The Tale of Two Joe’s

26 11 2011

The Tale of Two Joe’s

by Glenn Roseberry on Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 5:52am

Well since it has happened twice I will share it here. I work with a group of men in a discipleship class in Frazier. They are the working poor and the disabled. At least to me. To most of my unsaved white friends they are free loaders and all that is wrong with our society. And yes some of my Christian friends as well. Every man in my group has either been shot, in prison and or had an immediate family member murdered. All but two have their GED as opposed to their high school diploma. They are mostly the recently saved and all over 30. Two of them are named Joe. A few weeks back “little” Joe, was going to be unable to attend our weekly meeting. He kindly called and alerted me to the fact since I pick these guys up to take them to the meeting. He did not want me to waste a trip. A friend had stranded him in another part of town. He could not get back home in time for his weekly ride. We hung up. Less than 10 minutes later he called back and told me he had to say something. He wanted me to know that he really wanted to be in the meeting and that he loved me and would miss me. He wanted me to tell the guys that as well. My group is changing before my eyes. Last week “old ” Joe, came to the door to tell me he was sick with high blood sugar and could not come. “Old” Joe is not really that old. He is a couple of years older than me but looks 75. He has lived a hard life. He would have called to alert me but his government supplied cell phone had been stolen by a drug selling nephew and the youth used up his minutes. He only gets 225 a month. Two old gun shot wounds are visible from his neck. His health is terrible. All of my men have various life threatening diseases due to past life styles and heredity. After apologizing ‘Old” Joe told me he loved me and would miss the meeting. We all missed Joe and prayed for him that night as we held hands. Almost half of my men miss at least one or two meetings a month due to health. They never miss for any other reason. If any miss we immediately are alarmed. It means something bad could have happened. We buried one earlier this year. I gave his testimony at his funeral. Those that work seem to all have large families. If they are laid off they are literally in danger of having to send the children to live with other family members. One had to move to a homeless shelter. Then we lost track of him. We are worried. Due to the kindness of other Christians I was able to give them some work book studies to learn to share their faith. They were so excited. We are memorizing scriptures to share and making a covenant to begin to chose people in their lives to pray for in the coming weeks as we learn to share about what Jesus has done in our lives. The Kingdom has come. The gospel is being preached to the poor. And perhaps some day very soon the gospel will be preached “by” the poor to their neighbors. I believe that we are changing culture. That is always what true Christianity has done. I love my Joe’s. Both of them. And they love me. We are the church. and the Church is triumphant. Praise to the King.

 

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