Day Three: I Lied

Well, to start with, I have a confession to get off my chest: I lied. The ground under my tent is not more comfortable than the floor of the bus I slept on the first night. Actually, I didn’t believe it was possible, but I think it’s harder. Even so, I did sleep better. By the end of this two weeks, I’ll probably be able to sleep standing up.

Today got off to a good start. I finished up some extra blog posts that we’ll be releasing soon—I guess all this excitement is giving me a lot to write about. Who would have thunk it? But then I made the mistake of not spending my money on a bus and walking to today’s site (the corner of Kraft and Wilma Rudolph). I walked for more than two hours and still wasn’t there. Luckily, I was able to hitch a ride the rest of the way, but you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow I’m taking the bus. It’ll be worth every penny of that $4 for a day bus pass.

When I finally got to my spot, the day got better. It might sound crazy that I’m starting to look forward to standing on a corner with my sign, but I am. I know that God is walking me through this journey, and there’s a presence that’s waiting for me on those street corners that I can’t explain. I look forward to it, or at least I have the last two mornings. I know that the time spent writing and walking to and from those corners is part of the journey too, but it feels like I’m late for work when I’m running behind to get there.

The support I feel as I’m standing is absolutely amazing. I mean, I’m still getting the blank stares. I guess if I were in their shoes and saw a strange-looking homeless man holding a sign on a street corner, I’d have that “what the ????” look on my face too—especially if I didn’t read the paper or watch the news. But a lot of you are honking your horns, giving me the thumbs-up, and bringing me water and food, and that makes the day so much better. Today’s “manna” was chicken nuggets and peaches and cantaloupe (which, next to strawberries, are my two favorite fruits—hint, hint … just kidding … but not really).   🙂

I finished the day at a worship and prayer gathering that we have every Wednesday night at the Refuge. We played some music and prayed; we actually did both at the same time most of the night. I’ve spent so much time praying by myself the last few days that it was really good to pray with other believers; my wife, Vicki, was there too, so I got to spend a few minutes with her as well.

I think it’s important to mention some prayer topics so those of you who pray can agree with us. Of course, we asked for favor with city government and the upcoming meetings and votes. We prayed for the wellbeing of our neighbors and that God will have His way in their lives. Ephesians states that we don’t fight against flesh and blood, but in the heavens we can bring down the strongholds of darkness—so we asked for God’s will on earth as it is in heaven, and to send His angels to make it so. We also thanked Him for favor with the media; we have friends in all the local media sources, and they’ve really gone to bat for us. And I thanked God for such an amazing family and team—the ones who are keeping Manna Café going while I’m out here “playing in the woods,” as some seem to think I’m doing.

I want to take a minute and thank my wife, Vicki. Without her, I couldn’t be doing this. While I’m out here standing, writing, and praying, she’s at home praying, and proofing and posting everything I write. She’s home alone, and she’s being my eyes and ears behind the scenes to keep me informed about the stuff I should know—and protecting me from the things I don’t need to know yet. She exemplifies what it means to be a true armor-bearer, and this mission is costing her every bit as much as it’s costing me. So when you pray for me and thank me, please do the same for her.

Oh, and I got a shower last night! The first one since Sunday. I didn’t know hot water could feel so good … and I smell better, too. By the time I got done with the prayer meeting and shower, the buses had stopped running, so I hitched a ride almost back to where my camp is. By the way, I had a really fun time finding my tent in the middle of the woods in the pitch black dark without a flashlight. I guess I know what I’m buying with the first five dollars that come in tomorrow!

I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Peace out.

Image: Laura Donaldson Cogswell

Image: Laura Donaldson Cogswell


12 thoughts on “Day Three: I Lied

  1. you are blessed that people know of your journey,,, if they brought you food,, I hope this carries over and they bring food for the unknown people who are homeless..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a inspiration to me and I hope others out here. Thanks to your wonderful wife for holding down the home front, while you do what God is calling you to do. Good luck and as soon as I see you I will bring those Strawberries…God be with you and protect you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kenny remember that 1 Peter says: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings”. I say this cause there are those who may not want you too succeed at this quest. Be careful, watch and listen as you go to and from your camp. I don’t know why just sayen. Love you brother, and my prayers are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder Kenny, is there an address that one can write to the correct person to express their support for a homeless shelter? Or a petition of any sort that we could sign??? God continue to lead and guide you and your wife in your obedience to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kenny, Lj and I are with you in spirit. We have you,Vickie, and all of our Manna family in our prayers. God is changing Clarksville using you as his tool.I am honored to have had the life changing experience of meeting you. Keep fighting the fight wish I could be there with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a whole hearted desire to open a true faith based rehab center in clarksville. I was born and raised in clarksville and know first hand what addicts need. My prayers are with you on this journey the Lord set apon you. Phillipines 4:13. Not some, some sometimes. ALL_things, all the time. !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello, I happened upon this blog through someone who posted day 1 on Facebook, and while I can see that the task you have set yourself is an enormous challenge and that you clearly approach it from a place of absolute love and good-heartedness, I must ask: why? I have sort of the same question as Kimberly who posted before. What are you trying to get people to do? If it’s simply to get people to think about homelessness, you are clearly accomplishing that every day, which is great. But for those of us who already agree that there are enormous needs among homeless Clarksvillians that ought to be filled, what can we do? I have heard of Manna Café but have to be honest, I don’t know where it is or how or what I can contribute. If that is what you are looking for, could you post some info? If you want people to vote on something or picket something or argue for something or just physically come someplace and DO something, could you help us know what that might be?

    I hate to say it, but if I saw you on the street without this, I would have no idea what your sign and shirt meant, and if you were not trying to come explain it, I would have no interest in finding out. (I’m glad I saw this instead because I think yours is a touching story!)

    God bless you in the task you have set yourself and your wife doing her part in it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anna, Vicki here. Thanks for your questions. Please check out the “About” link on this blog (especially the last couple of paragraphs)—it’ll tell you lots more about how you can help. 🙂


  8. Kenny, I just want to say that I am thankful for what you are doing. I work a lot w/the homeless community. This past year I haven’t been able to do as much due to work. 23 years ago, I was living in a two man tent and heating w/ a coleman lantern in the mountains of Moab Utah… with my one year old son and another son on the way. I not only didn’t understand how I got into that situation, but I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get out of it. It is a HORRIBLE feeling. Long story short, I did finally get out of that situation, and for years I was embarrassed and ashamed that I had gotten us into that situation to start with. My oldest son (10 yrs old at the time) saw me crying about it one day and told me I probably hadn’t made God mad… He said ” Maybe our suffering isn’t for us, but for others”. It took me almost 10 years to understand what he meant, and I have been trying to make a difference ever since. You and Vicki have reminded me that there is so much more that I can do. I thank God, that there are still people like you in this world. God is definitely working through you, and I know that Manna Refuge will happen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s