Story of Susan-Don’t Underestimate

Story of Susan-Don’t Underestimate
For the sake of privacy I have changed the  name and some of the circumstances of how my wife and I met Susan. Susan is an example of why you should not underestimate the actions you may take to give hope to someone who seems to not respond to your actions of love.

While doing street ministry and a weekly feeding program I met Susan. She was a young homeless woman literally living on the streets in the alleys. She was both a heroin and meth addict. Anybody that does both of these drugs that give opposite effects is a serious drug addict. When she was not doing drugs she was a very beautiful looking young lady. BUT, most of the time she had very little sober time. Because she is a female and I am a male, I only had small interactions with her on the streets. However, most of those interactions were positive. I would just try to instill some kind of hope in her.

In the midst of doing street ministry I ended up marrying my wife Carmi and we would at times minister to Susan together. It would seem hopeful that she would get help but then things would change. This is so true for most addicts. One thing different about Susan is that we were able to met her parents. (This is very rare.) They were divorced but they both were trying to do all they could do to help their daughter. At times the mother would let her stay at her nice house on a lake. But invariably Susan would go out and use.

Once my wife and I moved from the Capitol Hill neighborhood we lost touch with Susan. We at times would talk about her and be saddened to realize she will most likely die from her addiction. We wished we could have done more for her.

A few years passed since seeing Susan. It was Christmas time. On Christmas Eve we wanted to go to church to just give thanks for Jesus being our Savior. We asked God if He would give us a special Christmas blessing as we went to church. We went to a downtown Seattle church. It was a great service. As we were leaving we heard a female voice calling out saying ‘Pastor Rich, Pastor Rich’. It was Susan. She looked beautiful. She was with her divorced parents, a man was with her, and she was holding a little baby. We found out that Susan had been clean for over two years, had a baby and was getting married. Both her and her parents thanked us over and over for our faithfulness to reach out to Susan. What a Christmas blessing. Proof that the little we may do to give hope may help to turn a life around.

So why do we support food banks, feeding and clothing programs, day shelters, and other programs? Because they give hope. Because they keep people like Susan alive. They are pieces of the puzzle to help turn lives around. Yes, for many they never change. For most. BUT the Susans make them worth it.

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