We hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon for the GB residents who did not have other plan and would stay around on the Thanksgiving Day. A couple days before that, when answering our question about how many residents might stay around and join the luncheon, one of the managers at GB told us that there was this one resident who is severely alcoholic and very lonely, and that he might be around. She said she remembered this resident saying something like “Jesus is really important to me” and thus thought we as a Christian group could help him with his problems. I then recalled that this resident came to our service a couple of times when he first moved in, and he is a great singer who sings for a living by performing at different parties.
On Thanksgiving, as we started our luncheon, I remembered what the manager had said and called that resident from the phone downstairs. He picked up the phone and I introduced myself to him. He actually remembered me. I invited him to join our luncheon and he sounded surprised and delighted.
When he came, he was apparently under the influence of alcohol, and he shocked everybody by his loud greeting and strange behavior. We quickly seated him away from other residents and a couple of us tried to talk to him to occupy his attention. Thankfully he remained undisruptive from then on. As I was talking to him, I could see that he was not his normal self. However, he thanked me for inviting him. Though he was under the influence of alcohol, he was coherent. About 10 minutes into our conversation, he started telling me that he is “a sick person”, that he is “not physically sick but sick in his heart”, and that I “know what that means”, that he knows that he has alcoholism, that he needs God. As I listened, I noticed there were tears on his face, and my heart went out to him, and I invited him to come back to our Sunday services. He then said he would start coming to our service again.
I was praying that he would come to our service, but he did not show up. I called him after our service ended, and gently told him that I was expecting him at the service. He told me that he felt he was so messed up that he could not come, but he would try to come next time. I asked him whether we could talk sometime, and he agreed.
This resident reminded me that brokenness is so real in this world, that wherever we go, we have broken people who need love – not any love but God’s love. In fact, everyone has their own story, even though they may appear fine on the surface, and everyone needs God. There are so many people dying to know the gospel and we really cannot rest but to find these people and bring the gospel and God’s love to them.