Denver Headlights 2022: Day 4
Today we started the day with morning prayer and mass at 7 am, I need to say that it has been hard to wake up at 5:30 everyday but being able to start the day with saying thanks to God for letting me wake up and receiving him in the Holy Communion is just amazing. My day just gets better when I am able to talk and listen to what he need from me in that day, and personal prayer has given me the opportunity to pray the Rosary filled with the love of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Street ministry today was my favorite, after three days I was finally able to make a connection with someone: Howie, a very smart man. We talked about everything, about his childhood, family, and dreams. We were even able to joke around and he let me quiz him on geography of the United States. I didn’t even realize that two hours went by and we had to leave. It makes me sad to realize that I do not know when I’ll be able to meet him again but I will keep praying for him no matter what, and for every single friend that I made this week. The friendships that I have found through God in this trip have opened my eyes to find my purpose and understand what God is asking for me: to love everyone.
After lunch, we went on a hike, which was quite an experience. After walking so much the last couple of days, going for a long and cold stroll was the last thing on my mind, yet I took the time to talk with new people, take pictures and even meditate and pray the Rosary on my own. It was to my surprise that this hike is where I found God the most, while I was talking to him and walking in silence, I did not feel alone but at peace. I knew he was with me, as well as the Virgin Mary holding my hand and keeping me warm. The night just kept getting better, all of the Carroll students went out for dinner and ice cream for a great bonding time.
I am so glad that I decided to come to this trip, where I found God, new friends and a life changing experience. Thank you Christ in the City!
Last night I got to do night ministry which was by far the best part of my trip so far. It was from 7:00-8:30. We still have one day left, but I feel as though it would be hard to beat the experience, I had last night. I went to a place that they call The Network. It is a small coffee shop where the homeless are welcome to gather. The missionaries go there and play music for them. At first, I was a little nervous to be in an enclosed space, and worried about making small talk. But throughout the week I have been repeating Joshua 1:9, which is “Be strong and Courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. I take this verse with me everywhere and throughout this week it has been relevant and helpful. I walked into the network not sure what to expect, and it was very weird at first. We all shuffled in, unsure of what was really expected of us. Our friends on the streets were pretty unphased by us, but we started to move away from the door. Me and two girls from Pittsburgh went to this one guy and were immediately pushed away. At that moment I wanted to quit, I felt the room get dark, and only focused on how we (I) was unwanted, my fear started to consume me, but I looked around the room and took a breather. I reached for my necklace as a reminder of Joshua 1:9.
We then gathered as a group not having mush luck and decided to break up into different groups. I was with Nathan. I followed him to a table with 3 men and pulled up a seat. I, still getting a feel of the room let him take the lead. We had an interesting talk with Grey, while the other two ended up shuffling out. I put in a few comments here and their but followed the lead of the conversation. Then we had Robert join the table, and Nate added him to the conversation. Without even thinking about it, we ended up into two different conversations. I talked with Grey and Nate talked to Robert. It ended up feeling so natural, and what felt like 15 minutes ended up being an hour and a half. The missionaries talked about the homeless as their friends on the streets throughout the week, and I saw that with them, but I never truly felt that friendship until I met Grey. I can now say that I have friends on the street, or at least one friend! I hated saying goodbye, and wanted to stay, but unfortunately it had to come to an end. But I would like to tell you two things that Grey told me. One, never be boring enough to choose a basic favorite color, his was Periwinkle blue. The other thing, that I really took to heart was “you can cry, you can try, or you can lie (either lie down, or lie to someone). If you choose to cry you die, if you lie down you die, if you lie to someone you die, so all you can do is try, even if you don’t succeed you tried and you will survive. so, you have to try.” At the time this made sense to me from his perspective, but the more I reflect on it, I have found a much deeper meaning to it. If all you do is cry you won`t get to see the beauty of life, you`ll walk though life only seeing the negatives, and not noticing what God has given us, and all the good things he wants for us we will miss, because we are too focused on everything going wrong. If we lie to someone or even ourselves, we are damaging our souls, unable to fully receive Jesus and if we lie down and shut off our brains and just walk-through life as almost a robot, then we will not become our full self’s. God has called us to something bigger than ourselves, and all He askes of us is that we try. Trying can look like what we do at Christ in the City with waking up early and having 3 hours dedicated to prayer, but it can also look like reading your Bible everyday or praying, but when we fail, (which we will at one point because we are human) we need to go again, we need to try again. At whatever it is God Is calling us to all He asks is that we try, and he will provide for us. I have decided to take the extra effort to try. To try to follow the plan that Jesus has for me and to trust that He has me, no matter what. I`m not sure that I will ever meet Grey again, but I can say he has changed me for the better. I love my friend on the street and will never forget that day at The Network.
The next morning, we walked the streets, and I was able to develop more relationships with my friends on the streets, none quite as powerful as the one with Grey, but all meaningful and wonderful. We then went on a hike (which was more like a walk). It was a great time to talk to the wonderful people that came to Christ in the City with me, and to reflect on the events that took place. After the hike we ended getting ice cream, and just ending the day on a truly high note. I loved being at Christ in the City and wouldn’t have changed it for the world. The late nights and early morning with only 3-4 hours of sleep, the freezing cold weather where my toes froze, and the idea of bedbugs crawling all over you, it was all worth it because the positives were far superior. This was an experience of a lifetime, one that I will never forget, and will always hold close to my heart.
Love, Cheyanne Hannaman