Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good Night, and Good Luck

This is my last post from this weblog. It is not a sad day, though, seeing that I am moving to bigger and better things.
I have moved my blog to what I believe is a better web hosting site, called WordPress.

My new address, along with all the posts from this weblog is:

www.brianmeagher.wordpress.com

I do hope that you will follow my journey along with me. Thanks for all the support I have had thus far!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

७.२.८

Wrapping up. That is what I am doing.
The last of everything is happening. I said goodbye to my family. I am sleeping downtown tonight at CCF so I dont have to drive about an extra hour tomorrow morning, coming down 85 to get on 75. I went to Bowen Homes the last time this morning, and I was with my last group. They prayed over me, which was cool.
I am sad to leave. I have made a lot of friends, and a lot of general contacts, as well as just general differences on people's lives. I know I have. It is hard to explain to you how good it feels to have a kid ask me what happened to my hair, because he didnt recognize it without it, or hearing them yell my name from inside their house, and be excited and run out to play with me. These are lasting impressions.

On a sidenote, yesterday Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) started passing out the first series of Section 8 vouchers for those that qualified. They have 90 days to move out. This is the beginning of the move out of Bowen Homes. Sad, but reality in this section of town. Atlanta in 5 years will be different, I guarantee it.

I am all packed in my car, and am planning on waking up at 4 in the morning, to be on the road by 4:30. I think it should be good to get home early. I am excited to see those who are in the metro Detroit area, and to share my story there.

This is my last post from Atlanta. Thank you for those that prayed for me, as well as called me/emailed me/left fun comments. It has been a journey, and I appreciate everyone of you for sharing it with me. I hope that we can connect face to face when I return back to Michigan.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

७.२.7

This is a good summary of what has happened inside of me, what I have learned, and how I have lived my life over the past month and a half. I am not saying this in vain, because by no means has living having my light actually shine been easy. I still have screwed up, but Jesus still shines. Chris Tomlin sang these words last night, and I just was energized by them tremendously. I hope that you get charged by them, and that light and life come flowing out of you.

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

७.२.६

Story time. This goes up there with the drugs and the shootings and the snake.

I spent an hour with the police on Thursday, and the story really stinks because of why.

So we were playing in Bowen Homes, like we normally do. There were three groups there with us, but the first two groups, who had knocked on doors and played had left, leaving the third group who got there late and didnt knock on doors, but were there until about an hour after the other 2 groups left. And I was the only staff person there with the last group. That is important information.

So then comes the time for us to leave (2:30) and the group really has to be somewhere by 4, and they needed to actually leave. There was a little girl who wasnt going home, and would cry that she wanted to. Normally we just leave all at the same time, but right when we were about to, this group of girls (6-10 years of age) says that they dont know this little girl, about age 2, and dont know where she lives. So, the group leaves, and I am there with 7 children, one of them not knowing where she lives and isnt really talking. I didnt know what to do. So I called my boss, and she said this has never really happened before, but I would be able to figure it out. So as I was asking if anyone knew this little girl, the other 6 kids I was with called over the police, who happened to be driving by. That was not my plan, seeing as the kids are taught to hate the police in this hood, and I knew that it would tense the situation. But thankfully we had a really nice man, who understood why I was there, and once I explained the situation, got on his horn and started making phone calls.

The story was that "someone" saw the girl get dropped off by a grey van. So right away the police officer was a little ticked that someone would just drop off their 2 year old with whomever. I guess that makes sense, right? I talked with this officer, and about 5 other officers within the next hour. They decided that they were going to send the girl to the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), and had called for an APD car from downtown to come pick her up.

Sidenote: DFCS means that once the girl gets sent there, her parent[s] get in trouble, and go through basically a custody battle, if you will, to get her back, if they get her back. It is a horrible process, especially for the actual outcome of this story.

Ok, so it had been over an hour, and the car was not there yet, and I had been talking with them for a while now and everything, and her mom comes in. She said that some people knocked on her door (first group) and said that they would bring her back. So really fast, it went from mom's fault to my fault (since I was the one in charge), and the mom got mad, took her baby, and left. I was mad at the group for not telling me before they left that they took her with the notion that they were bringing her back. Not a good situation. I told my boss, and he called up the church, and told them what happened, and everything got settled. You could point all the fingers you want, but the facts are that this lady sent off her 2 year old. I am not talking like almost 3, either. She gave the birthday, and it was like this baby just turned 2, and that is why she didnt know her name, where she lived, or anything. She was so stinkin young! And the horrible thought of having this little baby, and her mother, now going through DFCS, and turning their world upside down. It was just a rough afternoon, to say the least. I am glad I dont have to deal with that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

७.२.५

I may or may not have mentioned that I like kids. In particular, I like babies. For some reason, I feel like I just am comfortable, and playing with kids and babies just seems natural to me. I have found out on this internship that not everybody is like that, either. I mean, some people are just really not good at playing with kids. It is very odd to me that people just dont do well. Oh well, I will just take my abilities and move forward with that.

The other day I went to lunch with Kate (E2L staff member/friend/awesome person) and her family. She is from England. Her cousin was visiting from England with her friend, and then her sister was there also with her mom. Her mom and dad are foster parents, and so right now they have 2 young babies, Mimi and Tracie. Mimi is 15 months and Tracie is 6 months old. So they are young, and it was a pleasure being with them. I got to hold Tracie for a long time while we ate and it made my day for sure. I didnt have my camera that day, so I asked Kate for some pictures of them. These are the babies in their normal habitat.

७.२.४

Time is winding down here in Atlanta. I realized today how sad I actually am about leaving. I know I am ready to go home, but I really feel like I have connected deeply down here.
I dont know if I mentioned it in an earlier post, but the CCF people at Georgia Tech were trying to convince me to transfer to Georgia Tech. Oh how complicated that would be, but the thought raced through my mind.

I had a sit down with Vince (E2L Executive Director) the other day. It was really cool to hear how the director has kept the doors open for the last few years, with times being so difficult and everything. I think it is all just hitting me that my time is slowly winding, and it is making me sad.

One month from now I will be in Alabama for Field Training. Wowzers.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

७.२.३

Last night was so weird. I was driving home, and about 500 yards from my house, I saw something moving in the road. I thought it was a stick, but it was distinctly black. I drove slower, and saw it slither away. Yes, that is right, it was a snake. Gross to the max. Now, you may not know me well enough to know that I absolutely hate snakes. I have many stories about how much I hate them, but I am trying to get that fear out of my head. So here are the 3 possibilities of what kind of snake it was, based on where I am in the country:

The Black Rat Snake

The Indigo Snake

or the Black Racer

My thoughts are that it was a Black Racer just because of how fast it slithered off the road (I hate the word slithered...it gives me chills), but I dont really know.
Ok, enough talk about snakes.