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Touching those who have no hope

We’ve done a lot of interactive training at camp. The refugee camp showed participants what it feels like to lose all your rights, your home, and your source of income. To experience the desperation that the homeless, addicts, and prostitutes feel, we created the “No Hope Room.” Heather Mason …
By Seth Barnes

We’ve done a lot of interactive training at camp. The refugee camp showed participants what it feels like to lose all your rights, your home, and your source of income.

no hope 1To experience the desperation that the homeless, addicts, and prostitutes feel, we created the “No Hope Room.” Heather Mason played the part of a homeless woman. She wrote this about her experience:

“Desperate, alone, embarrassed and afraid. I was in
a forgotten world, where no one cared. Where people would walk passed me and
shudder at the sight or the smell. I would cry out to them, but they couldn’t
even make eye contact with me. I didn’t even exist! I was hopeless and no one
was there…

I was covered in the smell of fish, vinegar, urine, trash and beer.

We (the leadership team) all had different roles. People getting stoned, a
young teenager “cutting”, a man abusing his wife, a mother crying because her
baby was dying, homeless, suicide, someone just desperately screaming. The tent
was dark but we had strobe lights going and loud music. The participants were
pushed into the tent and told to make it to the other end. They were not aloud
to touch us or talk to us. As I would cry out sometimes even using their names
they didn’t know what to do. Some just started crying. Others laughed

.

“Just
a little bit of money, that is all I need. Just one more fix, and then I’ll
stop, I promise this is the last time”

Most of them hated being in there and went out quickly, others had to be
forced to leave. They all came through a second time after debriefing and were
then able to come and talk, pray or just be there. The music was still going;
we were still screaming… everything was the same the second time they came
through, but this time they knew they wanted to help. Some people collapsed
watching the abuse scene; others rushed over to the suicide scene and embraced
the young girl wanting to kill herself.

Saying “I have been where you are,
you don’t have to do this, there is hope, and His name is Jesus.”
Others
came and just sat with me, held me hand and listened to me.

This is stuff that goes on every day;
We have turned our hearts and our heads too long. We need to start being Jesus
to these hopeless people who are crying out, screaming for answers. We don’t
hear their screams because we don’t listen with our hearts.”

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