There are no normal days at the center. That said some days are less normal than others. Today was one of those days.
It started okay. I stopped at the new location of Bow-K’s, the local cake and cupcake shop. They were out of breakfast burritos and did not have cupcakes yet. After a short visit I headed to the center.
Upon arrival I was reminded that one of the vans had a tire issue. I got in to take it to the shop and found it was on E. Oh well fill it up while at the station. Oil change and tire repair and on my way. (And they had breakfast burritos.)
Back to the center as the homeless community arrived. I did a couple of repairs around the building and made a list for my employees to work on. We have recently received a generous donation of quilts from 2 different churches. On to paperwork. Bookkeeping and a report were due. A brief meeting with an artist.
The employees started to arrive, and the day really takes off. Lunch, laundry, cleaning and repairs.
Then the day took a turn. Two of my employees came in to ask what needed to be done. In talking with them I learned that a nephew killed himself at their home last night. This changed everything. We sat and talked, and I provided some pastoral care. He was 17 years old. Why? Being honest I was thrown off for several hours. I still am. They were devastated. They are worried about other family members.
What do you say?
The afternoon was a little better. I had a brief meeting with Tony to talk about the grant coverage. We have helped 12 families (40 people) find homes! But we have 92 people on the list looking for help.
Nicholas came back from a meeting and picked up the big van and prepared to pick up some kids to prepare for a weekend hiking experience. They were going to a partner to learn about and create prayer ties. This weekend they will get to place them on the top of Black Elk Peak.
I had an artist come in to talk about creating a new piece of art for the center. This is the same artist that created the center’s logo! We discussed options and I am excited about what he will come up with. Then he showed me some of his current work.
Next week we plan to offer an online Art show to our supports to help the artists.
While we were meeting, I had two other people come to the door wanting to talk with me. And another person came for some diapers.
Then the afternoon took an interesting twist. One of the people wanting to talk with me wanted me to perform a wedding for them today! Now in most places I would not even consider this option. But things are different on the reservation. They had their witnesses, license, and kids. I agreed but made it clear I would use God in the service. They were excited.
After providing their kids with snacks. We proceeded to have a wedding. It was small. It was simple. It was lovely. And it lifted my spirits. They were very appreciative. The kids were laughing and having fun!
After a trip to Hot springs to pick some things up I returned home. Time with the dogs and now it is time for bed.
I am still sad about the 17-year-old. What must he have been going through? Suicide of teens is an epidemic. Any death hurts at least a little. But it is worse for me when I am a young person.
You never know what the day will bring. You trust in God and know that God loves you.