Tuesday, August 18, 2009

RTT: Limo Joe

RTT: cleanse yourself. write out all your random stuff that has been plagueing you. feel lighter, better, healthier.


My MIL and FIL moved to town a couple of years ago to plant a network of house churches. After they read, "Same Kind of Different as Me" (coincidence or God's timing - I don't know) they started - what a traditional church might call, a homeless ministry. In other words, they went down to homeless camps on Sunday mornings for church service.

"The Tabernacle" as it was called, fell by the wayside when the majority of the worshipers refused to stay sober long enough for church ... and they weren't just drinking. Also, fights broke out and it was a lot of drama.

FIL picks up Limo Joe and whoever else wants to come along and brings him to our house for Sunday service (MIL and FIL have a house church and so do we).

Limo Joe is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I could go on and on about how the Lord has affected him and about the contrast of where he was when we met him and where he is now, what his future looks like and the mended relationship with his daughter. But, that would be enough to fill a book.

left: Joe, right: my FIL, Bob

Maybe I should write a book about Limo Joe.

I will call it, Same Kind of Weird as Me.

Isn't Limo Joe a great Hobo name? He used to own a limo service, that's how he got his name.

One morning in church, Joe told us how he got busted for crack during the week. I was astonished - that really didn't sound like him at all. Then he went on to say that he was at a gas station and the cops there tried to ticket him because his pants were falling off - revealing his, er... crack.

He got kicked out of a church recently. A lady, who didn't realize that Jesus accepted EVERYONE told him he had to leave. Someone who knew Joe, saw him leaving and the lady who gave him the boot was reprimanded. Reprimanded? That sounds harsh. She was wrong but I think something in her heart needed to be shifted - not reprimanded.

We often see Joe 'flying' at an intersection near our neighborhood. We roll down the windows and chat until the light changes.

At the stoplight Joe, handed Gabriel a 10 dollar bill someone gave him. It was a fake bill and on the back it said, "Jesus saves". I laughed and said the people in the cars around us are probably thinking, "since when do homeless people hand out money?"

There are some kids on our street that are older than Gabe - but they play with him. As soon as we pulled into our driveway he ran out of the car and ran to show them his 10 dollar bill from Joe. They read the back and asked him if he is christian. You can imagine that Gabe is relatively inundated in Jesusology - yet, he came running and hollering at me down the street, "MOM, ARE WE CHRISTIANS?!" Yes, we are. He turned around, running and hollering towards his friends, "MY MOM SAID WE ARE CHRISTIANS!"

Unrelated to Joe, a woman and her granddaughter came to our service last Sunday. We asked her how she heard about us and she said that she is visiting her daughter who lives a few doors down and saw a bunch of people walking into our house with bibles so she thought she would check it out. I thought that was really cool.


Becky said...

This is an awesome post. Your mom and dad's house church sounds pretty rad, and so does Limo Joe. (Excellent hobo name, for sure.)

I love the story about him handing G money. Imagine giving a homeless person a fake bill!

for a different kind of girl said...

Everything about this post is really cool - though the lady who sent Limo Joe out needs to work on her cool. She'd probably kick Jesus himself out of a church if he walked in today because she's not *getting* the message!

Casey said...

Your parent-in-law sound like pretty awesome people. So does Joe, busted for crack.. hahahah.

Lisadiana said...

Too cool!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Busted for crack? Is he a repeat offender?

Mrsbear said...

How can a guy called Limo Joe not be cool? I think it's lovely that you guys open up your homes that way. Inspiring.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Your in-laws sound like very cool people - as does Limo Joe. You definitely should write a book about him! :) Friends of ours were talking about starting a 'house church' because we were all disenchanted with how 'business minded' most churches in the area have become and seem to take away from the whole purpose of going to church. Awesome post! :)

Happy RTT! :)

Ginny Marie said...

I was just at a church council meeting last night, and we were talking about how we want our church to be "home centered and church supported," not "church centered and home supported." You really achieve that goal! Great post!

P.S. I'm sorry about my stoopid comment form! :( I'm glad you keep leaving comments anyway! :)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

More people should run down the street yelling "We are Christians!" Don't you think?

Anonymous said...

You really do a great job in whittling stories down to their bare essentials. Great job once again! Even though as your fil the french would say, "Tu nous lances des fleurs" Maybe Brandon can help you with this!
Really proud of you.. fil.

Krista P said...

This post made me smile...more than once.

Laufa said...

Too bad I live so far away, I would love to visit your home church. I go to a Bible Study and love it. It's the comfortable, just hanging out feeling that keeps me wanting more.