Christianity · Homeless · Income

Making The Most Out Of Being Homeless

20171008_131012_resizedIt’s Sunday.  I live in my van, more than seven months now, trying to cope with living in the small space.  I realized last night while getting ready for bed on my cot in the back of my Grand Cherokee, just how odd it is to live this way; being a van dweller.  I had never heard the term until a friend told me she watched YouTube’s about van dwellers.  That’s where I learned the term when I first started living in my van.  So I spent time last night wondering about the direction my life would take; whether I could build a successful online business involving the media and Christian writing.  I also thought about Christian lay-counseling.  I thought about how I might bring something more to the table about counseling Christians who want to know what to do in their challenging situations.  How could I incorporate my training, skills, education and background into a company?

I keep a few notebooks with ideas I jot down from time to time, looking at my goals and priorities.  Little things like what supplements to buy, or where to get my hair cut and on what day.  It’s all so hard, not having my own home to do these things in at a desk, or a kitchen table.  It’s hard living in a van; make no mistake about it.

As I continue to wonder about life and what may be in my future I also know to keep busy working on the goals I have.  Inch closer and closer to what I want and ask God for His will.  I seek His counsel on a daily basis and I enjoy having the closeness that I have with the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if I had the luxury of living in an apartment, I would not struggle as much.  I would not need Him as much.  I see this time in life as a blessing; a time to get to know Jesus more and lean on Him.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

I know my situation in life is the natural outcome of my not earning enough money for the rent I had to pay while at my last job.  I don’t see this as punishment; it is a learning about having enough to pay for the rent and keep a household before paying rent you can’t keep up with.  But of course, I knew that and paid the rent fine before the last job as security guard paid me so low that it was the reason I had to give notice and move out.

But I wasn’t happy with that outcome.  I wanted to have stability; a place to live for me and my cat and then move to a better housing situation once I got a better job, but getting a better job didn’t happen soon enough.  Now I’m on the East Side, and have been receiving oodles of job offers that are temporary, as usual, as that’s all I ever seem to get offered.  They are also mostly located in Seattle, which is a real bear during commute hours so I’m not willing to work there.

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I have to make decisions and I don’t want to stretch myself in a long commute for a temporary job, when I can work a temporary job here closer to where I stay; in a parking lot at a church.  I’m grateful they offer this at no charge; it allows me to stay there indefinitely without paying anything so I can get back on my feet.  I am tired of this financial instability, I can tell you that.  But I see the benefit of knowing God more than I would have, had I had an easier lifestyle living in an apartment.  I can also enjoy dreaming about having a company I can be proud of that is sustaining, and that I enjoy doing.  Whatever that turns out to be, I pray for it’s success, and that it will bless other people in some way.

20171008_130931_resizedI spent the morning at the park, watching a video sermon of John MacArthur’s about forgiveness, which I thought was really good.  I feel surprisingly comfortable and am spending time here at the library in Kirkland, Washington.  It’s my favorite one.  I have spent the past several days, maybe up to a week, living within a five-mile radius because I am conserving the gas in my van.  I vent at times to the Lord, and ask that the Holy Spirit give me the strength to acclimate to this since I am used to being free to drive anywhere for as long as I want to like when I lived in California.

I miss California, and a few times I have vented to God that I could just pick up and drive to Silicon Valley, California, to find a better job.  They don’t seem to have as many permanent and decent jobs in Washington state here on the East Side, as I had hoped.  I’ve asked God why I seem to be the only one who is a good employee, shows up on time for work, has excellent skills, but yet can’t find a stable job.  I know that I have been stalked by satanic warfare, and I know this is what oppressed me the most.  

It may seem odd that I am an educated woman talking about satan, but once you become a bible believer you can’t deny all that is written in the bible.  The spiritual warfare against me has steadily declined, and I thank God for that.  Also that He is my Savior and Lord who has saved me from eternal damnation.  I can’t forget that when I feel I am being unfairly challenged by my lack of work in life.  I’m not unwilling, the jobs just don’t seem to materialize for me for some strange reason.  I know I have further to go, and it will be easier from here, as it has gotten, steadily, in recent years.

