Thursday, April 15, 2010

A late night visitor

I would like to share another story with you that hopefully shows how fulfilling my call to the North Side of Pittsburgh has been.

Last Wednesday night as I was getting ready for bed, as a matter of fact I was just getting under the covers. I heard the door knock and the dog bark. I was thinking "who is coming over at this time of night?". My roommate Jack, was in the living room but was under the weather as he was getting over a nose operation and was in no mood for visitors. Jack yells out to me, "Chad, one of your boys is at the door." I must admit that I was, as said earlier, just getting under the covers and did not want to get up. I wasn't the happy guy. I put on my sweats and walked to the front door and standing there was one of the boys I see from time to time. He told me that the door to his house was locked and his dad wouldn't be home for another 45 minutes. He said I'm cold and I haven't eaten anything. I don't know what happened to my bad attitude but I said come on in. I told him what I had and he said great. I happened to have a package of cookies on the table and I said take those. He ate a few as I prepared a meal for him.

The meal was prepared and I couldn't believe how fast he ate it. It was enough for 2people and remember that I'm a big guy saying it's enough for 2 people. I figured that he was warmed up and well fed and he said by the time he got home that his dad should be at the house. He left.

I cleaned up and got myself ready for bed again. There was a problem. My adrenaline was running extremely fast and my mind was working overtime. A thought came to me, "was that really who I thought it was or was that Jesus coming at the door?". I'm normally a pretty lucid guy but this thought still lingers with me a week later as I write this. I can't help but feel proud that I actually listened and answered the call to help the least and the lost in Pittsburgh. That event, was one of the reasons I felt called to not only work in the North Side but also live in the same kind of neighborhood my youth live in. I felt fortunate that I got to experience feeding the hungry and warming the cold, if he would've asked or if I thought it was necessary I would've gave him a place to sleep. I may not have many resources but the Lord has provided me with the right amount every time. (I've been well fed in the process also)

Someone asked me if I share the Gospel and I told them that I do as much as I can and sometimes I use words. I also feel that if God can use a white, overweight, 46 year old bald man with no special talents that he can use anyone. Listen to what he's telling you, don't second guess it. Your life will never be the same again.

Monday, April 12, 2010

College Bound

This has been an exciting season for me in Pittsburgh. Those of you who follow my blog know that I've been mentoring some boys since their junior year in high school. This past season I've been trying to get them to look at what is in store for them next year. The problem is they are trying to figure out how they are going to get the fee for their basketball team or $10 to go to a movie and I'm asking them about a concept most of their families have never really talked about other than the way I might talk about winning the lottery with a friend.

2 of the guys we knew who played on their high school football team got invited to check out Loch Haven University. This started making it real that high school is about over and these boys need to make a plan.

One night 2 boys were over and I was able to have what I feel is a breakthrough conversation about what is in store for them and what plans are they making for the future. As a result of the conversation and some follow up confirmation conversations they've had they have both enrolled in a local Trade Tech college. They are going to welding school and it's exciting to see their excitement and one mindedness on this particular goal they have.

I've developed a relationship with the Athletic Director at the high school that most of these boys attend and through our tag teaming we've gotten the other boys to fill out their FAFSA(financial aid application). We then took 4 of our boys to Penn State New Kensington and we were able to get them accepted a provisional students. (this means that they need to carry a 2.0 or better for the first semester or 18 credits.) In other words the 5 of the boys I've been working closely with have been accepted into college or trade school. They had an orientation this past weekend and this has really excited the boys in their decision to go to Penn State.

All in all, I've got to say that I feel like a proud papa. I'm not ignorant to the fact that we still have a long way to go but we are on the "bus"!