09 July 2015

Crazy Times

(by Mike Sares)

Thursdays seem to be interesting in lots of weird ways.

I'll mention the most boring part first. This morning was time for me to nail down logistical details for the whole team. Next week, we take a retreat to an island called Iona, off the coast of Scotland. More on that later. I had to make reservations and confirm where we were staying. I also made travel arrangements for the team after we are done here in Glasgow. A couple of us are going to London – that would be the Lammers, who are checking out missionary opportunities with Greater Europe Mission agency – and then the rest of us are heading to Cambridge. Believe it or not, the least expensive method of travel is by airplane.

As soon as I was finished with this, I went to help a young man from the Ivory Coast sign up for an English as a second language class at Kelvin University here in Glasgow. We had some problems with the college's website. There were several failed attempts—and when you're working with a guy who speaks very few English words, each step is a slow one. Tried to save his work as best I could and we will try again tomorrow.

For some team-building, I took the team to a Greek restaurant that I found off of George Square. The food was excellent, except twice during the meal the fire alarm went off and everyone in the whole building had to be cleared out. Fire trucks arrived. Firemen came into the building. Twice. Our half-eaten food was graciously removed by the restaurant and then replaced with whole new plates of food. It was like getting one and a half meals for the price of one. Our waiter was from a village in Crete near to where my grandparents came from.

As soon as we went back to the mission, things began happening there as well. There was a client sitting outside on the sidewalk with a cut on his very bloody head and across his nose. It was obvious he had been in some kind of a fight. I entreated him to go to the hospital, but he would not (since he was drinking and probably drugging, he thought that he shouldn't go in). I told one of the GCM staff workers, Simon (on his first night as the guy in charge) who then called Glasgow City "street workers." Two men came and interviewed the man, getting his information. While they did that, they asked me to have a staff member call for an ambulance. When I went back to talk with the client and the street workers, I was directed to get a bag of ice for the man's head per instructions from the ambulance which was going to be dispatched. I walked back over to the mission and looked on a few floors for ice – but could not find any. I ended up grabbing a bag of frozen brussel sprouts, wrapping it in a towel, and then taking that back down to the injured client. Soon after, the ambulance arrived and the EMTs were able to convince the bloody client to go into the ambulance. After a while, they then they left for the hospital.

To top it off tonight, one of the older male clients (a regular) complained to me about being "bullied" by another client—a younger, muscular foreigner—during the meal. He left, angry that this had happened. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. I don't know because I was outside attending to this other situation. Mary says that there are some women clients who will not come into the women's portion of the evening meal because they are not getting along with some of the other women clients who are at the mission as well. So, there you go. We are all the same. It could be a country club, a church, or a rescue mission.

Pictures from the Greek Fire Drill

The GCM staff and volunteers meet before the evening meal.

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