“ I thank God that we all woke up today”

Site

All of us are assigned to different sites during the day where we kinda work as interns. Allie, Kimmy and I are at the Covenant House, which is a shelter for homeless / orphaned youth from 18-24. We have been there about 3 weeks now and are starting to get to know some of the “clients” as they are called. Its hard trying to serve them / be friendly to them without getting attached to them. They are about my age, and so far all of them that ive met are really cool. I am beginning to like just about every single one of them. But there are so many obstacles in their way. Some of them have felony records, some have no job experience, some haven’t finished their high school certification. Actually I was honestly surprised to find out most of them had finished high school. When I think orphans / homeless, I think dropped out of school early, maybe got involved in crime, and now cant get a job. But I was surprised at how many of them completed high school and was even more surprised at how much job experience some of them have. It seems like a huge problem is that they cannot keep a job for a long period of time because they get laid off or move (especially when you don’t really have a home).

Covenant House offers a bed to anyone in that age range. But, to live there one has to follow a case plan, which involves building a resume and job searching. Our job is primarily helping them with their resumes and any questions they have when filling out job applications. But we also have been blessed with certain experiences. The staff has allowed us to sit in on the job readiness classes they have.

The first class they had went something like this. Everyone has values, personal values. Once you know your values, it is easier to live your life because you know what is important to you. So, everyone write down 5 of your personal values……….. I had to think a good minute before I wrote anything down.

Why don’t you write down your 3 top values now? Yes, now. Take a few minutes to think of them; what do you value more than anything else? Write 3 things down.

Now, what are you doing to follow them? Do you live by them? If not, why and what is stopping you from doing that.

That was the first day, and I was like wooow, I cant even think of my values which should be something a person lives by, while they are scribbling theirs down, and society would imply that I am somehow better than them?

————————————-

Then the next training, the staff that was leading it tolda story.

It went like this, X saw that R was really rich. So, X went up to R and said “ Hey R, I want to be rich like you, please can you show me how to be rich like you?”

R: “Meet me at the beach tomorrow at 8pm.”

X: “I don’t wanna go swimming, I wanna be rich like you, I wanna have a nice car and stuff.”

R: “Then meet me at the beach tomorrow.”

X didn’t wanna go to the beach, but he wanted to be rich like R, so he deci ded to go, so the next day he went to the beach and met R at 8pm. When they met, R said“Follow me” and started walking out into the ocean. Then X noticed R had dressed in his swimming trunks while he was dressed in his best suit. He didn’t want to follow R but he wanted to be rich. So finally he followed R in. When they got to their knees, he stopped but R kept going. Finally they were waist deep, then shoulder deep. Here, R stopped and without saying anything dunked X into the water. X struggled but to no avail, when he was almost out of air, R brought him up for a second before dunking him under again. This process was repeated for way too long for X’s liking. Finally R brought him up and said “When you were under what did you want more than anything else?”

X: “Air!”

R: “Until you want to be rich as badly as you wanted air, you wont be rich.”

That’s the end of the story, but the staff then went on to talk about how we have to set goals and go after them without getting distracted, because if we look around we will get distracted. J She said it much more eloquently and when I started this post, I thought I would be able to write it like she said it but nope :p

Anyway, I think if you read this far, you understand the point of the story so no explanation necessary. Anyway, it sounded cooler when the staff was explaining it to the group of clients especially as she tailored it to them finding jobs that pay enough so they can start renting their own place and slowly move “up” in the world.

—————————————————-

We had a friends and family night the other day where we each shared a little about our experiences so far were like. I wrote this based on a client named Paul.

Let me tell you about Paul.

A man who turned 20 last week without anyone knowing.

A young man that has seen the inside of a jail & mental institution.

A man that has battled with drugs for control of his life.

Now, a man that wears his only suit to church 3 times a week.

Now, a man that hands out church fliers to people he meets.

Now, a man that dreams to have a 6 bedroom house for his family.

Now, a man that wants to start his own ministry.

Now, a man that starts each and every day by telling those around him:

“I thank God that we all woke up today and that I get to see your lovely faces.”

—–

the thing I like most bout Paul is that he says that “ I thank God that we all woke up today”.

