Friday, October 10, 2008

Where Angels (Some Folk) Dare Not Trod...

Hey everyone! This is Sandi. I'm still here in Houston, TX on deployment with FEMA. I had a little time to write tonight, so I wanted to try to catch things up a little bit. To do that, I'll have to back-track to last week. I hesitated to share part of this lest I concern people back home, but I don't think the people I'm worried about being concerned for me actually read my blog anyway! (And if they do, yes, I Know...!) :-) And hopefully none of you who are reading this will get freaked out...I'm laughing about it as I write it, so I hope you'll see the humor in it as well...a typical Bird Family Adventure! And I've had a chance to minister to and pray with a LOT of the people here. That's where my heart is in all of this.

I'm still in the Third Ward, an area that I mentioned in my last blog post. Due to a payroll issue that has persisted over the last couple weeks, I had to turn in my rental car last week (which had doubled as my hotel room for two nights)...that made it kind of hard to do my work. I stayed with Evelyn down across from NASA for 4 nights, but that was 25+ miles from my assigned area. So on Sunday I moved into this divey little hotel where I've been staying ever since.

Let me describe my humble surroundings...At $150 for the week, it's a pretty good bargain. It comes complete with mirrors around the bed, a cable channel that I have to turn my head to pass over (since I'm not into hard-core X-rated programming), and a shower stall that took 1/2 a bottle of Tilex and an hour of scrubbing to get it to the place where I felt comfortable using it. By Day 4 they finally put a working deadbolt on the door and fixed the door where it had obviously been forced open at some point and been broken in the door knob area. They even let me borrow the vacuum cleaner on Wednesday!

Classy place, right? ;-) It does, at least, have an air conditioner and free local phone calls. And a perfect view of crack deals going down in the park that borders the property...I won't mention the name of this fine establishment while I'm staying here though. The best thing it's got going for it is the people who run it. They are actually very nice, and are concerned about me being here without a vehicle.

Oh, it gets better though! I've had the lovely opportunity to walk to all of my applicant's houses. It's a lot slower going, of course. And as I mentioned in my last post I have some pretty rough neighborhoods in my area. I've become somewhat of an oddity, I'm sure, as I walk all over the "hood". I am learning which people not to make eye contact with, which people to ignore, and which people to avoid altogether. The up-side is that I've been getting some great exercise by walking 4-6 miles a day in the last few days. The walk time is also great time to talk with the Lord. Plus it gives my angels something to do as, well,...I normally lead such a "boring" life...I figured I'd spice things up for them. You know, keep them on their toes! :-)

I've had applicants ask me if I was afraid to be walking around this area. My reply has been this: If I were to be afraid to be in this area then I would be judging the whole community based on a few "bad apples". I figure there are a lot of good people here who just happen to live in a poverty, drug, and gang-infested area. (Yeah, I forgot to mention that there's gang activity here too...) I do make it a point of being in my room before dark, and most importantly to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit when He tells me to "turn here", "go this way", or "DON'T go that way.

My heart really goes out to the people here. I went to one applicant's house today. He is an elderly, disabled man who looks like he's going to fall with each shaky step, despite using his cane. There is still a tree on his house that messed up the badly deferred maintenance roof and walls, tearing up the termite-eaten/dry-rotted rafters and the top plate on the exterior bathroom and bedroom wall. There's a hole in the bathroom where you can look out and see tree limbs and sky. And the sewer is STILL backed up into his tub and commode. And he's afraid to leave there because of the number of break-ins/thefts in his neighborhood.

Another thing that amazes me is the number of people that will fit in a 1 or 2 bedroom house. Back in Virginia it's a violation for a landlord to rent a one bedroom to a family that's larger than 2. Here they'll let a family of 8 stay in a 2 BR...

Anyway, I let the time slip away from me, so gotta go. Will try to actually get more of the stuff I really want to talk about (the stories about the people)down in print soon. Bye for now!

1 comment:

Pastor Myron said...

I hope the picture of the shower was before you cleaned it. If not I'll make sure not to recomend you for a cleaning position. :) JK