We like results. It’s all American…to get the job done, celebrate it, and move on. Results. Fruit. Success. That’s what we want.
Apparently, we are in the wrong line of work.
The truth is that street ministry does not produce a lot of quick and measurable results. There are ups and downs as we ride the roller coaster of addiction alongside our friends, and there are steps forward and back as we work with people who have lived their whole lives on the streets, and then there are the miles and miles of obstacles as we try to help people get a foot out of poverty.
It’s long, it’s hard, and “results” are hard to come by.
The scope of the problem is enough to suck anyone down. It’s a mired sludge of difficulties and frustrations. It’s simply heartbreaking and overwhelming in complexity.
But our friends live in that mire, so we’ve got to get down in it.
They have stories of mothers who abandoned them on the streets, and families that were lost to the bottle, and the wrong crowd that got them deported, and years that have worn them down as the struggle just to live is a daily battle that must be fought.
Some of our friends have died, a casualty in the war that is homelessness in El Salvador. Many more are close to death, in both body and soul. Others are just about to shut the door, and give up the fight.
But, they are walking through the doors of the Lighthouse Project every week. They are there, and we are there with them. They are not alone. Our program is all about relationships, and making the one-on-one connection because we want our friends to know that we are on their side.
We can’t change the reality of life on the streets. We can’t take away the stress, the fight, and the addiction. We can’t make the threat of violence and the hot sidewalks go away.
But maybe we can take the edge off the loneliness.
Maybe we can shine a last ray of hope into the darkness nudging in to the soul of someone who is giving up. Maybe we can be that friend, that human connection, that touch that makes a difference.
The work is not easy, but it is worth it because we can smile at the person in front of us, and offer the truth, and pass a plate of food. And just maybe we can be used by God to touch a life. We pray that we can make some small, quiet change.
We can’t control the reality and we can’t take it all away. But we can be a friend, and we can listen. We can lend a hand and speak the truth to one person at a time.
So, we thank you to all of our volunteers who donate their money and their time. There are lives that are touched every week by your sacrifices and your prayers. There are men, women, and children who know that they are not alone.