Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kelley McClurg Reflection

My favorite story of New Orleans, was definantly when our team was assigned to be under the bridge giving water to the homeless- but we found ourselves in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When we left the church that morning to go out to our sites for the day, our team (accompanied by the lovely Kathy Roeters) had expected a day of building relationships and taking the time to sit and talk with the homeless people under one of New Orleans large bridges. But when our huge white van pulled into the parking lot and we all came tumbling out with enthusiasm, the plan quickly changed when we were immediately approached by the police and asked to leave, because they didn't want to homeless to stay under the bridge and giving out the water would just encourage them stay. Then we were really lost as to where to go! But one of the men told us to go over to the mission right across the street and just hand it out there. So thats what we did. Soon after arriving me and about four others from our team ended up in a long conversation with a man named Nathaniel. He was very nice but skeptical of us and the God that we were sharing with him about, he had a hard life and shared a lot of stuff that us teenagers cant even imagine going through, but it was still an awesome conversation. We later found out from the leaders at AIM that almost every group that came had met and spoken to Nathaniel. Which was encouraging to hear that maybe we were just planting another seed. When the conversation died down we joined the rest of the group inside where we got invited into an AA meeting (alcoholics anonymous). There we met a guy name mark who was very young compared to the rest of the crowd, and seemed like he was in his early twenties if that. He had been struggling with alcohol for a few years and was trying to stop drinking but was having a bad withdrawal, getting really shaky and having lots of hallucinations. A couple of the older men in the meeting took him under their wing and were going to get him to a hospital for help. We prayed with him as a group and one of our leaders even gave him their bible. They sent him upstairs for a shower and when he came back in a clean shirt, freshly showered, he look like a new person. His eyes weren't shaking and his hands were steady, he looked so much more peaceful and a tad less scared. The transformation was astonishing. We don't actually know where Mark ended up after the men brought him to the hospital, but he is one person I know I will never forget. I know God had us at that meeting that day for a reason, so many people in our group were touched by that meeting, and in different ways. It was just so obvious God had a lot to teach everyone on our team that day, and we all took home a different lesson.

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