesus really mean it when he said, 'Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me'"?Read More
She's not ready to leave him.
The abuse has happened sporadically for at least six months now.
She is almost ready to leave—when he does something really "extreme"—but then she stays.Read More
For six months or so, I have dreamed of bringing music to the streets. I just imagined what the musical waves streaming down the streets could do to lift spirits and bring joy!
A month ago, I spoke briefly at our church about my new work, and I had the bright idea of volunteering our very gifted musical pastor Jay to make it happen! Of course, I didn't tell him beforehand that I would be volunteering him, but still he was good enough to come, along with another man who goes to our church named Paul.Read More
One of my goals in writing of my experiences in South Dallas is to present a different way to see God.
I would also like to create safe space in which people can question God -- does he exist at all? Is there ever even a way to know God is real?
I believe that as we leave our cultures-of-origin and enter other people's culture, we encounter God in new ways.Read More
Today I have nothing good or brave to say.
Today I just felt sad. I have been getting to know South Dallas and the homeless for 10 months now, and I'm starting to go deeper in relationships.Read More