Nov. 13, 2008 Outside Borders Bookstore
For nearly three years, I have worked with Ron Scadina, who has worked for nearly ten years, to distribute sandwiches and water, to provide prayer and Bibles, and to play chess with those who wish outside Border's Book Store on Pacific Garden Mall in downtown Santa Cruz.
The mayor and a friend of his stopped by to discuss not supplying food for those walking down the street. Ron explained the ministry of reaching out to help the unfortunate, some homeless and some just needing a friend. He explained that we have been applying for grants and discussing with other organizations about the possibility of renting a store front so we could take our ministry off the street and into a more private place to help the needy. A thousand dollars a month have been available but another $2,000.00 per month needs to be raised. Maybe the downtown store owners would like to assist our program.
While this discussion was going on, many persons stopped by to share the successes of the week that has passed. Michelle says that she has lost her living quarters but that her disability paperwork is going through. Violet said that she got the job that we prayed for last week but that she lost it when they checked her past criminal record. Kemo showed me the Bible verses that he is memorizing as he is breaking out of alcoholism and has been sober for nearly five months now. David shared how he has been accepted by the Community TV and is getting signed up to start classes in video editing to get him off the streets and into a job. CJ stopped by for prayer since someone had stolen all of his earthly possessions and left him with nothing.
I was asked to play a game of chess, which I eventually lost, but it was a good, hard fought game. While I was playing, several policemen came up and approached the musical group that was singing with a guitar in an area near a window, (not the door) outside of the Border's Bookstore. In the years and months prior, many policemen would come by our group and not confront them in anyway. Most of the time, the policemen would be concerned with one of the people on the street and question them to see if they were coherent and normal or not.
Tonight, the policemen approached the singing group and told them they were too close to the building and that they were disturbing the peace. It is my understanding that the group was merely singing in a normal manner, at a normal volume, during the afternoon ministry. The sound restrictions don't come into effect downtown until after ten o'clock at night. The policemen selected three of the four persons in the group and issued tickets for disturbing the peace. We have a lot to pray for and ask God to help our city.
PS When the court date was given, a Christian attorney attended and the case was dropped.