With service projects in full swing, several students had the opportunity to experience Skid Row today. This was an extremely eye-opening experience for many students and leaders as they entered a 55-block community that has an overwhelming homeless population. It is hard for the city to take a count of how many people live there but they guestimate about 7,000 people are living on the streets in this area. Each street is lined with tents down every street for as far as you can see. Several of our teams walked through the streets with socks, water, popcorn, and cereal looking to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people in Skid Row. It did not take long for students and leaders to find themselves in great conversations with individuals who just wanted someone to listen and care.
One of our students, Ashley, saw a man sitting on a park bench alone and decided to sit beside him and offer him water and food. This was definitely out of her comfort zone, but it was obvious that she had been filled with the boldness needed to begin the conversation. She asked him if she could pray for him soon after they began to talk, and he was quick to say yes. She took his hand, which easily doubled hers in size, and started to pray for him and his needs. It was obvious that it meant the world to him that she would pray over him as he teared up upon hearing her pray. For those of us fortunate enough to witness this happen, we were also brought to tears. Ashley confidently showed Christ’s love to a man who was longing for just that.
We are seeing the power of God in both our group and those that we have the opportunity to spend time with. Thank you for continuing to pray for each opportunity we have to be a light. Know that we covet each and every prayer.
The stories from Skid Row continue to be told, so be on the lookout for more!