We had an incredible day this past Wednesday with our friends downtown at the Salvation Army and Mercy Ministries. I call them "friends" because I really feel like we are making progress in connecting with the folks in the community. We are learning their names, their stories, and their true needs. One of our new friends is John.
I met John right when we arrived at Mercy. I immediately noticed his long hair & cowboy boots. If we had been anywhere else I would have bet money that he was a guitarist for the Allman Brothers. I struck up a conversation about his well-worn boots and we immediately hit it off.
John is a former United States Marine. He served our country faithfully in Vietnam and is quite an interesting character. He is clearly hardened and obviously jaded from a life of war, poverty, and misfortune. He's struggled for a long time and you can tell. He told us the story of how he ended up in Augusta. His bags and all his belongings were recently stolen from him at the bus station in Atlanta but he still had his bus ticket. So, he went to the only place he could really go...here. On top of that, John was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. Despite all of this, what I'm going to share with you next will likely break your heart. It broke mine.
When we were talking about John's broken in boots I pointed out his long hair and told him he looked "like a rock star". He chuckled and brushed it out of his face. "Yeah, I know I look like I just walked out of a bar. But, I'm growing it out for Locks of Love. Those kids don't deserve that and it's the only thing I can really do to help."
Tears immediately welled up in my eyes.
This man who really has nothing & just had everything he owned stolen from him had found a way to give something of himself to help make someone else's life better. Although John's life has been tough and he's seen many hard times, he knows there is more to life than just himself. He'd found a way to make a difference and he was doing just that. Incredible.
John's had a rough go of it as of late but because of your generous contributions and donations to this cause we were able to give John a set of toiletries, a change of clothes, some food, and a new Bible. We are making a difference in this community and YOU are helping.
Our hearts are overwhelmed and grateful. So are our friends.
Jamie for Kingdom Here