Dear Friends, More than a year ago, I can remember seeing a young man punching a dumpster near the Apo bar on the Rudolfskai. He was obviously intoxicated and angry about something. I’m sure there was a face in his mind that needed punching, and I remember being thankful that he had settled on a plastic dumpster instead. It’s easy enough to see a maniac acting out his rage and think to yourself, “I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that guy.” However, there was a plan in the works that night that I didn’t know about. Just an hour later, the same young man with his shaved head and black jacket came lumbering across the street towards us, along with his girlfriend who was in equally bad shape. When they reached our side of the road, they both stumbled and fell onto the sidewalk. The girl fell facefirst, and two of our Street Buddies rushed to help her off the ground. They wiped the blood away, and took her to find some ice for the large lump that was developing on her face. The young man stayed with me until he was a little more coherent. We then walked together, deep in conversation.
I couldn’t believe I was hanging out with this guy, as he ranted on about people and declared his plans to inflict major bodily harm. He stopped and offered me a cigarette while we talked. Then he told me about how his father had left him and his mother when he was very young. When his mother died a few years later, his grandparents raised him as best they could. He told me how he would like to be married, but had no idea how to be a husband or father because he’d never experienced it. He asked me what my opinion was of him, and I told him he sounded like a big teddy bear rather than a tough guy. He liked that and confirmed that I saw the real him. How a guy went from bruising his knuckles on a dumpster to hugging me just hours after, I don’t know. But this week, more than a year later, I witnessed an even more amazing transformation. This same young man said that he wants to come out sometime and serve alongside me as a Street Buddy. I think this guy is going to meet a Father that he knows nothing about, and I think that may just happen on Rudolfskai. If you would like to know your Father’s business, I’d like to invite you to join us every Friday and Saturday night in the city of Salzburg, starting at 23:30. It’s always a party on Rudolfskai.