Team LA-AX: Day 6
Hello hello! This is Jon Adam. It was another busy and impactful day today in LA – just the way our team likes it. We started things off by cooking a breakfast of eggs and ham (our culinary specialty) for the Hope Church volunteers and staff. Sundays at Hope are filled to the brim with multiple services, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and food shipments. We couldn’t attend them all, but were able to be at one service in the morning. The demographic at the service was exactly that of the surrounding community – a testament to Hope’s accepting and cooperative qualities. Fittingly, Pastor Ed delivered a message on the importance of unity for the Church, lest it become its own worst enemy.
For lunch, we all hit up the iconic and delicious In-N-Out burger. Afterwards while others explored some local shops, I got to spend the next two hours with Brian Pierce, a recent Axiom alum and Stanford grad student who joined our team for the weekend. Mary, Rebekah, Brian, and I took a drive up to Griffith Observatory for some great views of the city before saying a sad goodbye to Brian. We’re all having some incredibly unique experiences out here! For the rest of the day’s events, I’ll turn it over to my co-blogger Chris.
Hello from Los Angeles! This is Chris speaking—the only person in LA who is wearing cowboy boots and an Illini hat to the Pantages Theater! We are having a blast out here and are definitely getting a glimpse of the way God is working through some of the most “unsuspecting” characters. This evening, we had the opportunity to travel with Pastor Ed and the worship team from Hope Church to The Midnight Mission on Skid Row. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Skid Row, it is a part of LA where the homeless have “taken” over the area as their home. We saw people with permanent camps set up, people living out of cardboard boxes, and hundreds of people living on the street without hope. All of the businesses in this area have garage doors that cover their storefronts outside of business hours and there was trash everywhere. When we entered the place of refuge, we were greeted by many who had been sent to serve after previously being associated with Hope Church – some of which had even gone through the recovery program with Pastor Ed and were now serving others who are in the same situation they were once in. The refuge place serves nearly 1500 meals to the homeless every day, offers their own recovery program, and even provides a place for 100 homeless people to sleep every night. They start lining up in the courtyard at 6am every day to try and be in the first 100 people so they will have a warm and safe place to sleep for the night.
During the service tonight the doors were opened to those on the streets and we were able to talk to and worship with people who are imperfect just as we all are – it was a great experience to sit through a worship service and see the homeless for who they truly are – God’s Children. We sang several songs, some of which had been written by those who were previously in the worship band. Pastor Ed spoke for a few minutes and gave words of encouragement for everyone in the room to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. Finally, Aaron Bird preached a powerful message explaining why he believed in Jesus Christ and how we are ALL GODS CHILDREN – even if society does not accept you. I think I speak for the entire group that we were all grateful for the message Aaron was able to share with this special group of people. After leaving The Midnight Mission, we piled into our big white van and went to King Buffet. It was another great day filled with life changing experiences!
God Bless and Goodnight From LA!
Jon and Chris