Friday, June 3, 2016

From Under a Bridge to Under a Roof!

For John, life has been living in a tent under a railroad bridge. 

He has been there for several months. He came to Richmond by way of a bus with no place to live. He is originally from Texas.

I have gotten to know John over the last few months. He has come over to my house several times to do odd jobs around the house to earn some money.

He has also become very involved at the church. He has a very generous heart. Life has not been easy for John. Most of us could never imagine all that he has been through.

Today I made a call to Charles to see if he had a room available in his house. 

He said yes!

After the phone call we had to go about the business of packing up John's belongings.

The first step was to go down and collect all of John's stuff and bring it back to the house. 

Easier said then done. 

We had to park a ways away and walk a block or so along the flood wall.

Then you have to cross part of a railroad bridge to get to an island on the James river, in order to get to his campsite.

When you come to the railroad bridge you realize that there is a section that you have to stay on the railroad ties or else. All I saw was the water below.

At first I was not too excited to have to cross the railroad bridge. I had to ask the question. 

"When does the train come and what do you do if you happen to be on the bridge at that time?" 

John assured me that the train only comes at night! I was still suspect.

Then you climb down off the bridge onto a makeshift step, made of a broken grocery cart and a large rock.

Once we got on the island, it was a short distance to the camp. The campsite was right next to the river. A beautiful spot.

The campsite is directly under one of the archways which provides some protection, but not from snakes.

The other day John killed a copperhead that decided to join him inside his tent. That's not the type of circumstances that anyone should have to wake up to first thing in the morning.

It took us several trips to collect all of his belongings. I let John do most of the bridge crossings since he was much more used to it than I.

Can you imagine how long it took John to carry all his stuff on his own from across town?

After a lot of sweat, we drove to his new place of residency.

I couldn't ask for a better day! 

To make it even more complete? 

I get the privilege of baptizing John this Sunday!

Maybe we should have stayed at the river and done it there?

Please join us to celebrate what God is doing this Sunday June 5th at 12 pm for the baptism service or come early at 10:30 am for the Sunday service.

Atlee Community Church - Northminster Campus
3121 Moss Side Ave
Richmond, Va 23222