Last Friday I had the privilege of training to work at the Medvouc clinic. Medvouc is a student run clinic for the homeless at a shelter. I will be able to be an active participant in the diagnosis and treatment of the men and women living on the streets. At the training I learned to give an intramuscular injection (IM) used for vaccinations, an intradermal injection used for the Tuberculosis test, and a refresher on blood pressure and vital signs. More about this clinic will come when I have started actually working there, but I think it is necessary to mention how I was first interested in the homeless. This is not a short story, but I have made it as brief as possible and will split this story into two posts.
People have asked me how a boy from Cleveland ended up at Northwestern College in Roseville, MN. The simplest answer is Streetlight Ministries. When I first visited Northwestern College in November of 2002, it was because an old friend from California went there, and I thought maybe I would like it as well. I went to a practice piano lesson with one of the teachers and was not overwhelmingly pleased. Although later my teacher in Cleveland Mrs. Kwon begged me to reconsider after hearing me play when I came back.
The friday evening of my visit, I stayed with a guy named Steve, an apparent mathematical genius, who really didn't know what to do with me. He gave me two choices: a football game at the Metrodome and Streetlight. I didn't have any money so I took the free option.
November nights in Minnesota are not a walk in the park. It was about 9 degrees that night and windy. I was not dressed for the weather or prepared for the cold which I grew to love, but I toughed out the night, visited two homeless shelters, and a met some men on the street corner. The connection I made with the ministry was instant. It was not a happy or easy time, but it was joyous.
When I arrived at Northwestern College in August 2003 to attend classes as a biology major I looked forward with great anticipation to the first night of Streetlight. For the next three years I was committed. I made the conscience decision that on friday nights I would be working with the homeless. For the first year I primarily worked with the men on the streets, for the next two years I worked as leader with the students coming each weak, and the last year I helped the leaders.