One thing Paseo does on a weekly basis is send out teams downtown to serve burritos and coffee to our homeless community here in El Paso. This is spearheaded by my dear friend, Jorge Alvarez. He posted this on our Paseo Home FB wall a couple of hours ago. Please read his post below…
… I’m SO humbled to be a part of this community called Paseo & The Church.
So I was planning on posting this picture on the Paseo Homes page and say something about how fun it is to walk along side of my friends Downtown for Burrito crew. Sometimes helping someone’s physical need with something as small as a burrito or a simple as a blanket is an incredibly empowering. So stupidly simple. Today however I sit at home feeling incredibly helpless.
I want to first thank Sam Guzman, Pete Dockery and the rest of their home group for coming along to help the Burrito Crew. I have been part of burrito crew for 2 years there are days that only two people show up to help us out. Today we had more than enough help 11 people show up. We had over 3 dozen burritos ( I am sure that is a record amount) we had a backpack full of water bottles we had a traveler full of Starbucks. I have never felt more prepared to go out and hand out burritos at the park. What I wasn’t prepared for was a lady sleeping on a bench and four kids ages 6-11 playing along side her.
I have seen a lot of messed up things in my life. I have to be honest sometimes I try to look away. To think that in America in the middle of the tall bank buildings and museums of the “safest” city in the country I would find woman with bruises on her face and body with nowhere to go with her kids but a park bench…. yeah that I was not prepared for that. So of course we offered them food and drinks.
But burritos sometimes are not enough.
We told them to wait for us and that we will return to pick them up and take them to a safe place. It seemed so easy to tell her we are here to help. As we walked back to our cars I pulled up my Iphone hit a few keys and asked google to find the nearest shelter. In my arrogance I thought it was as easy as ordering a pizza. Guess what? shelters are sadly in hot demand these days and the first two turned us down. I guess like when Mary and Joseph needed a place to crash some things don’t change.
Smart Phones are not enough.
So, I changed my focus on transporting them back to church simple enough we all had cars we could give them a ride. One problem none of those cars was big enough to take 6 people. So I want to thank @ Hector Fino for upgrading from a Sedan to an SUV. How awesome is it to have the ability to move from place to place. How convenient it is to take your family along with you. To run away.
But cars are not enough.
We are so blessed to have such awesome people Paseo Christian Church we make people feel so welcome that they didn’t feel awkward being in a basement full of strangers. I bet most people in our second service didn’t even realize they were there. Our church is so “missional” that we are so used to be amongst other broken people that we all blend together. but Church alone is not enough.
@Jena rhodes was kind enough to lend her expertise in these matters and get me in contact wit a place that could take the family in. I am so grateful that I know Jena so I could get the help I was looking for.
But sometimes even knowledge is not enough.
As the police escort came to pick them up at church the oldest kid asked his mom if they could come back to Paseo. Boy did that shake me. The kid didn’t ask me for a burrito we offered it. The kid didn’t ask me for a ride we provided it. He spent the night on a bench and the only thing I heard him ask for is if she would take them back.
I write this post first to thank all the people that helped today, they all are actually are walking the talk. We all should find some satisfaction in that Lorena and her kids are in a safe place today. However the real reason that I write it is to fully acknowledge that no matter how many people help, no matter how many burritos we hand out, what technology we have or cars we drive it will never be enough. Only God knows what we need only he can actually satisfy our needs.
As we all keep trying to make sense of this messed up world and hopefully try to make it a better one. I ask you to pray that the people we meet along the way can find the same conclusion. That we can stop trying to find happiness in material and selfish things and instead, I pray that we can look to our creator and simply ask him if he would just take us back?
And here’s the thing… He HAS taken us back. He’s given ALL of us a Second Chance.
Thank you, Jorge, for the great reminder of what grace truly looks like. I’m privileged to call you “friend”.