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Life on the Streets

Several years ago, I was volunteering in New York City for the first time and experienced seeing people living on the streets or in the subway stations.  This was a very disturbing experience for me because I felt I had to so much and they had so little.  Each night, I would bring some extra snacks to the subway station with me when I was on my way back to my hotel, and if I saw someone there, I would offer them food or if they were asleep, I would gently place the food by their bodies, hoping no one else would take it from them.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go out on Street Outreach here in Ottawa.  It was a very hot, humid night, with lots and lots of people on the streets.  We gave out several sandwiches, granola bars and plenty of juice and water.  Several were in need of socks and toiletries.  We had numerous conversations with people and asked if they had any concerns they would like us to pray for.  The last 2 people we saw as we were heading back to the office to get ready and go to our comfortable, air conditioned houses, really made me think.  After chatting with them for a few minutes, we asked if there was anything we could pray for and the lady spoke out and said “rain, pray for rain; we need to cool off”.  For me this is a very hard thing to do.  I hate the rain, it makes me grumpy, and I don’t like getting my hair or my clothes wet.  However, when we got back to the office last night, we had a prayer for the requests that were made to us.  We prayed for rain, and throughout the night we had rain.  This morning on my way to work, we had rain.  However, this was one time that I really thanked God for the rain because I knew that the request of our street friends had been granted.  I often need to be reminded that God indeed does answer the simplest prayers if we ask believing in Him.

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