A hoarse preacher paces in front of a room full of people who live outside. Armed with a briefcase containing only a Bible and a stack of sweat towels, he is a force to be reckoned with: pacing back and forth, calling down some Holy Ghost power and cracking jokes and raging against sin as he tries to pull people from the pit.
There are a lot of scents swirling through here. Odors of those who live outdoors, stale clothes, cigarettes, and the occasional whiff of whiskey. But he most overpowering scent is of the fire at the end of the hall. It blazes away, chapping skin and stinging eyes with smoke. The man tending it is in constant motion, carrying wood in through the door, stacking it on the hearth, and piling it onto the flames. The dry heat is stifling, but still the pile grows. It is so good to be warm, all the way down to your bones.