This is Our Life

By Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Joy Junction Inc.

My Blackberry and security camera feeds from Joy Junction in my home office.

My Blackberry and security camera feeds from Joy Junction in my home office.

Working at Joy Junction is a way of life more than a job.

It takes a calling and a commitment. While there’s no such thing as a “typical” day, here are some highlights from a few recent ones.

First order of business for last Thursday upon waking up (like every day) was to check my Blackberry, and see if anything had happened overnight which needed immediate attention.

Of course, that occurred after a couple of middle of the night checks of the Joy Junction security camera feed to my office at home. Even a late night/early morning trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night always ends up with a visit to my home office, where I stay for a few minutes to see if everything looks okay.

While we have staff on duty 24/7, an extra pair of eyes looking at the camera feed for a little while can always be a help. Running a mission providing food, shelter and encouragement for the homeless means always being prepared for the unexpected and unusual, but being grateful when it doesn’t happen.

I can’t forget a cup of coffee and a late breakfast Thursday punctuated by answering emails (on the Blackberry) and a couple of phone calls. My wife Elma and I then left the house and met my assistant Kathy Sotelo for a working lunch. We “decorated” the table with laptops and Blackberrys.

After that we headed over to the Calvary of Albuquerque Campus, home of KNKT Radio, where I did a short live on air interview with Joy Junction friend and long time radio host Peter Benson.

We have worked collaboratively with our friends at KNKT for many years, and the ability to present a short regular update about news at Joy Junction throughout the year (even when it is nowhere near the season of giving) has been a great blessing.

Following that, it was time to head over to 1037 The Oasis  (a locally owned jazz station), where Kathy and I voice tracked our regular Sunday morning show, which airs between 8 a.m. and midday. Owners Don Davis and Martha Whitman have been very gracious to us, and this is another time where being on the air weekly gives us another opportunity to share with the community what is going on with homelessness in general in Albuquerque and at Joy Junction in particular.

The show airs every Sunday between 8am and midday. I do two regular DJ breaks, and then the last break of each hour we talk about the homeless, and enjoy a little bit of on air radio fun as well.

Next we made our way over to a restaurant close to the station for some networking. It’s important to always keep the need out there before the public. I am a firm believer in the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

This event was put on by the Hispano Chamber of Commerce and 770 KKOB Radio. We stayed just over an hour and made some new friends, as well as renewing acquaintance with old ones at KKOB.

We said our goodbyes to Kathy for that night, and Elma and I drove over to Joy Junction for our regularly nightly visit.

We usually finish our work days off with a visit to the shelter. After all, that’s the reason why we spend countless hours every day crisscrossing the streets of Albuquerque going from one meeting to another.

The time we spend at Joy Junction includes some joking and light hearted banter with some staff, and on other occasions a little interaction with our guests. As the months have gone by, they have come to increasingly love Elma. Who couldn’t? She’s as lovely inside as she is out.

Then it was time for a quick visit to the grocery store, and we headed home at about 8 p.m. Elma took care of some household chores, while I did a little exercise on my recumbent bike, got up to speed with the latest news on CNN and made sure that I was caught up with all the social media updates for the day.

We watched a little TV, prayed and turned in. The ensuing night was punctuated with the usual couple of bathroom (or comfort room as it’s much more creatively called in the Philippines) visits to check on the security camera feed from Joy Junction.

Friday came quickly. The initial routine was very similar to Thursday, except we started the work day off with a visit to our corporate office in Downtown Albuquerque, where I spent some time with our Chief Financial Officer Joe Krall.

In addition to signing checks, we also talked fund raising strategy for the remainder of the year. Like most-maybe all-other missions, almost half of our budget is gathered in November and December. About 10 percent has been coming in during the last week of the year, so we have to tailor our strategy accordingly.

Following that we ate, while working with Kathy on the schedule for the coming week, as well as firming up some upcoming events with local businesses.

We then dropped by Bibles Plus to order some Life Recovery Bibles, the core of our Christ in Power life recovery program at Joy Junction. We finished off the day meeting with a woman who is setting up an innovative new program, arranging meals and informal meetings between the homeless and interested members of the community. We finished off the day meeting with a woman who is setting up an innovative new program, arranging meals and informal meetings between the homeless and interested members of the community. We had a great talk with her, and wished her the very best.

Once home, the pace was much more relaxed but the work was still there. However, I tried not to do too much as I wasn’t feeling that good. I ended off the day with Nyquil, and slept relatively well.

Saturday was a late start, but one which while at a different pace would still be quite busy. Elma cooked a delicious meal and while she was busy doing that, I used the time to research and put together a message for the Saturday evening church service at Joy Junction. That always involves a skit based on a country song, followed by me giving a short teaching with Elma concluding the service.

The most recent service focused on broken dreams and missed opportunities, and the importance of faith in Jesus.

Our guests seemed to enjoy the experience.

Sundays Elma and I usually attend Calvary at Nob Hill, but this Sunday was a departure from that schedule. The annual event Pennies for the Homeless High Tea and Fashion Show  was taking place, and Joy Junction was one of a number of community organizations receiving funds from the event.This, of course, all occurred after the usual morning schedule I’ve described above. I also managed to get a bit of writing in before leaving, while at the same time listening to one of my favorite shows, CNN’s Reliable Sources. 

We arrived at Hotel Albuquerque at about 11:30 a.m., just a few minutes early for what was a sold out event. The MC was former long time KOB TV anchor Carla Aragon. What a delight to reconnect briefly with her and introduce her to Elma.

Jeremy Reynalds and Carla Aragon

Jeremy Reynalds and Carla Aragon

We also met a couple of delightful folk at lunch, a husband and wife who are a public defender and social worker respectively. I hope we’ll see them down the road at Joy Junction.

After leaving Pennies for the Homeless, Elma and I made our way to an area department store for some shopping, but even then I wasn’t really off duty, hearing the familiar refrain, “Oh, you’re Jeremy Reynalds from Joy Junction.”

As I said at the beginning of this piece. Working for Joy Junction is a way of life more than a job. I’m so thankful to have found a life partner to share the journey with. Your prayers for us are so appreciated.

If you’d like to learn more about Joy Junction, visit the rest of the Joy Junction website.