Dear friend, ampoule
I am sitting down to write you this note having spent the morning serving alongside some of my sisters at the church in one of our church family’s homes. The whole time I was there I kept thinking, “I need to write a prayer letter about this experience.” Then I came home and realized my letter was due earlier this morning. So I am going to simply give you a taste of what some of the families living in inner cities across America go through.
There is a lady who attends our church, I will call her Sue. Sue has four boys ranging in age from four to eleven. She has attended off and on, mostly for fun events, over the past year. About two months ago she started to attend Jefferson more regularly. At the start of this time, she found out that her husband had been having an affair with a secretary from his shop. An affair which had been going on for four years. She was devastated. Her husband has been abusive in the past and things at home have only escalated lately. He keeps coming clean and apologizing only to return to the other woman. Meanwhile, Sue has been like a puppy on a chain, yanked here and there at his every whim. At first my heart broke for her and I immediately wanted to jump into all kinds of service projects, but Brodie reminded me that Sue needed the gospel first and foremost. We had a VERY clear conversation with her one day after church about a month ago and she has been coming faithfully ever since.
At this point we decided that we as the church needed to envelope her into the family and start really loving on her. So this morning a group of the Jefferson women went down to Sue’s house and helped her clean. Sue lives in a very bad part of town. Her house only has access from the alley, which was filled with trash and graffiti. When you enter her house there is an overwhelming stench of mildew and everything feels damp and dirty. She lives in this one bedroom house with her four boys. There is only one bed and no table. I decided I would start in the bathroom. I had never seen walls this dirty. From the floor all the way to the ceiling they were covered with mildew. There were large holes in the drywall, the door was broken, the shower curtain held up by an old broom handle, the toilet missing its lid, power strips plugged into the one working electrical outlet, etc… I was so shocked and humbled. We have only lived in Los Angeles for three and a half years, but I felt like I had seen a lot… until this. And here I have seen this lady and her four boys every Sunday for a couple months, hugged them, told them we were praying for them and then sent them on their way home, to what? A nightmare. How can we who have been born and raised in such sunshine and happiness ever dream of truly bearing the burdens of those brothers and sisters who live lives we never dreamed existed? I kept thinking to myself as I cleaned, “And you have spent time thinking about when you will get your next Starbucks.” What a blessing to have my eyes opened even in this small way, and to have my Savior show me there is more to life than ____________. We could fill in the blank with anything we want.
Pray for Sue and her boys… The McClains