I didn't care that this man hadn’t showered in several days, or that his clothes were filthy, or that he smelled of alcohol and weed. I sat close to him and let him cry on my shoulder. I told him that God was always good, He is full of loving-kindness and slow to anger. Then we prayed together. On that chilly night in January, sitting on a cardboard box on a street of the Tenderloin, this man gave his life to Jesus.Read More
Interruptions are an invitation from God. An invitation to life, ministry, relationship, connection, healing, and the list goes on.Read More
At the end of the interview, the police officer looked at me with a new sense of understanding.
“I am trained to see the problems of the neighborhood. Every night I go home feeling burned out and depressed. I have learned something today…to see the good in the midst of all the bad.”Read More
Recently I found myself in a moment of helplessness as a stabbing victim lay right outside our door. I waited for the ambulance trying to calm and reassure the man, wanting to be able to do more - to be able to stop the bleeding, but I couldn’t. At that moment, I decided I would not be helpless again. I wanted to learn, in a practical way, how to save and restore life, so I trained to be an EMT.Read More
Nadine was wearing socks, leggings, and a crop top on a very cold night. I watched as the officer’s exasperation rose. Nadine became more and more upset and emotional. Soon she was crying out to Jesus to help her, “It’s so cold” she said over and over. In that moment I knew I could do one of two things: I could leave, or I could step over and ask Jesus what to do.Read More
We live in a climate where, mistakenly, we think the loudest voice wins so we drown out any opposition, listening is viewed as a sign of surrendering to the other side, and apologizing is considered the last resort of a desperate flounderer. To shout is better than to listen. To shame is better than to forgive. To make an excuse is better than an apology.Read More
The moment I arrived in the Tenderloin I had my answer. The dirty sidewalks, the people living on the streets, the evidence of hopelessness and in the middle of it all - YWAM. Not hidden, but present. Not passive, but engaged. That was the moment where it felt right and I finally knew that this was where I was supposed to be.
The people of the Tenderloin are beautiful. They are the generous ones. They are the ones who immigrated here from hard places. They are the seniors in group homes on Ellis Street. They are the Latino families who send their kids to dance class. They are the Yemeni women who make the best bread. They are the owners of our favorite neighborhood markets who always give me free sparkly water! They are Paul and Abdul and Melissa. They are hope and joy and love.Read More
I was surrounded by a community that constantly saw in me what I couldn’t, believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and helped me have faith when I was fearful. I found freedom at the foot of the Cross and was shown so much grace and patience in learning to continually pursue Jesus.Read More
It’s interesting when we give God room, how much He can take people and move in their lives. We think we need to have sophisticated words or great ability, but all we need to do is give people permission, and find ways to connect. When I moved to the Tenderloin in 2004, I thought I was going to create something that would change people. I thought I was going to be important. But what I have found is that letting others into my life and taking the risk to love people who seem like they don’t deserve it? That allows God to move.Read More