I'm in Houston, Texas now! I got here on Friday night. That morning before I left New Orleans, I went into the city to try to find my friends from the week and say my goodbyes. I didn't see many familiar faces, but I did get to see Randy one last time and say goodbye to him! I was so happy, it made my day! Randy was such a sweet, sweet guy and I was so excited to get to say goodbye and love on him one last time before I left. Meeting him was such a blessing, and so was finding him again on my last day.
Things have been different in Houston, but still good! The homeless people here are more spread out than they are in most cities. Usually I can find big groups of people in a few parks, but here they are really spread out and I haven't found any areas where a lot of people are congregated. Most of the people I've seen are on their own. And a lot of the people I've met here so far aren't very talkative, but that's okay! The people that keep to themselves are just as important and lovely as the ones that share their life stories with me. Even if they don't let me get to know them, I know God knows them and loves them so much.
There was one guy I met today, James, who was really talkative! Sadly, he didn't have teeth and he talked really quietly so I couldn't really understand what he was saying, but I still loved listening to him! It was sweet because after I left him, a lady that a met, Teresa, said she's never seen him talk that much before! She said usually he's really quiet and keeps to himself. So even though I couldn't understand most of what he said, I was honored that he wanted to share his heart with me! Other than James, though, not many have really wanted to talk that much.
Today, after I went through downtown a bit, I got to go to some people living under overpasses. It was actually really cool, because I didn't set out to go to people under bridges. I was just driving and I saw some tents set up, so I slowed down and tried to find somewhere to park, and I saw this sweet lady smiling and waving me to her. It was like she expected me! When I stopped, I found out her name was Sharon, and she brought a few of her friends over to me with her. Even though they didn't talk much either, they just left quickly after they got a few things that they needed, they were really sweet and appreciative! After I left that bridge, I went to another one and gave out the rest of my sandwiches.
It's funny, because after I went under the bridges I was thinking about how my time in Houston so far has kind of been at a slower pace than most cities. I was thinking that maybe God was trying to teach me to be just as passionate and joyful about serving these people when they are more reserved and it isn't super exciting as I am when they share their entire life story with me and every moment is exciting. But then I thought, "Wait a second. I'm going under bridges into tent communities. I guess that's still pretty exciting." I love what my "normal" has become!
So Houston has been great so far! I'm hoping that I will get to find some of the same people every day so that they might get more comfortable with me and maybe want to talk more. I just love getting to know these people and bond with them! But even if none of the people here end up opening up to me, I know they're just as special and I've loved meeting them.