Day Ten: Crayons and Copper

The biggest event of this day was that I got to take a shower. It was the first one since last Wednesday night, and trust me that it was a worship experience in itself—not to mention using a real toilet and not feeling rushed. Oh, the things we take for granted.

You know, there are a lot of talented people riding the bus, living in shelters, or even sleeping in tents and under bridges. Yesterday morning at the bus stop, I noticed a young man with a sketchpad and pencils. As we waited for the bus, he was working on a drawing, but I couldn’t see what it was. After we got on the bus, another passenger started a conversation with the young guy about art and said that he, too, was an artist—a photographer. Both guys showed me some of their work. (The young guy was drawing a horse with a man kneeling beside it, praying.) I invited them both to be in an event Manna Café is having at 635 Frosty Morn (the building where we want to launch the full-time shelter) on August 2—it’s called Color Me Cool. It’ll be an art show with a hippie-dippy twist: music, ice cream, and an auction. We’ll have artists from all over showing off their craft. A few have travelled the world, making and exhibiting their art; one is coming all the way from Chicago.

Papa Smurf and me on my 47th birthday.

Papa Smurf and me on my 47th birthday.

Another artist in particular comes to mind. His street name was Papa Smurf, and the last time I saw him he was living in Tent City in Nashville. He would take pieces of driftwood and copper wire and make these cool crosses and then sell them to make some money. He gave me one for my birthday one year, and I bought two more, one for our home and one to put in our very first Manna House. Everyone who sees them wants one.

Cabin's crayon-and-wood-scrap art

Cabin’s crayon-and-wood-scrap art

Vicki and I have also bought some things from a homeless artist in Savannah who takes scrap pieces of wood, melts crayons in the sun, and then draws these amazing pictures. His name is Cabin, and every time we go to Savannah we try to look him up. (Yeah, even on vacation we hang out with the homeless.) And by the way, I’m going to have both Papa Smurf’s and Cabin’s work on display at Color Me Cool.



Tomorrow (or I should say “today,” since you’ll read this on the 24th) is a big day for Vicki and me—it’s our anniversary. I met her four years before we ever started hanging out. I remember seeing her at a worship gathering one night. She seemed to have her life together and was so full of Jesus and joy. I remember praying and asking God, “Why can’t I find someone like that?”—but I knew I didn’t have a shot. Heck, at that time I was living in a corner of a warehouse as a missionary; I had nothing to offer. Well, six years ago today, we snuck into a garden with a fountain close to Music Row in Nashville with our pastor and a few witnesses and got married. God heard my prayer, and He didn’t just give me someone like her, He gave me her.

Photo: ClarksvilleNow

Photo: ClarksvilleNow

We’ve done some crazy stuff on our anniversaries—once we served a meal in Tent City, and once we did our first Mobile Pantry, and tomorrow from 2:00–4:00 we’ll stand on a street corner together, holding Prove It signs. We said we didn’t want to get married unless our life together would make a difference. So it just seems right that we prove it.

Peace out.

Tybee Island 2010 177

Find out more about Color Me Cool at


4 thoughts on “Day Ten: Crayons and Copper

  1. Kenny – God bless you and VIckie on your anniversary. Thank you for all the work you both are doing in Clarksville. We continue to pray for you and your ministry with the homeless folks. There are some pretty amazing people out there. – Lorraine Morgan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kenny and Victoria — I’m so very proud of the two of you for walking this journey as Jesus did. You are true examples of what disciples are supposed to look like. You have taken discipleship to a whole new level by living side by side with the less fortunate in our community. What an inspiration you are to those who know you and those who get the pleasure of meeting you. You are bringing the light of Christ to the people put in your path and what a message you are sending to this world by your actions. I look forward to reading about each one of your days ahead and I pray that God blesses the path that you are walking on and that He daily meets your needs as well as those around you.

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  3. Happy Anniversary to both of you, but really , Clarksville should be celebrating our anniversary of having you two here in Clarksville ! There are so many people who have flourished under your care and mission, and I know they are thankful. May God bless you with extra “honks & Waves” tomorrow especially. Praying for the difference you are making.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank God for Kenny and Vicki. They along with others at Manna showed me a new side of life God was sending me to. They new it before I did. A love for others who are homeless and needy. We have so many homeless out there that need the help that Kenny and Vicki can offer where others cant. But they need the space to be able to help these people; to educate them to house them to care for them and to get them off the streets and out from under the bridges or the woods etc. Clarksville needs Manna Refuge but Manna needs Clarksvilles help. Thank you Kenny and Vicki for all you do and happy anniversary. .

    Liked by 1 person

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