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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Choices and consequences.


In June I  blogged about hobo's, traffic light beggars...call them what you want.  I mentioned in the post that I had just taken Oom Chris off the street for the umpteenth time.  June is when the cold really sets in here in Port Elizabeth.  Oom Chris has been at the mission on-and-off for the past six years.  Through the winter months all goes well and he stays happily at the mission...but when the weather starts getting warmer, off he goes...

Oom Chris is over 65 and gets a social pension for the aged.  When we took him back in June we placed his bank card and ID document in the care of the social worker.  She draws his money, pays his expenses and the rest of his money is administered so that it lasts for the month.  We have to protect Oom Chris against himself, he is an alcoholic and if he has to take care of his own money....he will booze it up for a week and will have nothing left to pay for his keep...that way the vicious circle on the streets start.  Begging for money to buy booze, to drink yourself into a stupor, to survive another bitterly cold night on the streets.

Summer is starting and during September he got his ID document from the social worker under false pretenses and off he went to the bank to get an new bank card.  I guess you can figure out the rest of this sorry story.

On Tuesday last week, I was driving my usual route to pick Bianca up at the college.  Oom Chris knows my car and has in the past ducked and dived when he saw me coming.  With me driving a courtesy vehicle at the moment, he only realised when he bent down  to my window to beg that it was me...he got such a shock when he saw my face and he turned to hurry away.  I just shook my head and called after him.  I said "Oom Chris gaan huistoe en as ek jou weer hier kry, ry ek bo-oor jou." (Go home and if I see you here again I will drive over you{he knows I did not mean it...or does he?}).  He went back to the mission, we took his card and ID document into safe keeping again....until next time.  Oh yes...with us being plunged back into winter since yesterday...I am sure he is glad he is back.

You have any idea how weird it feels to reprimand somebody who is old enough to be my father?

Oh yes....for you who don't know Afrikaans - "Oom" means uncle... Afrikaans people tend to use the word uncle and aunt for elderly people.  The funny thing is that at the Mission we are Tannie (Aunty) Lynette  and Oom (Uncle) Kobus to everybody...even people older than us.  Now that took A LOT of getting used to!



7 comments:

  1. you are doing a wonderful thing. Oom Chris is lucky to have you on his side.

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  2. wow! that is tough. Great job at telling him to return. I believe that is a good thing to do, hard at times, but good for standing on the truth in love.
    My dad always taught us when people beg, to NEVER give them money because many use it for drugs/alcohol. He always taught us to offer a free meal, snack & drink, or a bag of groceries.
    It's cray how many (well, at least in cali) will turn down a free meal.

    My dad runs a drug and alcohol ministry called U-turn for Christ, I think I may have told you this before. The link is on my blog, but I believe he may have one in your beautiful country. You might be interested to check it out for referring people there. I am not sure were it is exactly though.

    I will pray for this man, and for you as you continue to do the work of the LORD! Thank you for caring and being willing to share the love of JESUS.

    You are a blessing!

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  3. Amen Lynette, thankfully Chris has you and your mission to help him and keep him from further harming himself....prayers going out for all of US who even if it isn't by the bottle do things we KNOW we shouldn't, that harm us and our relationship with our Father.

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  4. WOW Lynette, to say your life is interesting would be and under statement !!! All I can say is Thank God there are people like you in this world.
    Have a Great Day, Irene

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  5. You are such a good soul Lynette... an angel walking amongst us x

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