The Voice of Russell B.
Please let me introduce you to Buday Strong! Russell is Blameless and Forever Free’s latest nominee for the board of directors. With his unprecedented devotion in being Blameless’ chef and server, along with always being willing to help wherever he can, (only missing one week in nine months, solely due to the founder’s insistence that he heal from his shoulder surgery), he’s not missed one day serving. One of many reasons why he is being nominated as Blameless’ homeless advocate.
Russell is a working homeless beloved himself. And the following is raw, intimate and vulnerable, words spoken from his heart that he wants us to understand.
In Russell’s words…
The reason his homelessness started was over petty money issues between siblings and his need to provide for his children in the Philippines; “money is the root of all evil.” His American family insinuated that his Philippine family was using him. Russell tried to explain without compromise.
Russell has constantly put his daughters, 8 and 10, at the front burner. His daughter says her daddy is “Buday Strong.”
Russell’s last name is Buday and it ironically means “strong, strength.”
Russell has struggled with homelessness before, but he has now become isolated and withdrawn because he is tired of being labeled as “the scourged of the community.”
This shame keeps homeless beloveds bound without hope believing, “We’re the low life of the community in their eyes; that we don’t deserve any kind of help.”
He tearfully continues, “If you treat us like animals, we will be animals towards you. I want to be treated like a human being. I have feelings like you, believe it or not. Your looks hurt! You don’t have to say one word, but just look, and I know what you’re thinking.”
That is why we oftentimes say the homeless live behind their veils of shame because of what society has projected at them,
♥ “especially when you’re pushing a cart.” ♥
By the way, Russell is the ONE throughout this year who has loyally served the homeless community through dedication and dependability.
A lady once brought tender tears to Russell’s heart because of her statement, “Some of the nicest people with the biggest hearts are those that live on the streets.”
Russell knows what it’s like to live as a homeless individual and what is needed. He was homeless 22 years ago in Florida for a couple of years, and now he’s currently homeless and has been for the past eight, nine months, while being employed.
What the homeless need RIGHT NOW is love, dinner and shelter every night. Not only does safety and nourishment for the heart, soul, body and mind aid in their sleeping which is disturbed already by being out in the elements along with the crime that runs rampant in the streets, but it calms and restores their soul in making better decisions.
Homelessness has broken Russell down. Stripped down naked feeling exposed. “You feel worthless and no matter what you do, you try to grasp onto something and you keep slipping. You can’t get a good handle on or a foothold on to something and you just give up due to exhaustion. We feel broken.”
It’s Russell’s kids and faith in God that are making sure that Russell stays Buday Strong. Because without him, his children will not survive because they depend on the resources he provides.
With tears rolling down his cheeks, Russell shares, “You don’t know how hard this is for me, doing this. Whenever you’re alone for so long, you bottle everything up and you don’t want to open up.” This is one step forward towards his healing. He just wants peace in sharing his life; advocating for the homeless.
Russell is someone whom the founder has noticed that will give the shirt off of his back, while being homeless and cold himself, and he shutters when he thinks about how his family won’t help. Our division and strife in families is growing increasingly divided and somehow or another we’ve lost the love.
God’s Great Love Changes Everything!
And truth be told about Russell’s love for his own family, being faced with the possibility of having his toes amputated because of chronic health issues not being addressed, which is very heavy on his heart, fear is a bipolar rivalry between his worth and value, crushing his spirit, and paralyzing him in moving forward in taking care of himself. Self vs. family equates homelessness while he continues to work.
In conclusion, Russell’s final plea is, “All I want is for people to know me and not turn a blind eye” just because he’s homeless and pushing a cart. If you really want to know, don’t assume, ask him why he’s homeless.
Until next time…