Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reflecting on San Francisco

     Wow, what a great trip!  It is always difficult to take a week of experiences and communicate them in an effective way to those who have not seen the things you have seen, heard the things you have heard, or showered as little as you have showered (most of us only had two showers during the week).

    I can't tell you how many times I was asked why we were going to San Francisco.  Parents, students, and a lot of others would ask me this question.  It seemed as if they wondered what we could do in San Francisco that we could not do in Denver.  Actually it is a fair question.  Even though most of the people who are there speak English the few hours we drove around when we got there and prayed over the city we quickly realized we were not in Kansas (CO) anymore.  This was a different world with different problems, different people, and most certainly a different attitude when it came to driving.  In a lot of ways it was like being in a completely different country.

     Ten thousand homeless (a very conservative number, it may be double that at times) make San Francisco their home and most of them live in an area called the Tenderloin.  We spent some time their during the week doing things like helping serve 2,500 meals and delivering hot meals to those suffering with HIV and AIDS who were not able to leave the SRO (Single Room Occupancy) they lived in which is smaller than the bedroom i live in at home.  Many of those SRO's are bug infested and dirty.  Most of us would argue that they are unfit for human occupancy, yet they range in price from $600 to $1500 per month.

    Whether it was serving meals, meeting someone's need who was living on the street, or helping out with a VBS the Salvation Army was putting on the need was great, our eyes were opened, and God worked.  The importance of serving on a mission trip both for our group and the one whom we served is unparalleled.  The word of God was spread, His name was lifted up, and our hearts and minds have been changed.