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Going Home Clean

“Mr. Black, I called to tell you my son passed.” The voice on the other end of the phone was steady though filled with emotion, a mother’s voice delivering a difficult message. “You remember my son?” “Yes.” “He went through your program after many years of addiction. He received Christ as his Lord and Savior, and his whole life changed.” “I remember.” “Well, he got cancer.” “I’m sorry to hear... Read More »
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Gratitude for Star of Hope Volunteers

“That’s the kind of volunteer I like to have on my team,” he said pointing to a young man installing hardware from which he was going to hang a canopy over the Toddler’s playground. “He told me, ‘We are going to buy stainless steel parts for this project, aren’t we? We want it to last forever!’ That’s how the people are who volunteer for these projects. They care about the quality of the work they... Read More »
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The Conversation

She sat across the desk holding a silent conversation with an unseen friend. Her story was like so many others: placed in foster care at the tender age of five, averaged three institutions per year until age fifteen when she ran away for good, molested, abused, neglected, abandoned, gang affiliations, a criminal with a violent record, a mother with many children all lost in a storm – a hurricane,... Read More »
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The Crossroads

“So what can you tell me?” “What do you mean?” “What can you tell me?” She asked again, sitting across the desk with a look of shock, bewilderment, and resignation on her face. “I need a little more information.” She looked at me a moment then told her story: “Ok,” taking a breath, “I had a good job, a beautiful home, a wonderful family, and a great car. Within the last few months I lost my... Read More »
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The Closed Mind

“Do you love Muslims?” he spat at me with hatred flashing from his eyes and a cynical tone in his voice as he handed back the tract I had given him. “Yes,” I said. Clearly, he did not believe me and fired a couple more questions at me. The questions were land mines. I had the sense that any misstep would result in an explosion, and the explosion came on the third question when I failed to answer... Read More »
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The Adventurer

“I got enough Jesus; what I need is money!” He stood beside the train tracks awaiting a train to anywhere with a backpack at his feet. The broken and missing teeth, bruises (both fresh and old), scars and disfigured bone structure were evidence of a violent and hard life. He was clearly running from a troubled past to an uncertain future – a "Viking", "hard-hitter," "adventurer" riding the rails... Read More »
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Where’s My Manual?

“Where’s my manual?” she asked as she approached the desk. “I’m sorry? What manual? I responded. “This paper says if I pray this prayer I’ll get a manual. I prayed the prayer, so where is my manual?” She held a gospel tract in her hand. “Let me see that.” I took the tract from her hand. The tract offered a manual for life to anyone who prayed the sinner’s prayer and received Christ as their... Read More »
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Have You Seen Her? She’s Changed!

Returning from vacation, I was greeted by a Manager who said, “Have you seen X? She’s changed!” X is a guest who had come to the Shelter for 6 years off and on. She was always just at death’s door when she came to us – a result of a life in bondage to sin and degradation. Staff could not put her in a room due to both her physical condition and her violent disposition. Each time she came, they... Read More »
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There is Always Hope in Christ

I began my career at the Star of Hope Men’s Development Center in 1999. Since 2004, I have served as Director at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter. Each new day at the emergency shelter brings new challenges and new opportunities as we serve the homeless in our city who come to us for help.  No matter what the issue… No matter what the circumstance… No matter what the outcome we see today...... Read More »
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A Troubled Past

Her body language was angry and defiant as she paced back and forth in the lobby. Her hand gestures punctuated her angry words. A staff member stood at a safe distance speaking gently and softly to her in Spanish. “What is she saying?” I asked. “Basically, she is cursing me, and I am blessing her.” “Well, keep a safe distance just in case.” “She is not in reality. She thinks I am a family member... Read More »
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