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Friday, April 24, 2009

Just Like Another Piece of Trash

She was lying dead on a garbage heap just like another piece of trash, but this one human. Her head was crushed and bloody, her hands scratched, nails broken, clothes dirty and ripped. Dead.

She had been an alcoholic, but it could have just as easily been drugs. Another young person caught in a cycle of abuse, hopelessness and despair.

Nearby several grandmothers clucked saying, “yes we knew her,” “she drank here,” “they all come here to drink and to hang out in the dark.” Children playing nearby stepped closer to watch as a grandmother lifted the sheet to see the brutality of the murder etched in blood.

Brutal death like this is no stranger to the streets and alleys of Nizhny Novgorod. Every week we see them on the news, young, broken human beings, drug addicts, and alcoholics, homeless. Each one, at one time a little child with hopes and dreams of a happy life, now broken and dead because of hopelessness, lack of self-respect, sin, and bad choices,.

I weep inside every time I see another young person who has died a senseless death, another body lying in the street, or in a hallway, like so much trash, another young man or woman who has leapt out of a window to stop the pain and emptiness.

Despite this, every week we see hope. We see changed lives. We see young men and women making good choices. Working here with Cornerstone Church, helping the addicted, the homeless, the prisoners, gives us great joy. We know that Christ can change any life. We KNOW IT! We see it happen week by week. A young man, 36 years old, 3 times in prison for a total of nine years is now a radiant believer, living free from addictions while he helps others. A young woman, homeless, begging and selling herself is now living life with hope and dignity.

How could we not be here? How could we not help? What else could be more worthwhile than this? Our passion for these people, these dear, wonderful, precious people drives us, compels us to stay here. We wouldn’t do anything else if by staying we can help save one more young person from a life of despair, from a life of hopelessness. So…we stay, we work, we pray, we love, we mentor. That is our life here. The life we have chosen. The life we love.

1 comment:

Dale Brown said...

Mike, I am speechless! Reading this, makes me think how completely unimportant most things are in our lives... And how fortunate we are. I have a nephew that I helped raise after his father (my brother) died. My nephew left us when he was 13, but I have tried to stay in touch. I can no longer do that because drugs have taken his life away from him. He is institutionalized with "No Visitors". "Hopeless" schizophrenic! Why? How? I admire you greatly, brother. Keep On!!