It seems, with each passing day, I understand more and more about you.
Serving our homeless has been a huge eye-opener to me. It’s not just about going out and serving our people living on the streets with clothes or snacks. These are our people.
They (the homeless) are human beings who freeze in the winter, and have heat strokes in the summer. I’ve made friends out on the streets, Mom.
My very first friend here was James. He and his adult son are both homeless. The first day I met James, he came to me seeking help. His son was missing — he hadn’t heard from or seen him in days. A week later, James came to the park where I serve our homeless, looking for me. He wanted to introduce me to his son. His son had been in jail; James had no idea, and was worried sick. I was happy that James found his son and he was okay. I love James — he tries to make it down every Saturday to see me.
Then there is Lewis, who is also homeless. Everybody loves Lewis. He’s always full of life, with a smile on his face, no matter his circumstances.
I met Stephanie for the first time this weekend. I really don’t know her story yet. I never ask; I feel if they want me to know they will tell me. I’d love to get to know Stephanie – she was the one who broke my heart this weekend. It was cold and raining, and she was freezing.
How I wish I owned my own shelter. It bothers me each time I drive away. I don’t care if it’s 100 degrees, if it’s freezing out, raining, or snowing; I have to do everything in my power to be there. I can get in my car and turn on my A/C or heater. You don’t have that luxury. It’s you that I think of with each person I help.
So who am I to complain? I pray you have someone like me where you’re at — someone who has become your friend. I think of you often; with winter approaching, it seems like I worry even more.
Robin Wells Burton holds a ‘missing’ flyer featuring her article, next to a recent composite sketch of what she may look like today. Permission/Robin Wells Burton
I feel like 2015 is still going to be our year. I pray each day that you will be my Christmas miracle. I know we have a good God, and I know He hears my prayers. I have faith and I believe. I also know it’s all in his timing.
He’s put me on one heck of a journey, Mom. Each day, I learn more and more. I’m a work in progress, still under a lot of construction. Do you remember me? Do you know you have a child? Do you know who you are? Do you even know where you’re from? Or do you feel like you can never come back? Are you scared to see any of us again? All of your brothers and sisters are still alive. They love and miss you so much, but I don’t think anyone could possibly love and miss you as much as me.
I pray, one day, God opens your eyes like He did mine, and you realize just how much you are truly loved. You invade my dreams. I wake up and go to sleep thinking about you. I pray one day you will be brought back into my life. I’m praying even harder that this Christmas you will be my real Christmas miracle. God, you don’t have much time left before Christmas, so I’m praying you please get busy on trying to fulfill this huge order I’m asking you for. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I love you Mom, to Heaven and back.
Love you always,
Full coverage of Cloudia’s case from our team may be found here.
(Editor’s note: portions of this letter have been edited for spelling and grammar only, with the author’s approval. Victims News Online has written permission from the photographer to use photos included in the posters/fliers in this article).