We are so thankful for your partnership with us in showing kindness and love in Jesus’ name on the streets of downtown Ottawa. Although I try to thank all who participate in this way personally, I thought it would be good to share an example from the street so you are able to imagine just how important your donations are.
For the sake of privacy I will not share the name or location of our street friend that I’m describing. We’ll call him James and say that he lives on Elgin at Laurier. He is about 30 and has been on the street for four years.
Every Friday evening when I’m out on Outreach I see James. Always in the same spot. At this time of year he has cardboard laid out below his blankets and sleeping bag. He is inside his sleeping bag when we pull up. We call his name to give him some warning that we’re entering his home. He is recessed under an awning.
We ask how he is. Lately he has had some health problems including a stomach bug and possibly worms. He’s been to the hospital a few times but has had no success, except getting some antibiotics. I wonder how well the antibiotics work without regular meals.
He always asks us how we are doing? He asks if the cold is bothering us. One time, when he was really feeling badly, he was hospitable to us for about 20 minutes. Later, when I reflected on this, I was shocked. I would not be so kind if people were in my room when I had the flu.
He seems to be estranged from his family but really wants to reconnect and was hoping to go and see them at Christmas. It didn’t work out. We ask how we can pray for him and then do so on the street. He is very thankful for this and is often crying at the end of the prayer.
James is a lovely, gentle, thoughtful young man. It has been a real pleasure to get to know him and to share with him what you have donated. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
~Sarah Pearce, Resource Coordinator