MJ is a drunk. I've seen him 7 times and he's been drunk 5 of those times. Last night our church held a farewell for us at church, with people saying lots of nice things, gifts of sweaters and fruit cake and a visit from MJ. Drunks scare people. It probably doesn't help that they often have a glass bottle in their hands as they stumble about. In fact, the first time I met MJ he had thrown a glass bottle of liquor into the street, hitting the pastor's car during the sermon, setting off the car alarm. Despite being the runt of the litter in my family, I'm a big guy in Peru, so last night when MJ walked into the church (carrying a bottle) the pastor nodded to the 'bouncer' to take him out. I took him gently by the shoulder and helped him up the stairs out of the church. As much as possible, I talk to drunks as if they are in their right mind. A senior missionary, David Coombs, once told me, "You never know how much a drunk will hear and understand when you talk to them. I've seen drunks come to Christ who later told me that the things they heard from Christians while drunk (okay the Christians weren't drunk!) made the difference." But I didn't have much hope when we made an appointment to meet today to talk when he wasn't drunk. (I've made appointments with him twice before, and he's stood me up both times.) Sure enough, when I arrived, he wasn't there. He lives directly across the street from the church. We had forgotten a tupperware at last night's farewell, so I went into the church to retrieve it and then I knocked on MJ's door again, just be sure he wasn't there. He wasn't. I grabbed a post-it® note out of the car and wrote a quick note. As I was about to drive away, I saw MJ walking up from a block away. Was that him? Same shirt as last night, so it must be. We talked and talked about his dreams, his broken home of origin and his current broken home, his church experiences, his alcoholism. We just sat not saying anything at times. I told him I wanted to help him, but I was leaving in a few days for a year's absence. By the end he said, "I'm going to quit drinking. I promise." He then took my hand to shake it to seal the deal. "Thursday. I'll visit the church Thursday," he said, pointing to the church billboard advertising our Thursday Bible Studies. Pray for MJ.