This whole story started last summer when I saw Trent walking down the street here in Florence. He had chosen the hard road for his life for a long time and was again living in the streets. He was one of the best con artists around. He once told me that he could get some money from just about anyone at anytime. Life was all about Trent. It was a feel-sorry-for-myself lifestyle.
There were several occasions when we would help him out. We would give him something to do to make a few dollars. That day I saw him on the streets, we picked him up and let him help me move some tables at church for $20.00. He seemed very grateful. I simply told him that we loved him and any time he wanted to get his life straight to just let me know.
Gradually he started showing up more. And at our carnival last September he came and helped all day long. People at Creekside started doing what they do best–loving on him. They are genuine in that. It’s not just a game to play to get a “prospect” interested in “coming to church.” There is a realness to the love you feel in our church family. With all of our faults, that is one thing you can count on.
Trent began to come the the services of the church. He then began coming to the fellowship activities–then to Bible class. He began to feel the love of Jesus in his heart. He got a steady job and began saving money. He would give his check to his mom so that he could save for Christmas. This past Christmas he was able to give gifts to his children for the first time in two years. He told me, “The last two years have been about poor poor pitiful Trent. This year’s gonna be different.” And it was! His only fault was spending too much of what he had saved on Christmas. I couldn’t stop him though. It was a beautiful thing to see him growing in the love of giving–something he had not been able to do for years.
Trent’s journey is continuing. After receiving the love of Jesus into his life, he decided that he needed to be baptized. The call was wonderful to receive. We met at the building on a cold night. Thank God the water was warm. He said, “I’d go to the creek if I had to. I just know this is something I need to do to be complete.” The picture you see above is one that I get the privilege of be a part of in many people’s lives. I love to get we hugs. Almost always people say, “I’m sorry to get you wet.” I reply, “It’s the best wet hugs ever.”
Trent has a dream to help us start a soup kitchen for the homeless and less fortunate in our area. He said, “I know what it’s like to be on the streets. I know what it’s like to be hungry and alone.” He told me that he wanted to give back. He said, “I’ve taken for so long. I want to give back now.” I am so excited about God’s plans for Trent. I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for him. Please pray for him as Satan will be after him even more now. God is awesome!!