 

 

12-Step Programs · Car camping · Child custody · Christian testimony · Christianity · Church · Domestic abuse · Falsely teaching · Homeless · Homeless shelters · Kirkland WA · Little god's doctrine · Miraculous Gifts · Van dwelling

Living In A Car Camp As A Christian

My home is my van.  People like me are known as “van dwellers”, and I park at night in a parking lot near the greater Seattle area.   People are allowed to park in a parking lot of a church on what is known as the “East Side”, near Seattle.  It is on the east side of Washington Lake, the big lake to the east of Seattle.  The church is located in the city of Kirkland, near Redmond, close to the 405 freeway.   If you look at the map below you can see the city called “Kingsgate” where I hide out a lot in the library, because it’s the best one between Kingsgate and the built-up city of Bellevue, where Bill Gates’ major MicroSoft campus is.

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There are three or four more “safe car parking camps” that I am aware of in the state of Washington.  The Mayor of Seattle, the one who is being accused of being a former pedophile, made an issue of the homeless crisis a few years back, when he tried to open safe car camps for the homeless, but I don’t know what happened to the ones he was opening.  They are not available, but he did go on and try and open emergency crisis shelters, to help get the homeless off the streets.  I think the temporary beds were added during some winter months but I’m not sure if they still are, now.

I’m not one for talking much when I’m not sure I want to know someone.  I’m not sure I would want to meet the people who camp at the car camp like me.  They are a rag-tag looking bunch who seem to not move their cars, who stay there all day and never move on. A few have plastic lawn chairs they put out and sit on while they smoke in the smoking area.  People must be on disability or receive some sort of assistance, so they stay and stay and stay.  The car camp I stay at has no limit to the time you are allowed to live there, in the parking lot.  You just can’t pitch a tent, and no RV’s are allowed.  They need us to move out on Sunday so they can have their regular church-goers park, in time for church at 9:00 am, I believe.  They like us out early and I never stay around to see if everyone actually moves their cars or not.  We are told to park them on the street until 1:00 pm Sunday after church activities are over.

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Everest Park, Kirkland WA. Photo: sleboeuf @ christianview.blog

I thought about why I’m here. Born and raised in California, I migrated to the midwest, after a child was born that I really didn’t know.  Her father battered me and I got away from him, and spent many long years alone, fighting to protect my only daughter who doesn’t know me today.  Was it worth it?  I guess when you’re trying to mother a child that wants her mother but the father keeps interfering in a custody battle he must win, in order to retaliate to the mother for wanting to leave him because he was violent, among other things, it was an attempt to get my child to safety; my safety.  

I went to court several times without a lawyer, and that was key at the time.  They didn’t recognize us parents who went to court without an attorney.  I joined groups to help me write the legal documents I would need because I had no money to pay for an attorney, and attorney’s aren’t good at protecting children in the first place.  They don’t get the concept and they don’t do the work to help a parent trying to escape domestic violence.  I went to a shelter with my child but it didn’t last long and she was lost to the father who had been friends with the attorney who frauded the documents making it look like I signed away full and sole custody of my daughter.  Of course that wasn’t the truth; he just made it all seem that way.  Without getting into all the details, it was a horrid life.

The long and the short of it was that as I came to realize I was alone in life, the family who I’d grown up with did not support me, really, I did know I had a god of my understanding from my 12-Step program I was part of for many years.  It was not the real God of Jesus Christ.  It was where I began saying the Lord’s prayer without feeling angry.  It was a starting point for me to begin to accept there may be a true god, but I was not at a point of knowing God.  As an atheist then, I was respectful of the Christians and I did not fight against what they had to say if they mentioned anything Christian.  That’s more than what a lot of people get as far as respect today if they are Christians.  It seems there is so much hate and blame directed at believers, but that’s for another blog post.

