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Published on: April 12, 2024

“It was a good day,” Nadine said. We had just given the last of the food bags in the city. The rain held off! It started to splash on N 11th Street in front of a salon where she pulled over. But it stopped quickly and the folks got their bags. Two pretty spanish ladies grinned at me outside the salon, wondering what we were doing. I looked in the back of the truck to see if anything was left.

“Want some potatoes?” I asked and they eagerly came forward, pretty smiles, great hair and newly done nails flashing. We had 5 bags left, plus a few bags of cookies, so I gave them all in a box to them and they happily ran inside the salon. Another woman came out pretty quickly.

“Finito? Finito?” she smiled at me. Nothing left in the truck’s cab!

“Yes, finito,” I smiled back. I figured they could share the last of what we gave.

It’s always a good day with Nadine on the truck. That is the truth.

We started out on Franklin Street, at the boarding house. Dave sat outside waiting. His protective presence stays there for Nadine till everyone has collected food and gone. I am so glad for that.

A young woman came up, boombox blaring, which she turned down in order to hear us.

“Just curious, why do you play that thing so loud?” I asked.

“So I don’t hear nothin’ else!” she said. I noted it wasn’t just people’s voices she was referring to. She pointed to an area in her mouth and told me she had tooth pain.

“Do you want me to pray for you? May I touch you?” I asked. She agreed and closed her eyes while I prayed and asked Jesus to touch her. She left with food.

“Don’t EVER touch her again!” Dave loudly exclaimed.

“Why not?” I asked him.

“Cuz she has AIDS!” He meant it.

“Well, Jesus touched lepers and didn’t get anything, Dave. I’m not going to get AIDS because I touched the outside of her cheek. Is she getting treatment for it?” I knew he knew.

“Yes,” he said. It was ok. He was just looking out for us.

We moved up to our normal stop at the end of the block where a very unhappy pit bull sat at a large picture window. He was draped over the back of the sofa. I don’t usually see him, but this time he planted himself there and stared at me for 15 minutes because we kept handing out more food bags. I thought he was cute, actually, so I kept smiling at him. Summer stood up on the steps nearby. I struck up a conversation with her about¬†how much she loves her jobs now. People feel SO much better when they work! I love to see success stories! Then I talked about the dog.

“Not friendly?” I asked. (Nadine had warned me about him before.) Summer shook her head vehemently.

“I don’t go near him!” (He is her boyfriend’s mother’s dog.)

“Maybe I should just cast the demon out of him,” I said, smiling. I looked at him because he remained in that staring, fixed posture. It had been about 15 minutes. Suddenly it just came out of my mouth.

“Demon, go to the feet of Jesus!” I called out.

That dog jumped as though I threw a lightning bolt at him right through the window. I am not making this up. He had not moved until I said it. Then he was GONE.

I turned around and noticed Nadine had stopped pulling out groceries from the back of the truck. “You see that?” I asked.

“Yes, I did,” she said. It made us both pause.

Jesus did this whenever He had to. Wherever He went, the demons showed up to protest and carry on and He just dispatched them. He drove them out.

We are seeing measurable, positive changes in several lives since we began the monthly outreaches. 3 families have moved inside and are working or volunteering and also getting mental health treatment.

“Impact – the force of impression of one thing on another; a significant or major effect.” As a verb it means “to strike forcefully as in collide, crash, hit, strike.” It comes from the Latin, “to push against.”

The kingdom of God is pushing against and having a major impact against the darkness of poverty, hopelessness, homelessness and joblessness. All glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this!

Shalom Shalom