Homeless, Hungry & Alone… chapter 5

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Homeless, Hungry & Alone...
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Chapter 5

Fast – Day 11

It’s Wednesday! Today is going to be an amazing day!  I am full of joy, hope and thankfulness to my God this morning!  Spent some time in worship this morning – just thanking Him for who He is and the good things that He brings!  Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights (God Himself). I’m excited about ‘Raise Your Tents’ – this is a spiritual adventure I’ve been praying for and it all starts this Friday!

“It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I want kindness more than I want animal sacrifices.’ I did not come to invite good people but to invite sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

Fast – Day 12

I woke up this morning at 3am with severe chest pain – could only take short breaths (very painful)!  I immediately began praying and within 10 minutes, the pain was completely gone!  Thank you Jesus!  I’ve never had chest pains like that before.  I considered this an attack or scare tactic from the devil to keep me from continuing the fast!  Something very awesome must be coming and he is trying to distract and discourage me.  But, it’s not going to work for Jesus has rescued me from his grip!

I feel at peace.  I’m not exactly sure how Raise Your Tents is going to work itself out, but I do know that God has His mighty hand in the middle of it, so I know It will all work out for the good (Romans 8:28 & Jeremiah 29:11). Again, God alone is my hope and my provider!

Then a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came behind Jesus and touched the edge of his coat. She was thinking, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”

Jesus turned and saw the woman and said, “Be encouraged, dear woman. You are made well because you believed.” And the woman was healed from that moment on. Matthew 9:20-22

After Jesus went inside, the blind men went with him. He asked the men, “Do you believe that I can make you see again?” They answered, “Yes, Lord.”

Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Because you believe I can make you see again, it will happen.” 30 Then the men were able to see. Matthew 9:28-29

36 When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them because they were hurting and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36


Had a good day at work.  Started feeling abit lightheaded around late morning, but it went away quickly.  Had a meeting with Pastor Wes this afternoon.  It was very encouraging! The Lord is doing some incredible things at Richland Assembly.  He’s preparing the body of Christ for a great work in the Tri-Cities.  Debra and I have the blessing and privilege of being a part!  More to come…

Tomorrow is the first night of Raise your Tents.  I am excited and wait in anticipation to see what the Lord is going to do over the next week in my own heart.

Fast – Day 13

It’s Friday and the first day/night of Raise Your Tents!  I woke up this morning feeling rested and ‘alive’ in my spirit.  I don’t work today, so I got a little extra sleep. Spent a short time in worship to my King and reading – getting ready for my day – preparing for friends coming up from Yakima tomorrow and Raise your Tents tonight!  It’s going to be a great day!!  About 4:30pm, Debra went with me to check in at the Raise Your Tents site and get set up.  When we got there, there were already about a dozen tents set up.  Setting up my six man tent (will give me plenty of room), I could feel a slight anxiousness coming on at the same time as excitement and joy and being able to be a part of this.  Once we were all set up, we left for home.  I wanted to spend the evening with Debra – to make sure that although, I am serving others and my community, I wanted to make sure that I am serving my wife as well and not neglecting her; after all, she’ll be sleeping alone for a week!  She is unable to join me.  A friend of ours drops his daughter off at our place early morning and Debra takes her to school.

When you go, preach this: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead to life again, heal those who have skin diseases, and force demons out of people. I give you these powers freely, so help other people freely.  Matthew 10:7-8

Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life. Matthew 10:38-39


Tonight, I leave my nice warm and cozy home for the confines of a cold dark tent!  The weather forecast is also saying very high winds!    It’s 9:30pm and I’m sitting in my tent alone.  It’s very windy – gusts up to 40 mph! The ambient temperature isn’t too bad, but the wind chill is cold!  I am dressed in multiple layers including a pair of sweatpants, several layers of shirts including a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt and another coat, a beanie for my head and gloves.  I probably actually do look like I am homeless!  Deb helped me set up and stake everything down earlier and for that I am very thankful!  As I sit here, the wind is causing my tent to cave in on itself, but it springs back into shape when the wind calms down!  Wow! There it goes again and… hey, the tent just collapsed in on me!  Oh well – I will push it back out into shape – it has those super-bendable rods. My tent looks like a set of billows, but I’m here and I’m not leaving.  God wants me here and that’s enough for me, regardless of what’s happening outside or around me.  Should be an interesting rest of the night though – the wind is howling outside!  I am planning to try and stay as many nights as I can through out the week and go to work in the mornings.  I am in great anticipation for what the Lord has in store.

I am still on a complete fast, but I brought a thermos of hot organic vegetable broth.  Mmmm – good… especially with the wind and cold!!  It amazes me how a simple cup of hot steaming vegetable broth can fill an empty tummy and totally warm me up and make a lonely ‘homeless’ man smile.  It’s very dark, cold and a bit frightening listening to the wind and watching it molest my tent!  I turn my flashlight on in the tent for a little light.  The wind ‘moving’ the shadows around are a little freaky!