I went through two or three churches trying to gain strength over many years, and winding up in the midwest was a hard step for me.  I had gone through churches where I had no understanding about what they teach: some were speaking in tongues churches where I fell to the ground quite a few times not knowing what was happening to me. Some might say I had been “slain in the spirit” and it was all quite crazy to me.  Hence my gripe about the churches that teach those things.  I can hear the preachers now; “Glory hallelujiah, let’s all fall to the ground and begin to crawl like dogs and bite each other on the necks!”, laughing like hyenas and saying the spirit really is really heavy on poeple tonight, or something like that.  I didn’t go to that extent, but I did fall a few times, more than a few, and I didn’t know what it was all about.  Nor do I want to know.  That’s just an example of what I went through in churches in years past, before I really knew God.

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From “A Call for Discernment Session 2 – Mangled Manifestations”, a teaching by Justin Peters, found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Glmjrd5XtE

The way to God is not through magical experiences where you may be afraid, but through the continual, consistent, reading of the Word. Get some understanding about what you’re reading before believing anything you hear in church.  Church’s vary widely in what they teach and believe.  You might as well get some really good understanding by comparing what highly recommended pastors might say online.  Follow good examples by pastors who have learned; they study the word taking seriously what they teach.  They have you new converts who don’t know what to follow and don’t know who to reach out to in mind; they are carrying the Word of God with them in their hearts.

John MacArthur and Justin Peters are two good ones I can rely on to hear the truth from. They are not Word of Faith, nor Faith healers, Prosperity or Law of Attraction people. Those are not really teaching the Word of God.  They might be little gods in their doctrine, trying to impress, become more popular and want to guide you.  You must beware: there are many who want a following of the “sheeple people” who won’t study and do what it takes to learn the true gospel, and they might want to carry the flesh too far, gathering you in to the worst places, wanting your money, your recommendations, your adulation, your worship of them.  Look the Jesus Christ, the One True God; not man for guidance.  He is good and the light may shine for you through the reading of the bible.  I read the KJV; only the King James Version, for those of you who want to know.

I’m especially watchful now that I know I went through years of spiritual darkness, that had deleterious effects on my life for far too long.  I want to pursuade you to know the truth.  Stick to the truth teachers who are not far from God in their walks; they really know Him and are not teaching the wrong thing.  Otherwise, you might come under the effects of a wrong doctrine and wrong way of life.

You might never escape the clutches of Satan’s demons, who, when you want to know God, will come tear you apart.  I’m just warning you.  A sister in Christ would do no less, truthfully.

Everett, WA · Faith · Homeless · Homeless shelters

The Gospel Mission

This morning I was at work up north, as they say here in Washington state, where they needed a guard to watch the grounds in the event of there being a trespasser, or if a siren went off in one of the areas of the mill.  The mill is located in Mount Vernon where I work the overnight shift on Saturday nights.  

It’s not that I want to, I have to.  It’s income, you know.  

Now that I stay in Kirkland, over an hour’s drive south, it is a pain to leave work at 6:00 AM and stay awake to drive that far first thing in the morning.

I decided to stop at the rest stop in Arlington where I used the restroom after having driven aways, changed clothes out of my security uniform, and “regrouped”.  How would I spend my day today?

I decided to have lunch with the homeless at a shelter in Everett, called Everett Gospel Mission where the men stay, and I was greatly outnumbered.  I had called in advance to make sure a woman could come in for lunch and was told “yes”, and to “park anywhere around the building, come in through the front door” and that they start lunch at 12:15 PM.

When I got in I saw a bunch of tables in a big room, they were round and several of them had what looked like homeless men lying their heads down on the tables as if they were very tired.

I heard one man say, “I’m hungry!”, and I felt sad for the men who had no one to talk to, and mininster to them, giving them hope and strength of the Lord.  I know the women’s shelter associated with the Gospel Mission in Everett is some miles away, in a city called Monroe which may be too far for me to drive every week, but it tore my heart out to see the men, a few in wheelchairs, sitting at tables waiting for their lunch, and having nowhere to go but on the sidewalks outside, going nowhere.

How have you dealt with seeing the homeless out on the street?