When we open up the Dream Center on Saturday mornings for breakfast, we never know who is going to wander in and how we will be able to help! On a cold day almost a year ago, God directed a sweet lady into the Dream Center who would allow all of us to see the impact we have on the downtown community!
You see, this lady was freezing, hungry, and in search of food from a nearby food pantry. When she found that place to be closed, she wandered the streets toward her abandoned, boarded-up “home”, and God directed her the Dream Center. Not knowing anything about us, she had hopes of warming up and getting something to eat! We were happy to be able to feed her a wonderful breakfast of sausage, egg, and cheese on an English muffin. This very small, not even 100 pound woman, ate 3 sandwiches and several bowls of cereal. As she ate, we were able to begin to talk to her and hear the story of her life….how she hadn’t eaten in days, how she is diabetic (she actually injected insulin into her stomach as we spoke), how she is homeless, but too ashamed to call on her children…not wanting to be a bother! She sobbed as she requested that we pray for her.
After filling her stomach and allowing her time to doze (she was exhausted), we were able to meet another physical need by providing her with clothing and shoes. As we dropped her off at her “home” that day (with food from the food pantry and bags of clothing and blankets), she promised to return the following Tuesday when we opened for after school.
On Tuesday afternoon, she appeared back at the Dream Center. She was able to enroll in the GED down the street from the Dream Center. She had a light in her eyes. She came over to tell us the great news and to ask if she could SERVE by prepping snacks for our After School Program. This continued daily for weeks. She would come over after her GED classes, get a little help in certain areas and then make sandwiches and sweep the floors in service to the kids coming in.
A few weeks later she disappeared. We didn’t know where she was or how to contact her. Weeks went by and one day another neighbor came by with a slip of paper with a phone number for her. We called and found out she had gotten sick, passed out in the grocery store and taken to the hospital. Through this tragedy, the hospital connected with a son who lived out of state. They were reunited and he began to care for her in his home. She let us know she was in “good hands”!
A few weeks later she got sick and our people were there to take her to the hospital.
A few months ago she returned to the Dream Center and was no longer the frail woman we met. She had put on healthy weight, she was clean, and she was no longer living in a boarded up home. Today she is renting her own home, owns a car, and has her family here in Little Rock with her.
She continues to come by and serve at the Dream Center when she is available.