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Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Midnight on Skid Row

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment
Last night I took a midnight trip to Skid Row with my friend Jorge and a few people I had never met before. I had been to Skid Row once before with some other friends, a couple years ago, but that was during the day.

For those that aren’t familiar with Skid Row, allow me to explain, from my perspective. First, here is a (slightly modified) quote from Wikipedia: “The area contains one of the largest stable populations of homeless persons in the United States. Informal population estimates range from 7,000 to 8,000. People passing through this area immediately see cardboard boxes and camping tents lining the sidewalks.” People find themselves living on Skid Row for a number of reasons, but the reasons are almost always drug-related. I was told during my first visit not to touch the walls or ground lest I catch an excrement-related disease. Needless to say, I carried hand-sanitizer with me and used it several times. While on that first trip, I witnessed one man going from woman to woman propositioning them for free and unprotected sex. He had two takers in a one-hour time span. At least they had the decency to do it in the privacy of the bathroom ONE of the two times. The other time was in plain view of everyone. Everyone and everything seemed to reek of poop and pot. The point I am trying to make is that most of these people have no respect for themselves. They have forgotten how to love themselves and how to be loved by others. Mostly, they just exist and live from one fix to the next. Read more…

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One Night in Hollywood – Some Prayer Requests

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

This last week on Santa Monica Blvd, our team met at our usual place at the usual time, a Del Taco parking lot at 11:00pm. While we were in the middle of praying as a team before going to the streets, four new friends from the street joined us. After prayer we discussed plans for the night and they said that they wanted to join us for the church service that would be starting at midnight. I was “paired” up with Kayla and Han and we decided that the three of us should walk the street with these four, getting to know them better, until the service started. During introductions, they all four gave us pseudonyms. I forgot one of them (because I forget everything plus they changed names during the night), but the other three were “Steve”, “T”, and “D”. Prior to our team closing our eyes for prayer, I had noticed these four men and a couple other guys whispering in each other’s ears and being shifty with their hands. After the seven of us had crossed the street together, two of the men, “D” and the one whose name I can’t recall, started making illegal business deals with others at the donut shop. To say that I became nervous was an understatement. I immediately turned to Han to ensure that he was praying and, when everyone else was distracted, I quickly sent the following text message to our remote prayer team: “Our group might be being used as a cover 4 something shady. Pls pray 4 safety and discernment.” My text reply was, “Got it.” After that, I focused primarily on talking with “Steve” while Kayla spoke with “T”, the two guys who were not performing transactions. More details about Steve and T are below suffice to say that these two were the only new friends to join us for the midnight church service. Read more…

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A Day at the Theme Park [**]

June 12, 2009 Leave a comment
As the sun broke through the cracks in the blinds, its beams found their way onto little Susie’s face. She stirred momentarily and then sat bolt upright! She was still groggy and needed to rub the sleep from her eyes, but today was the day! Her parents were taking her to Wacky Land! Susie had never been to a theme park before but had heard many exciting things… rides, caramel apples, carnival games, and more. Even now her heart raced with anticipation. Susie’s parents had told her about the trip weeks ago and the days seemed to have dragged from that point forward, but no matter now. Susie got dressed and ready in a flash, and before she knew it, the three of them, mom, dad, and Susie, were getting out of the car in the Wacky Land parking lot. The actual park was still a long way away, but from where she stood Susie could see the tops of many of the rides. She could hear lots of screams of excitement and was visually bombarded with cartoonish colors and shapes. It was all so different from the mundane life she was used to. The walls of her bedroom, for instance, were eggshell white and her classroom at school had wood paneling on the walls with plain tile floors and ceilings. The dominant sounds of her life came from the air vents and the cars and buses outside. Even from a distance, Wacky Land was just so surreal. Read more…