10.18.2008

Skid Row Outreach

Yesterday the Catalyst team was to go out to the Dream Center out in Los Angeles for an outreach. We were told to meet up at the church between 3:45-4 ish. We got the "party bus" from Pastor Devland that was supposedly fixed with no problems. We started heading out to L.A. going no more than about 45 MPH on the freeway when Jason said that we were gonna have to figure something out because the bus wasn't making it to L.A. We ended up in Chino where Mary made a quick call to Enterprise, she scored us a truck and a mini van.

We were supposed to make it to the Dream Center by 6. At this point it was about 5:40 and we were still in Chino. So we're finally on our way. We hit some traffic but nothing too bad. We finally get into L.A. at about 7ish and Jason (Catalyst Director) decides to just head to Skid Row on our own and see if we can find the people from the Dream Center and jump in. We must have circled Skid Row about 10 times. If you know me at all you know that I'm a bit of a paranoid person, I use paranoid loosely. So driving through L.A. at night surrounded by homeless people was definately out of my comfort zone. I don't think I was 1/2 as scared in Africa as I was last night.

So, after circling the blocks for what seemed like hours we stumbled accross this outreach ministry right in the heart of Skid Row. You really couldn't tell what it was from the outside, it literally looked like a parking lot. Jason started talking to the guys from there and found out that they were about to pass out dinner and clothes to the homeless. How amazing is God that he perfectly planned for us to be there right in that moment. We literally drove by that place about 3 times before we stopped and asked. Turned out that we showed up 5 minutes before it was serving time.

A couple of us passed out food, some of us helped people pass out clothes and look for shoes. Some of just talked to the people and prayed for anyone that needed it. Some of us went out onto the streets and passed out water and made conversations. I think I was in shock at how many people were out there. Everywhere you turn there was someone. I didn't take this picture but I wanted to give you a visual of how this is good living out in Skid Row.



Some of the people out here get to sleep in tents, others sleep out on the ground with whatever cardboard or blankets they have.



I thought going to Africa hit me hard, last night was just as eye opening. It just confirms to me that we don't need to go all the way across the world to minister to people. These people are right in our backyard. The church that we worked with was absolutely amazing. They showed some much love to everyone. Just as we all should. They go out there every 3rd Friday of the month with clothes. We plan on going back.

No trip to L.A. is complete without a trip to Roscoes Chicken and Waffles. We all went for some late night chicken and waffles. I'm pretty sure a few of us are hurtin' this morning. I know Alicia was about to throw up at the table after her meal. Jason was in heaven, kept yelling "Good Lord!" We had a few first timers that were lovin' it as well. Roscoes always sounds like a great idea until you eat about 1/2 your waffle and think that maybe it wasn't such a great idea.

On our way home we dropped off the rental cars back at Enterprise and prayed that the "party bus" would get us back to Corona safely. It turned out the bus was perfectly fine, we got up to more than 45 MPH. All was good until we got into Corona. We were on our way to get gas about 3 min from the church and the bus decided to go bad again. We weren't going more than 25-30 MPH. We decided forget the gas and go straight to church (if we can make it!) By the grace of God we made it into the church parking lot safely. I'm still in amazement at how God worked that out for us. We were late for a reason, the bus didn't work for a reason, we circled around the same outreach for a reason. It ALL happens for a reason.

Final thought: Get out there and do something. Myself included.

B.