In The Presence of the Almighty

I started this journal to express the many ways my life has been touched since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord. I hope to share joys, struggles, testimonies and anything I might receive from the Lord. My prayer is that anyone who reads my entries may receive in a way that is necessary for where they are at in life. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you as you come along my journey.

Location: Ontario, Canada

I am a full time wife and stay at home Mom. I am married to a man who places the Lord first above all else. I am embracing this season in my life to be a Mom and look forward to having more children. My husband and I will raise them in the ways of the Lord.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back from Vancouver

Well, it is nice to be back home. I arrived Saturday evening at 7:30pm after being in a crowded van all day and getting up at 4 am. I was so blessed. My landlord and his fiance invited me to have dinner with them and to watch a movie afterward. It was relaxing. We all spent time with my darling cat. They took care of her while I was away. Thank you Lord and bless them for their kindness.

To summarize some of the events, I will return to Thursday. As I mentioned in another post, we all helped out with a food bank for single Mom's. It was incredible to see how much work, organization and planning goes into such a service. We had to unload two truckloads of boxes, then open the boxes, divide/separate goods into different piles and count them. Then we placed buckets and boxes on the floor and distributed items from fresh food, canned goods, to personal hygiene. One day when I have pictures developed, I will post some of them. After that we had class. Then we sat in on a bible study for Young Adults that was happening in the room where we sleep, eat and study. Finally, the moment arrived for us to go downtown at night time.

We drove down to the area of East Hastings and Main. On route, we witnessed a fist fight, the usual number of people doing drugs and some prostitutes. The streets were very quiet which surprised us, even 'Pigeon Park' was empty. Sorry I called the place 'Bird Park' in another post. The guy that took us down there mentioned it was very unusual to be so quiet plus the fact that one whole block was filled with police cars, about 14 of them. Our assumption is that something serious must have happened earlier in the evening. Unfortunately, we did not get out and walk. Some of the students were relieved that decision was made. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to see everything, interact and learn. I wanted to see just how horrible the conditions are and how the action increases in the late hours of the evening. However, I do not need to see more for the compassion in my heart to increase. I wanted to gain a greater understanding of the sub-culture. We took a drive then into the wealthy areas to see where the higher end prostitutes are. We learned a little about the higher and lower end hookers.

To complete the evening, we drove down an area called, 'Kiddy Stroll'. I apologize if that is offensive to some readers, but let's face it folks...this is reality. Kiddy stroll is named because it is the area of the city that someone can hire a child prostitute. I am not sure of the youngest age but it would not surprise me how young some may be. My guess is that between the ages of 8 and 15. It is legal to have sex at the age of 16 in BC, perhaps 14. I would have to check on that. In think we were told 14. The people or parents that are pimping do their business behind closed doors in this area. When the child is needed, they usher them out to the vehicle to the customer. There are some brothels in the area that cater to this, plus any age of prostitution. This area touched me to the inner core. Alongthis last part ofour drive, we did see a young girl standingout at the side of the road. She seemed so pretty, fearful and fragile. We watched her walk, which appeared to all of us that she did so with great difficulty. I can only assume why, but do not want my imagination to think about it. We were informed that Vancouver is the city that caters to your every desire, in Satan's dominion that is.

On Friday we were up bright and early to go and spend the day at Union Gospel Mission again. Some of us were on kitchen duty and some maintenance. I was chosen for the kitchen. I made 128 sandwiches, mixed/prepared drinks, cut desserts and helped out in other areas. It takes a great deal of time, effort and preparation to feed 100's of people a day. We had lunch then prepared to do chapel service. The men, maybe 1-2 women really appreciated the service. They clapped after the one student preached, not because they had to but because they wanted to.

After that we went downtown for dinner. Our teacher took us all out for a great steak dinner. We had enough money left over to treat ourselves. We had managed to save on gas and food throughout the week. Amazing and a blessing, as gas prices were over a dollar a litre there. After dinner I had a great talk with a panhandler. I did not have money for him, but what I did have was a blessing. I spoke with him and treated him as a real person. It put a wonderful smile on his face. Afterward we walked down Grenville and Robson area just for fun. The youth group would be busy until at least 11 pm, so our room would not be available for sleep until after that time.

The other thing perhaps I did not mention was that on Wednesday I saw a woman who was high on drugs, probably heroin or crack. She was in her own world, dancing in a contorted state. She had on only one sock. I saw her inch toward traffic and prayed 'Lord, please don't let her be hit!' We were all standing outside the gospel mission, watching. She turned around and placed her feet inward toward oncoming traffic. I gasped, my body leapt forward and my teacher said something to the effect of..."Karen, don't even think about it!" I was in shock and horrified to see this stoned woman dance blindly in front of traffic. I was almost sick, and so glad she made it across the road. I thanked the Lord! My teacher explained it was not safe for us to help people in this area, even if in broad daylight. We would be putingour lives at risk. Even if we saw her get hit by a car, the best thing we could do for her would be to call 911. Suffice to say, I shed some tears later. I felt frustrated, confused, disgusted...even a little angry at the situation. Such a feeling of helplessness.

My question then was, what would Jesus do? I cannot imagine our Saviour would watch that woman in those circumstances. Would Jesus not help her? What if she had been hit? Would he not go over to her? Lay his hands upon her and heal her? Would he not make sure she was out of harm's way? My head is spinning with thoughts! The response I received was that Jesus did not help every person. He did not heal everybody. I was told it was not my responsibilty to make sure everyone is OK. My intentions are good and my instincts not only honorable, but healthy. Moreover, the discussion led into the scriptures that indicate Jesus healed those that wanted to be well. Hmmmm...scratch my head. Then Grace comes to mind. UNDESERVED FAVOUR...this is the meaning of grace.

I have so many things I want to write about, but this last point is the one burning on my mind. I often try to live my life as biblically as I can. After briefing you on this last scenario, I am curious to know others thoughts. What would you have done? If you are a Christian or Non-Christian I would be interested in your response. Furthermore, how do you think Jesus would have handled the situation?


Blogger pete porter said...

Whatever you can believe, God can acheive! Jesus healed "all who came to him". He interceded into the affairs of those around him, the wedding, the dead boy with the grieving mother. Paul was moved to preach on Mars hill. Love by it's very nature demands involement, or it's not love! God is love and was motivitated to "give his son". Sister, follow after love, whatever and whereever that leads. And the help of the Lord will be with you. The only hope for the lost is the believer. We are the victory over the works of the devil. Those who are weak in the faith will not do much, being given to fear. But you, fear not, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Those who know God shall be strong, and do exploits. The Lord be glorifed in our lives.
Be Blessed,

April 27, 2005 12:04 p.m.  
Blogger Karen said...

Thank you everyone for your emails, and Pete for your comment. Did the bible not say we would be known by our love for one another? We are to love our neighbours as ourselves. First commandment is to Love God; second commandment is to Love Others.

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

April 27, 2005 12:49 p.m.  
Blogger Gracey said...

You did the thing that Jesus would have done...called upon the Lord! Why do you think she made it across traffic safely? Right on the mark, Karen. Bless you.

April 29, 2005 5:17 a.m.  

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