One day we showed up and no one was there except Javier. We asked where the other guys were at and he said "no alcohol, no drugs, do diablo"! He had kicked his brothers and the other guys out of his homeless camp! That is another level of being homeless when you are kicked out of the homeless camp! He continued to build his relationship with Jesus. He would often be seen in The Village carrying his Bible under his arm. He became very involved with the Hispanic church where he still attends.
Javier continued to live in the woods and one day we asked him why. He told of his sister in Mexico that had a daughter who was very sick. He would work construction then send money to help his sister. We helped him through a period where some guys intentionally ran his bicycle off the road when he was on his way to work. We continued to see each other and would have lunch together at times. He had attended Durham Ministers In Prayer with me on several occasions. He has started hanging around Headquarters more and he is on fire for JESUS!
Jose had the idea a short time back to call to see if he wanted to pray with us. We were going to eat prior. Javier agreed to go with us. I asked him if he was hungry and he said that he was. He told Jose in Spanish that all he had eaten was some nuts that he found in the woods. He had brought five of them for me which I still have. When we think we have it tough there is always someone in a worse condition. Javier never complains about anything!
Last Wednesday night with the help of Chris Ferrer we delivered a kerosene heater to him that had been donated. It was going to be in the single digits that night. We met in The Village parking lot near Ghetto Mex. I told Javier to take it to his camp to make sure it worked then call me and I would go get him some more fuel. It worked so I picked up the fuel then returned. He told me to meet him at his friends vehicle who sells tamales. He knows I like tamales and he had bought me some to show his gratitude. When I arrived and was standing next to Javier I smelled the strong odor of kerosene. I thought it was strange that he would smell that bad but keeping him warm was all that mattered to me. I did not know till the next day that when he was carrying the heater back through the woods it had become heavy and he had put it on his shoulder. The kerosene had spilled down his neck. The next day he was at headquarters and showed us how it had burnt his skin off. He had picked up some cream for it. Again, Javier never complains! That should be a lesson for many of us when we think we have challenges. It was so cold that night and it bothered me a great deal that he had to go through what he did.
A couple weeks ago I asked him about his niece in Mexico. He dropped his head and said that she had passed! I told him that I was sorry and that we needed to work on getting him out of the woods now. He has lived in the woods for so long he has no sense of urgency to go anywhere else. We will continue to talk to him. He could very well end up a preacher with the zeal he has for the Lord! He is fruit from the ministry and a real blessing to many of us that call him our friend! The ministry continues to help him with his needs. With Javier you have to dig to find out what he needs. He is not like most that try to get whatever they can get out of you. Please keep him in your prayers!