My husband is a Youth Pastor and one of the mission trips that we have done is through the SanFrancisco YWAM base.


We were sent into the Tenderloin District and the Haight/Ashberry area to minister to homeless, drug addicted, prostitutes, etc.  For a bunch of white kids & adults from a less than culturally diverse town, this was a big deal.


We had simple things that we did like:


1) Set up a prayer station in a busy city square and simply offered to pray for people.  The responses were interesting.  Initially, we were met with suspicion because people thought that we were after donations or something but once the couple of people stopped and others could see that it was pretty non-threatening, several people came for prayer.  Some were in the middle of relational problems, some were facing surgery or various medical problems, one had just lost a family member.  It was amazing at how touched people were just to have someone take the time to care and pray for them.


2) Hot Chocolate Ministry: Went around with thermoses of hot chocolate and just sat and talked with individuals that we were serving.


3) Bucket Brigade: We took cleaning supplies into local small businesses and cleaned windows, toilets, etc.  There were several muslim owned businesses. 


4) We made sack lunches for ourselves and another to give to a person that we would meet in a Haight-Ashbury park.


5) We invited people that we met throughout the week to a "Love Feast" at the end of the week.

Here we re-connected with those whom we had met on the streets.  We served them food, played music, and games, and listened to their stories.


6) We talked with and prayed for homeless who sought shelter in a Catholic church during certain hours of the day.


We may never fully know what impact we may have had on those we met but I know that it helped us grow in our compassion and grace for others.  It exposed us all to people and experiences that we probably never would have had apart from this trip. I doubt that I will ever be able to go to San Francisco again without thinking about "Dwight" a man who showed a small group of us around and served as our protector.  He shared his story with us while trying to fight back tears.  When he became uncomfortable, he simply decided he had to leave.  We tried to locate him later that day but we could not.  Several of us came back and implemented these simply tools that we had been given to reach out to the homeless in our own community.


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