Based in south Louisiana, Release & Gather is a blog by Holly Rabalais.  Her posts explore people, community, and matters of the heart.  Everyone has a unique journey.  Welcome to a window into hers.

Will You Come Tomorrow?

Pray for Lamin Kabba (I cannot remember if that is correct spelling, and I think that is his first name--all of it). I went by Sam's place three different times this afternoon to deliver a few items, but he wasn’t home.  There was a younger man sitting on the bottom part of the steps that lead to Sam's apartment.  He was not unfriendly, smoking his cigarettes with his earbuds engaged, but he didn't say much besides hello.

On my last pass through, I saw that the man who lives below Sam was sitting outside his door talking in an agitated manner to the man on the steps. I walked toward my car and stopped. I went back. 

"He looks like he is ill. Could I pray for him?"

"Excuse me?"

"I said he looks as though he doesn't feel well. Would it be okay if I pray for him?"

"If you feel so moved, by all means. He's really bad depressed right now...just going through a really hard time."

I knelt by the man and inhaled the scent of fermentation that seeped from his pores. I looked into his bloodshot eyes and took his folded hands from his lap and held them in mine and prayed in the name of Jesus that the weight of this depression would be lifted from him.

When I finished, the tired, sad man was rocking slightly and had his face lifted upward and his eyes closed as his lips moved. The robe he wore hung on his frame, skin and bones from lack of food and too much of drink.

The young man on the stairs told me that the sad man's name was Lamin Kabba. He was deaf--lost his hearing after a fever when he was 9 years old.  Though he was from Africa and English was not his native language, he communicated very well by reading lips and speaking in English. 

I asked how old he was. "He was born in 1965," replied the young man. 

"He's only 10 years older than I am."

"It's all the drinking that makes him look so old," he replied with an accent.

The younger man went on to explain that Lamin Kabba's family had all left him here. His mother and brother had moved away and left him alone. He said that Lamin Kabba did okay until a year and a half ago when his wife left him.

“I came over to bring him a new card.” He waved a paper and produced a VISA card. “People around here steal all his things.”

Lamin Kabba keep saying “brother” and pointing to the younger man, so I asked if he was his brother.

“No. Just a friend. I try to look out for him.”

Lamin Kabba put his fingers to his mouth and said he was hungry. I motioned to the card and mimicked his sign for eating. “You buy food with that. Not drink.”

“You will come tomorrow?” he slurred.

The younger guy raised his eyebrows as I said, “Actually, yes I will.”

“What time? Show me the time,” he motioned to my phone. 

I set my alarm to 5:15 p.m. and showed it to him. “Tomorrow,” I said as he watched my lips.

“I will be sober,” he said, and the young man shook his head as though that would be a miracle. Lamin Kabba slapped his palms as they brushed against each other as if to say, “That’s it. I’m done for good.”

The young man continued to shake his head.

Lamin Kabba grew solemn again and began to weep, “I promise I won’t be bad.”

I looked him in his eyes and told him I would see him at 5:15 tomorrow. Then I patted his shoulder and rubbed his head.

Tomorrow I will try again to deliver the items I had for Sam. And I will visit and pray with Lamin Kabba. I ask you to join with me in praying for him.

People are not projects. They are humans with hearts. May I always be willing to "come tomorrow" when I have connected with someone.

Update: I visited with Lamin Kabba (correct spelling of his first and last names). When he looked up and realized who I was his mouth flew open as he breathed in, "Ahhhhh".  The first words from his mouth were, "I am an alcoholic.  I want to stop.  Please help me to stop."  

We talked some, and I told him I would try to find some help for him.  He said, "Rehab.  I will go.  I want to go."  Using the notes app on my phone, I asked him if he knew Jesus.  There was no recognition of the name as he shook his head and said, "No. I don't know Jesus."

As I prayed with him, I prayed for God to save his body and, more importantly, his soul.  Please pray in agreement with me for this for Lamin.

Waiting for Deliverance

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