Jerry had a lot of bananas left after the meal in the park and wanted to take them down to tent city. So all us started packing up the leftovers to take as well. In the process of doing this, the Korean Pastor who has been coming down to help asked what we were doing. I asked him if he had heard about tent city or had seen it on the news, his response was “no” and you could tell he was confused as to what we were talking about. Jerry showed him pictures on his phone, but he still had a confused look on his face, so I asked him if he would like to come with us. He said he would like to come, there was still that look on his face as to what we were up to.
He followed us down and we parked on the street and from were we parked he had no idea what was around the corner. We gathered up everything and headed to tent city. I thought it was going to be interesting to see his reaction when we get there. We first ran into a few folks on the street and gave them a few things, then headed around the corner.
I can honestly say that the sight of what he saw, took his breath away for a brief moment. His face said it all, he was shocked to see what was before him. “Who are these people?” he asked. These are the people we serve, these are our friends on the streets, I responded. “They are all homeless?” he asked. Yes, they are and there are many more around town. There is more, he asked. I tried to explain the amount of those in need in our town, but he just couldn’t believe what he saw.
He stood there and shook his head and kept repeating, “I don’t understand, I just don’t understand.” I asked what do you not understand (I thought maybe I didn’t communicate properly what I was trying to say, his English is not real good.) He then turned and said “I don’t understand how this can be happening here in America.” “This is America and this is our city, how can it be?” I don’t know I told him, but it is real and it is happening not just in our city, but everywhere.
I think his eyes were opened tonight and I can almost guarantee, he will have a different perspective when he returns to the park to help serve.