Wednesday, January 19, 2005

kids on the street

so tonight our canvas group went to hollywood and gower, a place where runaway teenagers tend to go to crash for the night. we interacted with a number of people, trying to get to know them, understand their situation, and to be there to help if they wanted any help.

i first connected with miles. miles was born in florida, like myself, but his dad died when he was young and his mom gave him up for adoption by the time he was seven years old. his first foster parents were alcholics who abused him in many ways. finally he was taken from them, and put into a group home for a little while. after that he was put with another set of abusive foster parents. listening to his life was extremely sad. hearing the things he had to go through at such an early age was tragic. at eleven years old he tried to find his mother again. after locating her, he went to visit her. her response? she said, if i wanted to see you i could have found you.

well a guy can only take so much abuse and rejection, so in time he ran away to get away from his second set of abusive foster parents. now he is traveling around the country. he has always wanted to come to california and so that is why he is here now. he will stay in hollywood till march or so, and then head up to san fran. he has lots of plan to travel. while he freely shared with me many things about his life, it is obvious that many things in his life are just to painful to face realistically right now, so he continues to be on the move.

the second dude i met goes by squall. his real name is matthew cole. some people call him cole. cole was a black young man, with many chains around his neck. one of the chains is an actual bicyle chain. his mother died about three days after he was born and his dad left him so he moved from group home to group home all throughout his life. he was writing some lyrics in his notebook. he let me read them. they were pretty good. you could see the pain he suffered through reading the lyrics. in time he wrapped for some of us.

we gave some of these kids our contact cards and invited some to join us for church or call if they needed some help. i think this might be a place we go back to with some kind of regularity, to see if God could use us to help people who have experienced such tragic upbringings.

God cares so much about the fatherless, that he says he will be a father to the fatherless. that probably means that he wants to move through his body, the body of christ, to father those who have never had one. by God's grace, those of us who have come to Christ have been put into his body and now we are his hands and his feet. may we be hands and feet that listen to the head, which is Christ.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger Todd Hiestand said...

this is good stuff JR. i should i look forward to seeing you at the end of March?

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous :o) Stacey said...

One resource I recently found for helping kids:

24 HOUR HOTLINE: (310) 379-3620

1736 Monterey Boulevard, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

They also have numerous shelters around LA for teens and tons of other help for struggling teens, runaways, homeless teens, etc.


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