popping the hood in frisco

28 Oct

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Last week I went to San Francisco to help with a West Coast major donor event for CRM.  We bring in leaders from different branches of our organization to share what God is doing around the world within CRM. I was not prepared for the impact this week would have on me.  If you could get the best picture of everything we as an organization embody this would be the perfect place to hear it.  It would be safe to say that the collective of people in this room are spiritual superheroes. There is not enough space to fill in all of my experiences and stories I heard.  Here is one…

I heard from John Hayes, director of Inner Change,  a mission order that works among the poor in five countries (including San Francisco), sharing the good news in words and works through personal relationships.  I got to see this play out first hand during the week.  I stayed with the leaders of the San Francisco InnerChange team, Paul and Maria Nix. They are a part of the Outer Circle, a small collective of people who are committed to developing friendships with the runaway kids, gutter-punks, and homeless who gather in and around San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

As I did life with this team for a couple days I felt its impact.  Their team is known on the streets…not one out of the many who we passed by on the hills of the park asked us for money. The Outer Circle have earned their spot to invest in this community. They are different yet accepted.  Pancake Monday came around when I visited. Paul played the harmonica and guitar while talking with a kid who just arrived from Jersey.  Jess joined a circle of kids who were seated in the grass enjoying the warm sunshine in the midst of a brisk morning. Claire started a game involving a homemade toy that looked like nunchucks.  Claire’s sister cooked up some pancakes on the portable camping stove two by two.  I looked around as all partook in a hot meal under the cascading trees of the park, a place these people call home. 

Outer Circles time among the runaways seemed so successful…so natural even. In a culture desiring quick results and change it was encouraging to remind myself the fruit of there ministry has stemmed from 12 years of experience and faithfulness in San Francisco.  I was inspired. I was challenged. I know I have a long way to go.

I desire to build a reputation of compassion and trust like my friends in San Fran have done so faithfully.  What does it look like to live out mission, to provide a glimpse of the Kingdom to those in my community, in my context, and in my hood? I’m wrestling.
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