Today, I met a homeless man I will never forget!
My mother runs Seeds of Faith ministry, and she spends much of her time helping the homeless. My brother and I went with her to deliver food to a homeless family that was staying at a campground. When we arrived, the family wasn’t there, so we drove to another site where another homeless person lived. As we pulled up, my mother said that he wasn’t himself. He was normally excited when he had company, but this time he seemed very scared! He came over to my side of the car and looked in. Then walked over to my mother’s side, which was a relief to me!
He was a single, deaf man who had been through so much. He appeared to be somewhat “rough” (you know, the biker type) but after only ten minutes he almost had me in tears. My mother asked him what was wrong. He told us that early that morning someone had cut a hole in the pop-up trailer he lived in, crawled inside and stole all his money. Then he told us that he was being kicked out after getting into a fight with the guy who had taken the money. At that point, he began to fall apart.
He said, “They ran from me, like they were scared of me.” He seemed confused that anyone would be scared of him. He didn’t want to put fear in people. During the conversation, he mentioned that the man was at the same campsite where we had just delivered food. These two men had known each other before they ended up at the campground!
The man knew him—his whole story—that he was deaf, had been hit by a truck and left for dead. His mother had passed on, and he had nothing left! He showed us all his cuts, and told us that neither the police nor the people who owned the campsite would do anything! The man is no larger than me. He is just a tiny man who has tattoos and dresses tough, but, in all reality, probably couldn’t hurt anyone. But apparently the man who stole the money is one of those scummy guys who makes people believe he is innocent. As we sat there watching, my mom held him while he wept, and trying to console him and think of some way to help him, when a police officer came to escort him from the campground.
What is it you can do for a man like this? He needs help, and he has so many reasons to deserve it, but he is stuck in a campsite being treated like this! Is this what he deserves? I can’t understand how any person could not see the fear and sadness in this man.
I am so confused!
As Director of Seeds of Faith ministry for the last eight years, and now assistant to the director at The Homeless Center in Rochester, NH, i’ve seen thousands of orphaned, men, women and children who struggle to survive. I see so many precious souls who not only have to deal with the degrading affects of poverty and hopelessness, but also strive through a broken system to get what help they can. The story you just read was written by my beautiful daughter, Eva Marie Tozier. It affected her so much that she came home that day and began to look into grants to help people like the friend you just read about not fall through the cracks. Eva didn’t see him anymore with her eyes, but with a heart that wept for him.
But this story has a very happy ending… God uses Seeds of Faith to help connect them to the resources they are in need of. Not only did he get help, but because of people like Joyce and Fred Ricketts, whose comfort, love, and friendship in time of trouble made such a huge difference in his life that he is not just a friend anymore, but he is now our brother in Christ here at Christian Life Church! He has also just recently moved into a new apartment.