Day 4 Update

21 07 2011

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Today was a special day for us here in Los Angeles. We got to sleep in until 8 am before we headed out for what turned out to be a long day. We went to the Los Angeles Mission in downtown, a faith based organization that helps people recover from substance abuse addiction, where we helped sort donations. They’re a big enough mission that everyone from Nike to various airlines offers donations from their surplus or damaged resources. We spent the majority of our morning sorting shoes to be sent to people in need through the LA Mission. We got the opportunity to eat lunch with some of the program staff and, lucky for us, it was In-N-Out Burger day.

In the afternoon we returned to Door of Hope where we made wrist bands, ate root-beer floats, and played games with the program kids with whom we are all falling in love. What an amazing group of kids!

For dinner we ate in China Town, at a very authentic mom & pop Chinese restaurant called Jade Wok. It was an amazing meal. I think just about all of us tried something new. My personal favorite was the fresh squid with black bean sauce.

The most special part of the day, and perhaps the most powerful experience of the week, was our evening at Central City Community Church on skid-row. For the last ten years, a man named Tony and his wife have run a weekly karaoke night for the people on the street. We went and sang our hearts out with the people there. It was an incredible experience. We usually associate skid-row with nothing but hopelessness and depression but we were able to get a first-hand look at the authentic joy, freedom, and hope of the people there, many of whom lay their heads on those streets even as I write this sentence. Yes, the harsh realities of poverty and injustice are still there but still they celebrate as all humans do. We saw their humanity through their music and a couple of us even had the courage to get up there and share their vocal talent.

It was a great day! We are all still excited even though our energy is running low. Keep us in prayer and please remember the people of skid-row and the children at Door of Hope on your prayers as well.

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