BY UDOM SETTHAYA
I love serving with Restoration Initiatives, a ministry of YWAM San Francisco, right in our Tenderloin community. Our ministry opens the doors to the “Ellis Room,” our drop-in center, three mornings a week. This space we’ve been blessed with helps us engage our community and get to know our friends on the street better. I really believe that relationship with people brings us to trust one another more. This trust is what ultimately leads our community into a better place. Because of this, I have grown to truly love this community that God has placed me in.
I am blessed to be able to serve in many different ways with Restoration Initiatives. This gives me so many opportunities to get to know lots of diverse individuals. One of the things I love most is getting to cut hair for people. I love seeing the confidence people have after they get a good haircut. This does so much more than just help them feel clean; It recognizes their dignity. It also gives me opportunities to talk and share our loving God to them too. Haircuts are a great tool to break the ice.
One story of a friend I met really changed my heart, in particular. There was a man who came into YWAM one day to get his hair cut. I was able to have a conversation with him and found out how much he loves having his hair cut. And he kept coming back! Over the course of our friendship, he also spent quite some time searching for a job. One day he came into the Ellis Room gleaming, telling me that he got a job helping at a theatre in the area. He told me that the reason he kept coming to get his hair cut was so that he would be more presentable to his future employers. I was so thankful to God and really excited about my friend's next steps in his life! I thank God for His love and for so many opportunities to share that love with our friends on the street. His kingdom is happening and we all get to be a part of it.