Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sorrow & Suffering, Determination & Faith- Joanne's Story

You may know by now that Linda and I are copastors of Iglesia Bill Harrod. If you have been following the stories here on Corridos you have to know that the sheer grit and determination of the people that we serve at that church has produced some pretty big changes in my life.  Enough to motivate Linda and me to move to West Dallas to be in the neighborhood that our church serves.

We aren't suffering for the Lord in West Dallas.  Thank God we have two great jobs.  And thanks to some pretty phenomenal people and organizations like our church, like our marvelous neighbors on Fannie Street, like Builders of Hope, Randy and Tammy Skinner, Norman Henry and too many other people to name, Linda and I live lives that are blessed in more ways than we can count..

The story below is just one of many that manages to light fires of determination within us while also calling us to daily serious prayer for the women and men in our congregation who are fighting a determined battle against the principalities and powers of this world.  Joanne Alonzo-Gloria related this story on her Facebook page and gave me permission to use it here . . .

Photo Credit: 123RF.com

"I was feeling down this week because one of the many commercial properties I manage in Fort Worth is rough and only getting rougher."

"There is a smoke shop on the property where I was going to give an eviction notice.  I have been getting complaints from everyone over there that they are selling drugs. 
Now don't get me wrong."  "I have seen rough, ghetto looking places. This place, however, was really in another league.  It was 1:00 in the afternoon and I was completely scared! I mean really scared.."
When I arrived I saw a guy and girl fighting in the parking lot, not arguing but physically fighting.

"I went into the Dollar Store just seeking safety and the police were there because someone tried to stab the clerk. She caught him stealing a 2oz bottle of body spray, so he tried to stab her."
"REALLY???                       REALLY???"

"Do you mean to tell me that the thief was willing to go to prison for body spray?"
"Ludicrous. Crack is a killer."
"The most discouraging part of my afternoon was speaking to the officer. He told me that there is no hope."
"He said, 'Look, you have section 8 apartments in the back. If you think that cleaning up this shopping center is going to make a difference, you are wrong. It won't. 'These people have no fear of police. They will fight, kick, spit, stab, and shoot an officer without blinking, so don't waste your time.'
"I felt heartbroken."
Background Credit: Sharefaith.com
"Today on my way to the cleaners I saw a young lady we had helped many years ago.She was on crack back then.  She had lost her teeth.  Her hair was falling out.  She was living on the streets." 
"When I saw her today she looked so GREAT!"
"She told me that she had gotten a job and had been clean for 9 months.  She looked healthy and there was a glow to her spirit."
"As I left I called R.J., my husband, crying for joy."

"It is so difficult not to feel sad and just broken in spirit when someone like that policeman tells you there is no hope,  but God knows how to turn it around.  He showed us that what is impossible for human beings is not impossible for God."
 "Be of good courage.  NEVER LOSE HOPE!"
I am so thankful that you are here today.  My prayer is that Joanne's story will light a fire in you that illuminates the suffering and despair in this world, but that also lights a way for you as you seek to do God's will.

Photo Credit: Crosscard.com

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