Just this week we’ve been able to give a lot of warm blankets, sleeping bags, coats, etc, as people have been desperate to get warm. We prayed with a man who came in with a swollen and painful hand. We listened to the story of a young skate-boarder who broke his nose the previous day. He was so happy to be able to do laundry at the Merchant, as he’s been struggling for two weeks to find a way to get his clothes clean. We’ve (re)listened to plenty of funny stories and jokes from Tray. Dwayne stopped by to just drink some coffee and enjoy conversation. One middle-aged man came in yesterday and stayed a good part of the day. He kind of apologized for staying so long, but said that he so enjoys good, meaningful conversation with people, and he doesn’t have a lot of opportunity for that in the places where he is normally forced to be.
A homeless lady discovered the prayer room, and tentatively asked if she would be allowed to go in and spend time in prayer. She was so happy to hear that it is there for her to use. At our gathering on Sunday, a young man walked in after being released from the hospital earlier that morning. He had been beaten up badly in an episode of gang violence. Paul spent an hour with him, listening, praying, and urging him to make some good choices. He even arranged for him to enter a wonderful program where he’d be safe and would learn to walk with Jesus. Unfortunately, though he was very interested at first, he has not yet followed through. But he may yet. This is all just in the past week! And I could go on. We are so thankful for this place!