VIBE Youth Join San Francisco Homeless Outreach
The VIBE Youth Group joined this year’s annual San Francisco Homeless Outreach that took place Sunday, November 26th. After two months of collecting items, 28 people from SCFBC and the Neighborhood Church in San Jose sorted and bagged jackets, sweaters, sleeping bags, blankets, socks and beanies. Then we rode BART to San Francisco to deliver 30 bags of donations to the homeless living on the streets.
This was a life-changing experience for many in our youth group. Most of those who attended were nervous prior to the outreach, so it was important for us to be "prayed up" so we could show compassion and boldness, and receive guidance and safety in a new territory. Over the past several weeks our Sunday Bible Study focused on what it means to be “prayed up” and taught new prayer methods, including the Lord’s Prayer, the 5 Finger model and the ACTS model. Both Sadiye and Alexie mentioned that they are praying more often since we began our prayer series.
Once we arrived in San Francisco, the VIBE Youth Group was one of four groups to minister and provide warm blankets and clothing to the homeless in the Civic Center district near City Hall. There were many individuals scattered in small communities trying to stay dry from the earlier rain. Upon seeing our bags, they flocked to us and we were able to help with their physical needs and pray over them. For most of the youth, this was the first time they had directly faced issues of homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse. Grace was able to express to her parents what she saw and how it affected her. Ali reflected on the blessings and possessions he had compared to those he met who had so little. Sadiye was personally moved by the realities of substance abuse that she witnessed, which deepened her compassion for families who struggle with addicted family members. This was Shim and Ayla’s second time serving and they were comfortable and compassionate reaching out and praying over those in need.
The Holy Spirit ministered to each of us who were able to participate. It is humbling to not only consider our own blessings, but to witness the joy of those we served in the simple things like a warm blanket and socks, human contact, a hug, a handshake, a prayer. We are all equally loved by God, but human kindness is sometimes the only reflection of Him that others will see.