March 23, 2010
March 16, 2010
When the day of Wednes arrived, they were all together in one overcrowded living room. Their interpretations of the scriptures were varied, multifaceted, distractingly ill-conceived, and all were confused. Then a wind blew through the house-and no one thought much of it. One of the women who had been reluctant to speak amidst the brash and self-aggrandizing banter of the men did find the strength of conviction to speak to all gathered there. And behold, another who had pontificated beyond his understanding now found his understanding caught up in the truth he had hitherto only mindlessly echoed. And yet another heard a voice burn through the pages of an antiquated near eastern text, singeing the cynicism and aloofness by which he had hidden from his brothers. And though few knew it, they were all of them filled with the same Holy Spirit and began to speak each of the grace shown to them, and of their commonly felt command to give of themselves. And at this sound the neighbors came together, and they were bewildered and astonished, saying, "Are not these who are speaking street folk? And yet they speak as ones who are blessed of God. And how is it that we hear wisdom from those who are fools? Homeless and poor, prostitutes and frat boys, students and knaves, scoundrels of suburbia and vagabonds-we hear them telling in their own words of the mighty grace of God." And they were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others mocking said, "They are filled with green herb and the blood of bunnies."
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ and prophets' teaching and to unlikely fellowship, to the breaking of organic bread and popcorn prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many plants were grown and cold bodies warmed by those learned and illiterate believers. And all who believed were together and loosed their grip on things in common, giving up more of their possessions and belongings and distributing to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the morning prayers together and breaking bread in their home, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having something akin to favor and sometimes hostility with the people. And the Lord added to their number month by month those who were being loved.
March 10, 2010
I was wrapping up at work yesterday and got a text from Robbie. It said 'There is a hostage situation 6 houses down from us. Please Pray!' I ran through the building here and told all the students at the HUB for TMX to start praying. Several of those students had just been at our house for an orientation to our ministry and to volunteer at the Good Sam. I took off to get home and see what was going on. Our house has within a police barricade on Lake Ave. I got the cops to let me by into my driveway. The seen was straight out of a movie. There were cops, firetrucks, tactical units, and a huge military looking vehicle with a giant shielded gun on top pointed at out neighbors house. Everybody in the neighborhood was outside. It was the most neighbors together at one time that I have experienced since we have been here. 4 hours passed and all we knew was that there was a hostage. The police did a pretty amazing job of not saying anything about what was happening. After the 4 hour standoff things started happening. It was hard to tell what but I saw a stretcher brought out to the firetruck and many of the vehicles started leaving. The neighbors started going home and I ran inside to check the internet for news. At that time all that I could find was that there was a man that had his ex-girlfiend held up in the house. She was stabbed but rescued. That is all it said. This morning there was more information available. Here is what I found:
By Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
TAMPA — A woman going to claim her things from an apartment she had shared with a man was stabbed and held hostage four hours in a standoff with authorities on Tuesday.
Police said that two days earlier Tameka Lashawn Washington, 27, had moved out of the garage apartment she shared with Walter James Scott, 44, and came back with her sister Tuesday at 2 p.m., intending to pick up belongings and money.
When she knocked, Scott yanked her inside and slammed the door in the sister's face, said Laura McElroy, a police spokeswoman.
Washington's sister ran down the apartment's steps and called police on her cell phone.
"One girl ran down the stairs yelling 'I'm going to call somebody' but the other girl didn't come out," said Sarah Haywood, who lives across the street from 1007 1/2 E Lake Ave., where the standoff took place.
Scott has a history of domestic violence arrests involving Washington and other women, McElroy said.
Officers spoke with Scott at length through a crack in the door, which was barricaded with a couch.
He told them they were talking about their relationship, and he was going to release her, McElroy said.
When he didn't, tactical response officers and a hostage negotiator were called.
McElroy said they negotiated for hours with Scott.
Just when it seemed he'd surrender, Scott cut off communication with police, McElroy said.
"At that point they were worried about Washington's safety, so they broke down the door and entered the residence," she said.
Washington darted out of the bathroom toward the officers, bleeding from a stab wound to her back.
She was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition Tuesday night, hospital officials said.
Scott was charged with aggravated battery and armed false imprisonment with domestic violence enhancements, police said. He has been arrested more than 40 times since 1984, records show.
He has been charged with battery at least 10 times but only one of his three stints in prison was for battery.
Thank God neither of them were too badly hurt. And for all the ugliness it was really nice to be out with all the neighbors at the same time. Maybe we can find more positive things to gather around in the future.
And I must say for all the problems I usually have with the cops around here.... They did a good job and were respectful to the neighborhood.
March 09, 2010
Those who sow in tears
March 03, 2010
On February's community day --despite wind, rain, and soaked tools-- the experienced Lake House builders, joined by several members of USF's garden group, built five raised garden beds at the Ladies' House at the Good Samaritan Inn. Four raised beds for food, and one for flowers--which we were informed will be daisies, lots and lots of daisies. The college students were fueled by lunch from the day's church group handouts, and Brenda's warm tea with ginger ale.
The Good Samaritan directors are an inspiring team whose respect and love for others is hard to miss. They shared with us their story of followings God's voice which led them to live and serve some of Tampa's most "difficult" people. In the Ladies House alone, there is an overwhelming amount of mental illness, severe depression, and trauma victims.
We know that God's greatness is revealed in Creation. I have seen God's love in a blossom, I have felt his provision in a freshly picked fruit. Lord, would you use this garden to both nourish the flesh and to heal the spirit of the women who pass through this residence. Please bless this work of our hands. Amen