Right now, there are about a dozen other tents here – a lot of hardcore folks enduring the intense winds!  There is even a retired gal who is sleeping in a cardboard refrigerator box covered with a blue tarp.  She said that she did this last year and it was ‘too easy’.  Incredible!!  As I look outside my tent window, I can see the silhouette of her ‘box home’.  I was curious how it was holding up to the wind.  Although it is shaking a bit, so far, so good.  Actually I think because her box is relatively small compared to some of the tents, the box is doing well.  She did a great job in fastening the tarp to the box and roping/staking it all down. I was  talking with her earlier and she told me that she was thinking of sleeping in there without a sleeping bag because the box actually is quite warm!  However, I think her friend talked her into at least taking one in with her.  She is hardcore! Hopefully tomorrow being Saturday, it will bring some more campers out.

As I get ready to call it a night, I am thankful to my God for the opportunity to live my life in such a way that is worthy of telling stories about! I am here because He wants me here.  I am here because His love beckons me to love those around me – to do what I can to help those struggling and in need.  To set my own comfort aside to be obedient to His Word. I am here because this is an opportunity to do what Isaiah 58 says that God approves of – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing shelter for the poor wanderer, loosing the chains of bondage and freeing those imprisoned under a yoke of slavery.  This is what the Union Gospel Mission is about and this is an awareness and fundraising event for them.  I feel as though I am doing my part in supporting them here.  Thank you Jesus!  I look forward to seeing what adventure You have for me tomorrow… oh, and would You please keep my tent in tact over night and help me get some sleep…

  1. Deb says:

    Wow… as I read this post I get teary eyed with a lump in my throat… No, I could not join. In addition to getting up each morning somehow I’d gotten myself quite ill with a couple infections. Even going out with him to help put up the tent was a chore and I wanted to collapse when we were done. Man I can be such a wimp! I felt like I was “suffering” with this horrible illness… ya right.

    Truthfully I’m not sure how many nights if any I would have chosen to do what he did. Ouch… I am not proud to admit that. I admire and respect each person that was out there. It was a brutal week of weather and I’m not sure this city girl would have lasted through 70mph winds or below 20 degrees…. Again, just being real. :\

    Knowing Brian was going out into the windy cold night although I wasn’t feeling good “I” was going to snuggle up into our warm comfy bed in our warm comfy home. I can remember that first night I kept waking up cold… (oh brrr it was like 67!! Although from Phx, it’s not like that is freezing right?) The wind that night (worse the next!) was whipping around our home making so much noise (why did I put that wind chime there… ahhhh!). I tossed and turned all night. It occurred to me I was cold-er than usual because Brian wasn’t beside me. However not only was I not beside him, he was OUTSIDE in a tent. YiKeS! Kinda helped put things into a different perspective, ya know?

    I have to say that people can pretend to be a lot of things on the outside, but you really can’t hid much or forever from your spouse. Not for very long unless perhaps you live totally separate lives. No one is perfect, no one but Jesus right? And when God gets ahold of a person… watch out, cuz something is bound to change. Well I have seen this in my husband and let me tell you, he is the real deal. Again, no one is perfect and I am NOT saying to flatter him. But the bible says to give credit where due, right?

    His love and devotion to the Lord really is amazing. I am so proud of him and so thankful for him. I am my beloved, and he is mine.

    I talked with him briefly today. Telling him about things the Lord continues to do/workout in my heart. If feels like I’ve been on this roller-coaster ride and now a very long path of healing journey I sometimes just say, “Lord when will this end? Will I ever truly be healed or whole?” My loving Godly husband said; I woke up today a broken man. And my prayer was that I stay broken… He said, you are broken and that is a good place to be. I’m proud of you and I’m excited for you. Because really… everyone is broken, it’s just much better to know it then to think you are not. That’s when you open the door to all kinds of wrong prideful thinking…

    I hung up the phone and sat there thinking… wow… yes, we are broken. So my own prayer today is not, oh Lord when will this end and will I ever be totally healed. My prayer is thank you for my humble loving Godly husband who because of You, helps lead my on Your path of righteousness. Thank you for grace and forgiveness and yes… humility. Thank You that today…. for this moment and for this time, this deep wound is being healed. And tomorrow… you will heal me once more.

    Hallelujah and Amen.

  2. Howard Gunnarson says:

    Good word, Brian. We miss you. H & R

  3. brian hetzer says:

    Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve loved the adventure and being able to share my story with others. I’ve been trying to write in a way that hopefully the reader can at least in some part ‘feel’ a part of what I’ve experienced!! Blessings!

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