It is Sunday afternoon and just as Steve was putting a little lunch together for himself, our front doorbell rang. That is always an adventure. Today it was a young man, 28 years old, with whom Steve had made friends before we moved in. At that time, he was on methadone and had no job nor any prospects. Over next few months he was able to get off methadone and Steve even helped him to find a job. Things were looking up and he even was able to rent a room in a rooming house in downtown Newark.
Just after Christmas he disappeared. He quit his job, claiming to be leaving the state to go for rehab. He called Steve on the phone and said lots of inappropriate things and then refused to answer his phone or door. All we have been able to do is to keep praying for him.
Thursday, Steve's phone rang and it was this young man. He came over to the building to see Steve and claimed he would be coming to church today. Well he didn't make it to church but did come to our house after church was out. They are talking as I write. The enemy of men's souls has a powerful grip on him, but God is not giving up. He was pretty strung out and is now back on methodone. You see, there is very little help for an addict to completely leave the life, but the government is happy to give out daily meds that serve to keep him addicted, just to another substance.
This is another side to city life. There are lots of stories that seem like failure, but they are NOT the END of the story. This young man has truly asked Christ to save him, now he needs to allow Jesus to be Lord. Pray for us as we balance toughness and boundaries with love and mercy. Pray for Steve as he uses patience and wisdom in this situation. Pray for me to back him up in prayer as well.
Thanks for "listening". I try to post something more upbeat soon.