Thursday, December 13, 2007

Being Pastor Taco

As many of you know Agape and many of the Cascade College students continue to provide a ministry for the residents at Dignity Village. The Cascade kids have been providing tacos for years every Wed. evening. This past summer Agape helped out while the kids were home for the summer. The residents called me Pastor Taco. I get a kick out of that.

We also began a home community there on Wed. afternoons. We have had a few meetings always beginning with discussion and then moving to the Biblical text. The discussion is always good and we close with prayer.

This time I decided to be "pastor" taco instead of "evangelist" taco. So Louie (the security head and guy who attends Agape) and I went and prayed with some of the folks in the village. There were a lot of needs and I decided that it was time to worry about people instead of the text.

Tim--he is one of the original founders of the community when it was downtown under one of the bridges in Portland. He commented last week that he was Mormon and waiting for some of the elders to come pray for his feet. He had been waiting a long time so we prayed for his feet. They were swolen and he has discomfort when he puts on shoes.

Phyllis #2. I prayed with her in the hospital last week as she recovered from cancer surgery. Her doctor and come into the room and the three of us worked up a plan for her home care. I called Louie and the village made sure she had a heater, plenty of propane, and a dry place to stay so she could heal. She was home today and Louie and I went into her home and prayed with her. She was moved over how the people at Dignity Village (DV) were caring for her and helping her out. She prayed and thanked God for being there.

Phyllis #1. The Griotte story teller from the East Coast. What a wonderful woman who has chosen to live in this community. A woman with a Masters in Nursing she is battling cancer but loves the people and has chosen to live life with all of its ups and downs. We prayed and she asked "how is my family" referring to Lori and the boys.

Nathan. He was sick and wanted prayer for the injustices he is facing in his life.

Laura. The village intervened when her husband became abusive and they surrounded her, protected her, and asked us for help. He was removed (86'd as they say). She struggles but loves this community. When she talks to him on the phone she misses him, but realizes that she is safe and that is what God wants for her. She has a good group of women who support her.

Louie. Louie hasn't talked to his 14 year old son in years but recently got a letter from him. Louie was happy. Louie went with me and prayed most of the time. Louie comes to Agape every week and makes sure that the village's needs are before us in prayer. We all have an understanding--Louie asks and those who can help do something. More and more people from Agape are going to DV to visit, pray, and provide for what needs they can. The fire dept. donated 43 heaters and we have had people provide the regulators and coupling's for the tanks. Louie hasn't had heat in 3 weeks--he makes sure the people who need it have it first. Louie's prayers are short and honest. Louie is what Agape is about.

I learned a lot today. I learned that some people think they can't talk to God and it is my job to help people talk to God rather than teach them a prayer language. I learned that no matter how grim the situation is, people who work together and care for each other reflect God's nature. I learned that basically God has created us to help each other--and most of us want to do that. I learned that it is my job to guide people who want to help to do that. Sometimes it is not important what I teach but that I teach.

1 comment:

Luke Coles said...

That last sentence is hard to learn. These prayers are in my heart. Keep up the good work.