Julie Jackson – WCU
It’s been one full week since I’ve arrived in New Orleans! Our team is settling into how things work here at BFH, and are looking forward to seeing where we will be led as the summer continues. Besides my partner, Kristen, from Mississippi, there are two other summer missionaries, Kali and Ari, from Tennessee.
At our orientation meeting, we talked about what a typical week will look like at BFH. On Mondays, we’ll start with a staff meeting and devotion, then clean the building, organize donations, and plan for the upcoming week. On Tuesdays, homeless women can come in to take showers and get fresh clothes. During this time, we’ll also have snack packs and drinks available for other homeless men and women to come and pick up. On Wednesdays, we prepare and serve breakfast for a group of women that come in for a psychoeducational group. On Thursdays, there is a Bible study, and childcare during the study, preparing and serving lunch, and then letting the women who came to the study go through donations to find what they need. On Fridays, we have a debrief meeting, clean and organize, and possibly go out into the city for outreach. Saturdays are free to rest, and on Sundays we go to church and rest.
That is what a week at BFH usually looks like; however, there may be things that just come up and that we deal with as they come. Many times someone will come unannounced to the door needing something, whether it’s clothes, food, or something else. There have already been some instances of this. On our first full day there, a woman came in who had been sexually assaulted twice, and just needed to talk to someone about it. Another woman who didn’t have food for her two boys came by to get food, and one of the homeless men who always comes for snack packs came by after being jumped and having his things stolen from him. Often what’s most important for the staff at the house is to just be ready to help someone if they need it.
We’ve been helping one of the staff members move into a new house. She was once an alcoholic and homeless who came to the BFH for showers, food, and clothes. Thankfully, God moved in her life and she’s about to start her second semester in college and is working at the BFH! On Sunday, we went to a park close to BFH and had church there. One homeless man stayed with us the whole time and sang along with the songs he knew.
As far as the first week goes, those are some of the biggest things that have happened. We’ve spent time together as a team and with Dr. Kay at the house and around the city. Since it’s New Orleans, we’ve been eating pretty well!
Continue to pray for our team here. We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well, and have all shared our testimonies with each other. Pray that unity would continue to form and stay strong. Pray that we will learn quickly and adjust well. Pray for the staff here, and for the people who come to the house each day. Thank you for your prayers!