Monday, November 21, 2011

This Thanksgiving Crosswind is thankful Jesse got his drivers license

Last night at our Gathering we celebrated Jesse getting his drivers license. No he's not a teenager, he's a 55 year old Christian friend who hasn't had a license for 17 years. Why is that such a big deal? And how is it 'the Christian thing to do' to help people get their license back?

Jesse's story is like so many other friends we meet. He came to Corinth from prison and heard about one of Corinth's great outreach ministries called Living Free. They asked if he could stay with a friend in our FAITH housing ministry and sure enough our Tony said yes. Then came the hard job of getting a job. Jesse is an eternal optimist, "Just turn it over to God Bobby, he'll get me a job." Okay Jess, but you haven't seen his criminal record and even if Jesus has saved him, not many folks wanted to take a risk on him.

Jesse never lost heart. He went to the employment agency over and over and every single time there was an opportunity he was sure 'this was the one'. It was faith building to watch him suffer disappointment after disappointment but then just lift his head and smile and say, "the Lord's gonna get me a job Bobby, he is." Many times we thought that nobody would ever hire him. We gave him odd jobs to pay his monthly parole fees and tried and tried to find him work. He became a special project to one of the dear ladies at our job center and one day (almost a year later) she got him an interview at our recycling plant. Well that was the one. And boy you should have heard him celebrate. He took his first check and went to the job center lady and told her he was gonna buy her a big steak with it. She was so happy. She couldn't go but she said in all the years of helping people find jobs, he was the first one who had done that.

After that we went to work trying to get him some wheels and get his license back. Meanwhile, he got a ride to work with one of our volunteers. He found a car he could fix up for about 500 bucks and then we contacted the DMV to see about his license. We just started laughing... you kidding me?! All those outstanding tickets and fines. Oh my, how are we ever...? But Ronda the Great just started making calls and one by one we got it whittled down to about $2300 worth of fines in about three counties. Well Jesse said "I'll just get the money to get 'em paid off, that's all." And he went to work... by the way, he began paying his own light bill and rent right away, never once shirking from any responsibility. Lanny gave him a personal loan for a portion of it and the check cleared and the State was satisfied and Jesse was free to take the exam... oh yea, there is a test.

Jesse taught himself to read in prison sounding out one sound at a time so when he heard he had to take a test it was, well... a bit challenging. He studied and studied and was ready to take it. We took him up there and I swear when he finished I thought I was gonna break down. After all this time, that sweet, positive guy... he just shrugged, eyes moist but a big smile, "Oh well, I'll take it again." Later that week he said, "Brother Bobby, I turned it over to the Lord. I thought I could do it by myself last time, but this time I've turned it over to the Lord."

A week later he took it again. Take a minute to see what happened HERE

We love what we do and this Thanksgiving, Our Precious Lord we thank you for Jesse, for his life, for what he means to us, for the faith that he has in You that strengthens us, for your mercy to him, for his attitude in the midst of deep struggle, for your provision for him through the love of many of your children, and especially, for his Driver's License.

You are the Greatest God, we love you. Thanks again,


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