BY Danica Bless
How did you first hear about YWAM San Francisco?
In 2014 I went here on a mission trip with my church. My youth pastor said we were going to go serve the homeless in San Francisco, and I thought to myself, “That sounds so sick!”
What is Mission Adventures?
Mission Adventures is a short-term outreach ministry for groups, teams, and churches.
What are a few things Jesus taught you during your time serving with Mission Adventures?
He really taught me how to serve and lead with joy. We were doing a lot of work so we were all really tired. But I learned how to get past myself and serve Jesus with joy and the teams with joy.
How is Mission Adventures impactful?
I think this program does such a good job at getting teams out of their comfort zone, and showing us how our mission field can be anywhere. There’s so many things we get to do with the students like homeless sack lunch and really tangible ways to bring ministry back home with us. It’s all so humbling in helping us take a step back and realize we should be grateful for what we have. I learned so much about gratitude and how much I have in my life. It also taught me about teamwork and doing things together. How to be a team centered in Jesus? That was so cool.
What is homeless sack lunch?
Homeless sack lunch is an outreach that we do that focuses on sitting and communing with our friends that we meet. It gives teams a chance to sit, talk, eat, and hangout with the people in our community. Outreach here is so much like what Jesus did in the Bible. He just spent so much time sitting and eating with people. I think it’s so awesome that we get the opportunity to live like Jesus in this way and teach the youth that we can live like Him in the simplest ways.
What was it like hosting your first team?
The first team I ever hosted was really interesting. They were pretty well-off and wanted for nothing. We had this thing called “Mission Challenge Night” that was so powerful. (Missions Challenge night is a night of response with the teams including: worship, repentance, pouring into each other, and sharing what you’ve learned).
We got to see the change of so many students who came in and were humbled. They realized they no longer needed all of the stuff they always had access to. We saw that tangible heart change. The Tenderloin is pretty scary, you know? And to see people come in and to see their hearts change like that was so powerful to me.
What does this building/YWAM SF mean to you?
For me this building feels like home. Especially in this neighborhood, our building is such a place of peace. You walk in and you can really feel God’s presence. That’s so cool for the staff and the students that come in here because the Tenderloin is pretty wack outside. To come in and to be able to just feel that peace in this place is like a breath of fresh air. And the people on the street, too, they get to experience that.
How was your transition from Mission Adventures to Discipleship Training Student
I had actually never heard of the Discipleship Training School (DTS) before. When I came for Mission Adventures I learned about it and was like “Woah 6 months learning about God? I'll do that!” And I had different expectations. It took a lot for me to change gears because I was so used to just working and serving. But God showed me that this was such a cool time for me to just sit and learn more about who He is.
If you were speaking with someone who wanted to invest, but was unsure, what would you tell them?
Do it! There are so many people here giving their lives to glorify God and this building is what they use. And they use it in so many ways, whether its Bible Study or opening the Ellis Room or worship on Monday mornings. It's more than a building for just the staff here. It's also a building for the community. I think it's really important to keep this place of peace in the neighborhood that everyone has access to. We’ve got to.