300 Sandwiches

Mrs. Donaldson,  her student volunteers and me

It starts at Nohl  Canyon Elementary School: for ten years Mrs. Donaldson has opened her heart and classroom for the production of the sandwiches. This time we had over 20 volunteers, 3/4 of the class eager to help. After a short tutorial, all of the kids received an assignment, and, with all these helping hands, our loving task was completed in one hour.

For their protection, we are no longer allowed to share photos of the children, but I have their sweet little faces registered in my heart. I am very grateful for their help, and for the parents who have allowed them to participate in this ministry. To instill servanthood in a child is one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow. Children learn an early life lesson, to think of others and to help the displaced. We had several parents helping to organize and pack the lunches as well, but they are also being great examples to their kids. The people on Skid Row love to hear that 6th graders have helped  assemble the meals. They always tell us to thank the children.

Me, Evans, and Mary
Washers and dryers for Skid Row staffed by volunteers
12 Clean bathrooms
12 Beautiful Showers

I am very excited to announce that the Skid Row ReFresh Spot is in operation again. On Crocker Street,  just off 6th Street, the Oasis from Heaven is now open daily. Showers, bathrooms, washer/dryers, and phone-charging stations are available for the citizens of Skid Row at no charge. Thank you, Councilmember Jose Huizar, for introducing the motion to secure the funding for this much-needed project.   Evans, the project manager, took us on a tour of the personal care/hygiene facility. We know that this project coming to fruition was the answer to many prayers. This entire facility was manufactured in Indiana and is completely mobile.

The ReFresh Spot organizers keep it simple; if you are going to do laundry, you sign in with your first and last initials, and are given a number. Then you wait until your number is called when the washer/dryers are available.   Volunteers are available to make sure that all is done in an orderly manner. If you need to shower, fresh towels, and all body-soap is accessible, and after every use of the showers and bathrooms, volunteers clean up for the next person. The facility is open from 6 a.m.. through 6 p.m. When a homeless person is offered these services, he or she is grateful and respectful of the gift. This gives an incentive for the people to look for employment, and also gives them the dignity and confidence to improve other areas of their lives.

DJ and Me

On all of our outreach excursions, there are always several persons who leave a strong impression on our lives.  The first young man we met was a few steps from The ReFresh Spot. His name is DJ, and he has a wonderful disposition.  DJ, who is from Louisiana, did not appear to have a drug problem but was down on his luck. Transitioning from his first stop in San Bernardino to Skid Row, DJ is employed but wants to go back home; so we prayed that God would provide this goal for him and his girlfriend. DJ was respectful and received our prayer with much hope.


Shawn is a drug addict, a beautiful young man who has given up on himself. I asked Shawn if I could touch him when praying for him, and he agreed.  Shawn said, “Look at me, I just shot up, my arms are all marked up.” I told him, “Shawn, we are not here to judge, but to offer you hope in knowing that God is real, and that He loves you. It doesn’t matter what condition you are in when you come to Him.” I asked Shawn if he felt anything, because his face was still set in stone. Shawn answered, ” I feel electricity in my body; it started at my feet.” The Lord was supernaturally healing Shawn, and what he experienced was a confirmation from God. We as a team were greatly elated to witness this wonderful manifestation of God for Shawn.

John, Andre, Me, Robert, and Mary

We walked past a man with a skin disorder. His face was hard on the eyes, but God showed us his heart. Andre was precious and received us with great love. How wonderful to be in the presence of someone who is frequently misjudged because of his appearance. I was hesitant to ask Andre if we could take a picture with him, but when I asked, he welcomed the gesture and obliged.

I always have an idea of  who is going to help with the ministry, but it is the Lord who brings us together. We are a small group, but we make a difference in gaining lost souls for the Kingdom.

Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…”

To be a part of this team you must learn to shut out most of your senses. Close your eyes to what the world sees, and look with the eyes of Jesus.  Though we can see both human and animal feces, and dead rats, God closes our noses to the stench. We hear all the arguments and curse words, but this never affects our ministry because God protects our ears. We touch the people because we are their brothers and sisters, and we bring the love of Jesus to them, because this is our calling.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers, starting with the hard-working students, the parents, and especially Mrs. Donaldson. To our team of dedicated servants of God, Mary, Gary, Robert, and John, your faithfulness will always be your blessing.

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