Skid Row Calling


2 Timothy 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Mrs. Donaldson, me, and her sixth grade class

The first two years of college are to establish the route we are taking as far as a career is concerned. It’s the same way with our calling to serve the Lord, because we are all called to serve.

In the almost 20 years that I have served, I always felt a natural comfort in going to Skid Row. Many of my friends have gone with me but never returned  because God did not call them to serve there. I have never felt anything but gratitude for all who have helped with this ministry.

Those who are called feel that tugging in their hearts; this feeling does not go away until you answer your call.

For the past 11 years Mrs. Donaldson has opened the doors to her classroom by allowing our ministry to make the sandwiches. We usually have as many as 20 volunteers. The wonderful thing about this is that we get the job completed in less than two hours, and the sixth-grade students also do the clean up. This has facilitated and changed everything for the better because when we made sandwiches in my home, after everyone left I still had to put my kitchen back together, and I only had half of the help.

I’m so grateful to Mrs. Donaldson for saying yes, and for teaching her students the value of servanthood. These students get a taste of what God may have in store for them, and they will never forget the experience.

With me this weekend were Jane, Mary, Robert and Veronica (a newbie). Mary has been coming for over a year; she is definitely called to Skid Row. How do I know? For one, she keeps coming back, and she is never squeamish about the horrid conditions and smells of Skid Row. If you can get past the scent, you’ve passed the test and can tolerate just about anything Skid Row throws at you. Mary has earned magna cum laude with her services. Jane has for years been a part of this ministry: she keeps me going in the right direction when we drive to LA, but mostly she is the quiet prayer warrior. She can change circumstances for those she is praying for. Jane also has a special gift in looking into the souls of the lost and knowing how to reach and touch them spiritually. Robert  has always been and will continue to be our rock. Robert has a calling to minister to the drug addicted, because he was once in that same rut.

We always try to park in the same spot, and on Saturday we were able to secure our usual parking. I never feel fearful because when you are doing the work for God we are protected. I always feel that there are angels assigned to protect our vehicles so we do not worry about this. We do, however, take precaution and make sure that our vehicles are locked.

They loved the blankets

Robert was late in meeting us, so I recruited Malcom, a citizen of Skid Row, to watch over us. Malcom was obliged to help. This precious man stayed with us for a while. He followed us on his bicycle and watched as we handed out the meals. By the time we ran out of sandwiches, we had to go back to refill our wagon. We remembered that Michael and Trisha had donated about 20 green blankets. These blankets were handed out in a flash, but I made sure Malcom received one.

As we made our way to the front of the Midnight Mission, I could not help but notice a sleeping couple. They were dangerously close to the street, sleeping soundly. I could see peace over them. The woman’s hair was done up in several neatly woven braids tied with some type of yellow ribbon. The man’s head was snugly against the woman’s neck, almost as if they were sleeping in the privacy of their bedroom; nothing seemed to disturb them. Even the screaming woman who woke up from a nightmare, yelling as she reached for her pint of hard liquor, did not wake the slumbering couple.  A rude man was antagonizing the screaming woman and making her suffer great anger. This type of behavior catches our attention but only for a fleeing second. We do not get involved because the homeless read body language better than anyone. If they feel you are judging them, they come at you. We are trained to give them their space and respect them; if you break these two sacred rules you will be in big trouble.

Me, Jane, Estefon (holding blanket)
Veronica, me, Estefon, Mary and Robert (behind Mary) did not get the names of the others

On the same block we met Estefon, a talkative young man. In about three minutes I learned so much about him. He was adopted by a German couple who made their home in the San Fernando Valley. He then moved with them to Germany, then back to California. He is homeless because he cannot keep a job. He explained why he could not keep a job: he did the job so well and got ahead of himself so he would get fired. He went on and on about how no one would hire him. My head was spinning with all that he shared. I prayed for him to get solid direction from the Lord.

Me and Craig

We met Craig, a man with a million-dollar smile and serene spirit. I prayed for him to find his way, he has not been on Skid Row long, and the sooner he gets, off the better for him. After we prayed for Craig we passed a woman sitting against the curb. She was on the phone, yelling so many obscenities; if you think of the two worst bad words and add pedtophile them, this describes the person that owes her $4,000. We steer clear of that type of anger.

City scooter
City scooter stripped

The city is providing scooters, but it’s not such a good idea in this neighborhood; parts are taken off, used for other things or sold.

Overall our mission is complete with seed planted and prayer for a good harvest in the souls of the destitute.

Thank you, Michael and Trisha, for the beautiful blankets. Thank you, Sarah and Jason, for donating the cookies. Thank you, Jane, for your financial support and for being there in the flesh handing out all the goods. Thank you, Mary, for being part of this ministry and helping us distribute the meals. Thank you, Robert, for your protection and for your faithfulness in supporting this ministry, And thank you, Veronica, for helping hand out the meals. Great is your reward!

Matthew 22:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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