Sunday, January 24, 2010


Richie (not his real name) is a young man who eats at Manna on a regular basis. He is always polite and appreciates what we do. Richie is a hip-hop artist and tells us he's on the verge of signing a music contract. He recently passed along a CD of his work for us to listen to. The language used in the songs might be offensive to some, but what emerges from the lyrics reflect the earlier hard times of his life: being a witness to a murder, having a nervous breakdown and a spiraling downward into the world of drugs. What is not so evident in his music is what he carries in his heart after his emergence from a troubled life: his faith in God, love for family and a striving to remain humble and yet focused on his goals.

It is often easy for us at Manna to look at a person as we see them today, and miss the things that have been layered in their lives. That is why we do our best to listen to their entire narrative before we determine how we can serve them. And for those who a reluctant to share their stories, we feed them as best we can...

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