Curtis lives his life pouring into others with anything and everything he has. All he owns in his life is contained on a utility dolly that he brings everywhere he goes. He gathers food donations that restaurants give him and passes it out to his friends. He frequently requests that I bring the kids down to see him just so that he can spoil them. He comes in to use our showers, yet he stays to make popcorn and then makes sure his popcorn machine is thoroughly cleaned.Read More
Now community isn’t a choice. Having a roommate means I literally can’t hide. Eating most of my meals with people makes it harder to hide when I’m having a bad day, or struggling with the sadness and anxiety that is a part of my life. If I need to cry, I probably won’t get to do that alone. Thankfully, if I want a good laugh, I don’t have to do that alone either. What’s fun is that in this community we see that everyone is deeply flawed, but we’re all committed to staying here.Read More
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