Stories From The Hood

The bottom line is that the inner-city is an interesting place.  Here are some fun, crazy, hair-raising experiences we've encountered:





Firetrucks, fires, and middle-of-the-night adventures.  Three fires in three weeks.  Each house burned to the point of condemnation.  It makes sense really.  Homeless looking for shelter, deep-freeze for weeks, abandoned houses, desire for fire-warmth, fall asleep . . . and next thing you know the fire that was meant to keep warm has turned into an inferno.  No casualties that I've heard of, but lots of smoke and action . . . here are a few pics.  This house is three doors down is owned by a guy who is out of town a lot. Pictures are from our house . . . too cold to wander down for a closer look, but the local news was there.


I was prayer-walking one morning, up the hill on Jackson Ave., when I saw a man pushing a shopping cart full of stuff, really full.  He looked tired and winded so I asked him if he needed help.  His name is Casper and he said that he could use help pushing his cart to the scrap yard and then someone to help him turn in the metal he had collected because he had gotten into a fight last time he was there and they had kicked him out.  He wanted to get enough money for a room that night because it was getting cold.  Knowing that compassion is 9 parts wisdom and 1 part "don't try to figure it all out everytime", I decided to wheel his cart as far as I could.  I then ran and got him some bread, stopping by the Bandimere's house to consult my friend David.  We decided it was time to learn more about the scrap yard, so we took Casper up on his offer and helped by loading up his scrap metal and taking it in to the scrap yard.  We learned it takes quite a bit of metal to make real money, but a wheel rim and some pop cans will get you about $11.15.  We were able to listen to Casper's story and let him know we loved him before we climbed back into daily life in the hood.  A great lesson for the day.


I was looking out the window and I saw a Scrapper coming down the street.  He was dragging a refridgerator with a chain around it right down the middle of the street in an upright position.  This was about week two of our inner-city missionary life and I was somewhat intrigued/nervous, but had to keep watching.  Suddenly, as he reached directly outside our house, he kicked it over onto it's side and started karate chopping the fridge with his hands and his feet.  He'd stop to rest and then started dragging the now dented fridge on it's side.  As he went down the street he'd stop and hit it and kick it, and then keep dragging. 



The Saturday before halloween the helicopter (which we are now used to hearing and seeing like a normal police patrol vehicle - one of Kansas Cities standard police vehicles in the air at all times) was hovering right over our house.  It was about 12 midnight and we had all been sick and in need of sleep.  Gracie Joy had come to the room I was sleeping in because it woke her up.  As we looked out the window there were moments when the search light was literally coming in our window.  It seemed to subside so I put her back down and thought we might be able to rest.  Soon she was back in my room so I went with her to look out her window.  When I came into her room it was like disco-inferno . . . the ceiling was lit-up with multi-colored lights even with the blinds shut.  Looking out the window there was a police car with lights on and dozens of people moving quickly (apparently to their cars) because there had been a party nearby that was being dispursed.  Having a missionary mind-set makes a big difference in these situations because we were able to just laugh and enjoy the view - especially because GJ was not going to sleep until the ceiling in her room was not flashing.