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Homeless and Praying
by Brenda Kern 
08/29/05
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I pray and I pray and I pray.

We have an application in at Habitat for Humanity, to get a house. They have to pick us! We need it so bad!

Just six months ago things were rough, but we were getting along in this life. Joe had a steady income with benefits at the factory, and I had two part-time jobs. With three kids and a fixer-upper house and fixer-upper car, it was tight, but, like I said, we were getting along.

Then, just about the time little Mikey got sick, I lost one of my jobs, and it got tough.

Then the long string of terrible blows came that put us into this position (praying, praying, praying!): I was looking for more work when the furnace went out. We made the decision to replace it (Buffalo, fall), hoping I'd get work and we'd get an insurance check, and scrape by somehow, but no check came, and we found out that the insurance had been cancelled.

Then Mikey got worse, I lost my other job, and Joe's hours were cut back. Bills were mounting.

Around Thanksgiving, the factory enclosed a slip in the paychecks: "We are so sorry to have to inform you...," and with that, they closed down, permanently.

We sold the car and everything we could, and felt lucky to have a roof over our heads, warm beds, clothing, and food.

Eventually, we had to lose the phone service, then the utilities were cut off on Feb. 1. We survived by burning any firewood we could scrounge in the fireplace and basically living in the living room, huddled together, with an old space heater we found at the dump.

Then the fire, where we lost everything.

The church down the street gave us some money, and we used it for food and medicine for Mikey, then used the last of it to get bus tickets to take us as far south as we could get, to try to live through the winter.

So, here we are in Little Rock, Arkansas--not exactly balmy in March, but not Buffalo!

The final breaking point came when I awoke one morning, and Joe had just walked away from his "problems" in the night. Gone.

If we don't get the house, I don't know what will happen with me and the kids.

No, that's not true--I do know what will happen. The government will take them away, and put them in foster care.

At that point, I don't know what I'll do. I just don't know.

So, I pray and I pray and I pray and I pray.

Please, Lord, please...

Brenda Kern


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