Monday, November 20, 2006

Room #213

The room was stuffy and smelled of sickness. It was a dark, one-bedroom hotel room...about 12' by 14'. They had been living there for three months now. Willie's wife, Tasha, lay in the bed sore from Sickle Cell. James (4) and Jasmine (2) were by a small table in the corner. They had come with their father, Willie, to The Well yesterday morning for the first time. At church, they had been quite and long-faced...now they played with some broken toys. Jasmine, who also suffers from Sickle Cell, was sitting on the floor playing with her most favorite doll in the world...Dora the Explorer. Trevon (5) and Sylene (4) also stood by the table. Both boys wore their Daddy's t-shirts and they hung to their ankles.

Kenneth helped Willie put away the groceries we had just bought them. The two of them filled up the tiny kitchenette. I met Tasha and the other two boys, then sat down next to her on the bed and prayed with her. The children were happy now...playful. Jasmine began piling all her old dolls in my lap as Tasha whispered, "I can't keep this up...I had to call the cops on him last week." She pulled down her sleeve and showed me a scar on her elbow. Jasmine had run out of dolls to give me as I sat there with all four of her baby dolls in my lap. Tasha wiped away a tear. Willie announced from the kitchen, all of five feet away, "Who wants some red Cool-Aid??" All four children grinned. I squeezed Tasha's leg and asked if she had a Bible. "Can you read it, Tasha? It will give you so much strength." She looked at her children and said, "You're right...here lately, my children have kept me going."

Yesterday was the first day Willie had taken off work in three months. Tasha will try to come to church next Sunday. We gave them our contact information and our team has made themselves available for help. They need so much in order to keep their family together. But that's what we are all here for...to bring Jesus to the lost, the hurting, and the next generation.

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."
~Elie Wiesel, Oct. 1986

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