July - August 2013
On July 21, 2013 while we were serving the Sunday meal, we met a man named David. This 54 year old fellow was dropped off in the Salvation Army parking lot by a kind stranger so that he could get a meal. David stood in the parking lot all alone, frail looking and without a place to sleep.
Not sure how to handle this situation, I said a quick prayer. I took him to an abandoned spot up under a nearby bridge. An hour later Peggy and I returned with some supplies; a blanket, pillow, food, flashlight among other items. His spot under the bridge was nothing more than a large cardboard box on top of the big rocks, but it kept him out of the weather and I knew he would be safe with the other men who slept up there with him.
Knowing that David was too weak to get down the hill and able to walk over to the Salvation Army for the daily meals, I would went out there about every other day after work to give him some hot food and to offer my friendship. I would stay and talk with him and try to understand his situation. He was a very shy and quiet person. This went on for about three weeks.
August 8th -- With some help from a couple of friends, one of whom works as a County Sheriff detective, we were able to contact his older sister in Pennsylvania. She wanted David to live with her and her husband. Harvester Christian Church bought him a plane ticket. Peggy and I took him home for a shower, a hot meal and clean clothes. After dinner, upon David's request, Peggy cut his hair and I slapped on some shaving cream and got rid of his beard.
August 9th at 6:00 am, David flew out of St. Louis to live with his sister. David was not a street person. He is a college graduate from the University of Indiana with degrees in music and computers. He lives a very clean life. He was very embarrassed to be found in this destitute situation. David was an example of what can happen when
there is no safety net to assist people when the unexpected occurs.