“Then I turned and saw two little boys there with their mom and dad. It was so sad it almost made me cry.”
Heather Parrott. after visiting a homeless shelter in 2007
My favorite article of all time was not written by me. I put it together two years ago when some then 13- and 14-year-old St. Dominic kids spent a day at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in Louisville. This facility feeds and has sleeping facilities for the homeless. It was a trip to the hopeless, hungry, desperate side of life.
You know what?
In these hard economic times, things can seem bad. But sometimes you need not look too far to realize how blessed you are.
Those young people wrote stories about what they saw that day two years ago. The rest of the article comes from what was burned into their memory.
“Our experience at the Center of Hope was something that I won’t forget. To see people that live like they do has opened my eyes.”
“Most of the people were very religious and we prayed together...”
“I went out into the lobby and saw all the people who had hardly anything except each other and some of them didn’t even have that.”
“When I went into the other room I was very sad and sorry for the people but I was glad to serve the homeless people.”
“One man talked to us and told us to stay in school so we wouldn’t end up like him. Another one told us that God and Jesus will always love us. I really felt sorry for all those people.”
“I also met a man named Bill. He has worked with horses his whole life and accepts God as his Savior.”
“We were greeted almost as soon as we walked in by a dude they called “The Preacher”! He talked to us about God and the importance of giving back to others and of staying in school.”
These people didn’t have much but they were still thankful and faithful to the Lord. I started to feel a little guilty after I was there for a while, because I had judged them all, but most of them were great people. Especially this guy named Van (The Preacher). He was awesome.
“Then a guy started to tell us verses out of the Bible and how he was an alcoholic. Everybody got in a group and the man said a prayer for everybody.”
“Then we talked to Phillip, he was very emotional; it hit me hard, the stuff is so real. We held hands and prayed.”
“Phillip was the one that moved me the most. He talked about God, love, and school. He said if you have faith in God then you can do anything. He also said that he was happy with how he lived because he knew it was what God wanted for his life.”
“Travis started to talk to this guy and the man told us about his life. He started to cry because he said no one has cared enough to talk to him in a long time. Then we prayed with him. I started to cry because I felt so bad for him.”
“I knew it was going to be bad but I didn’t know it was that bad seeing little kids at the age of like five and maybe younger.”
“I also saw some little kids playing a game with their mom and dad, I felt so bad because they are just like me and that easily could have been me. When they packed up to leave, I saw that they only had four suitcases and I knew that was all they had.”
Tell me again how hard your life is.