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Showing posts from March, 2013

Rest In Peace My Friends.

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22!
That's right!
22!

I think I'm way too young to personally know 22 people to pass away in one year (2012). Actually this number only includes people who have experienced homelessness in their lives. 22 is the number of people I have met while living my life at CCO as an outreach worker and case-manager. I knew some of these men and women deeply, while others were just fleeting memories.

I write this as a brief memorial, because I want these men and women to be remembered and I would hate for them to be forgotten! Even though they were harshly ignored, and continually neglected and rejected throughout their lives, we can never forget that each and everyone of them is precious in the sight of our Lord.

Late last year, all their names were read at Chicago's annual "homeless memorial" at Old St Pats Church, always held on the shortest day of the year. We remembered these men and women; we held candles, sung hymns, read scripture and prayed. These 22 invisible peop…

Happy 11th Birthday to Our Miracle Girl

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Updated.... to reflect 2016!
11 years ago we feared what might be. In anticipation, we waited to see the daughter we loved so much. Months earlier, through modern technology, Muriwai had entered our world with great vigor, revealing to us that her left arm was shorter and she did not have a hand. The level 2 ultrasound had caused Beth and I to weep, and yet to love her ever so deeply. We prayed! We fasted! We waited in eager anticipation and fear! We tried to cope with the unknown!


11 years ago we feared as the doctors took precautions and were ready to operate, "if needed". She came with vigor and vim, the doctors left unneeded and we marveled at our beautiful little girl with her functioning "special arm". Our anticipated little girl had arrived. We thanked God we could hold her, love her and cherish her. Tears flowed from our eyes as we now coped with the known!

11 years ago we feared the life threatening seizures that possessed our little one. Helplessly she&#…

5 City Blocks of Hope!

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What a blessing!
What an honour!
What a privilege!

This morning I walked for about 5 minutes...
covered 5 city blocks in good old Uptown....
and shook the hands of 5 different fellas..

All 5 of them were once deemed "chronically homeless"; now all 5 of them are permanently housed.

I am left smiling because of one simple fact: each of these fellas have risen out of the "pit of hopelessness" into the "cradle of hopefulness".

These 5 men's stories are all humbling to me, because I am blessed, honoured and privileged to have been able to play different roles in each of their remarkable transformations!

All this to say: these 5 men give only a small glimpse into how Uptown is filled with miraculous stories of never-ending hope, a networking community and revolutionary love for the "least of these."

A Marathon Challenge on Behalf of Uptown's Homeless!

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This year I plan to do something that's going to be a huge (could I even say enormous) challenge for me. I've decided to attempt (yes, attempt) to run the Chicago Marathon for the homeless shelter I work for: Cornerstone Community Outreach. This is a challenge that takes me out of ALL my comfort zones; I haven't run since I was required to at Kelston Boys High School, but this was well over 20 years ago! The truth is, I was slow and clumsy. I don't have high expectations, I don't expect to break any records; in fact, I'd actually say that my expectations are fairly low! I just wanna, somehow and in someway, eventually make it over that long-awaited finish line, sometime on the same day!
Listed below are the 5 main reasons I am going to run this marathon....
I need an outlet. Working at CCO is an all-consuming task that rarely allows me to escape from all the constant needs. Even going for a walk around the neighborhood, I get phone calls and people stopping …