That touched me the first day I heard him say it. Cuz then it hit me that just the small things like waking up in the morning I take for granted and that not everyone is as blessed as I am. Now as I begin to understand the meaning behind the words, I appreciate it whenever he says it.

We are in the City of Oakland, and already this year the death toll from shootings is at 61. One of the Clients said she buried 7 of her friends last year, while another buried 3. Paul, growing up in this city, appreciates the simple act of waking up and finding out everyone is still alive and I appreciate that he has reminded me that some things I take for granted are a blessing.

Tales From Oakland: Two Divine Encounters

“Can I sit here?” He said sullenly.

“Of course,” I said, clearing away some of my papers that were slowly taking over the table.

My team and I talked more about our game plan for the afternoon; go to Home Depot, buy supplies (wood, primer, whatever Oops paint was available and that we liked), go to Office Depot to make copies, and go home.

“You should let it sit. For two minutes at least,” I gestured at his cup of generic cup ramen when he tried to peel back the lid. “What does your tattoo say?”

“My name. Paul.”

“What?”

“It says Paul, my name.” He turned his forearm both ways to show me the four calligraphic letters that circled his arm, spaced like directions of a compass. I finally understood what he was trying to say when I could see the words.

“It’s really nice, Paul. I’m David.” I shook his hand, which was wrapped in a black cloth cut and sewn into a fingerless glove, bound at the wrist by a shiny toy handcuff bracelet. Or maybe they were real handcuffs.

 

“I need floss,” I commented idly to my team who wasn’t listening. Paul was listening to what I realized was Lady Gaga, coming weakly and static-y from his battery-powered radio.

“Teeth is real important,” he said. He touched his front teeth. “They knocked me once, tried to knock me against the floor, you know. But I turned my face away, like this,” He grabbed his head with his arms and turned to the side, “so they couldn’t hurt my teeth.” I nodded, affirming his action. “My brother though, he got kicked right here, right in the, the mouth, and it was hanging off, you know. He went to the dentist and they saved it, though.”

“Who was trying to hit you?” I tried to ask sensitively.

“The guards, you know. But even if you want to do anything to them, you know, they got all the power. So everyone else just stands by and doesn’t help. So it’s usually like, three, or four of them. I think I coulda taken two, but three, or four, it’s too many. You just can’t do anything.”

“So, it was in jail?”

“Yeah.”

“How long ago was this?”

“I just got out a few days ago. Weeks?”

“So, what are you doing now?”

“Just trying to get my life back together, you know. Trying to provide for my family.”

“Who’s in your family?”

“My brother, and his wife. You know, we just gotta treat each other right, cuz we’re all children of God, you know. And we gotta think about what kind of world we’re gonna hand down to our children, and their children. Because the sun, you know, is gonna get real big, and it’s gonna swallow up the Earth. The earth is closest to the sun, so we’re gonna go first. But we gotta find a way to get to, Pluto, and Mars, because they the farthest from the Sun, so we have more time.”

“But that’s not gonna happen for a long time, right? Like we’re not gonna be alive when that happens.” John Knox chimed in.

“Yeah, but it’s for our children. And their children.”

We had been quietly putting away our Tupperware lunch containers and folders, and were ready to put away the tables and leave.

“It was nice talking to you, Paul. I’ll see you around.”

“Yeah.”

“God bless you,” John Knox said.

==============================

“I stopped in the middle of the empty intersection, and turned to head down the street on my right when Erin caught up. “Let’s go down this way,” I said. “Do you know why I decided to go this way? The answer is, I have absolutely no reason.”

I was very, very lost in the San Antonio district of Oakland, in the hilly bits above Regeneration. Each intersection had numbered streets that meant little to me as they would randomly end or have a forced turn or barricade that I would ignore by walking our bikes over the curbs. The sun was quickly setting, or probably already gone, and I had gone higher and higher at every turn to try to catch a view of the sunset.

We went down two serene, tree-lined blocks. Erin said it reminded her of Oklahoma. We went straight, and slowed down to turn left following the barricade.

“Whoa, what the heck?” I slowed and stopped, and waddled over to a bush of interesting, big orange flowers. “I really want to take one,” I said to Erin. I started digging around my bag for my pocket knife.

“I wouldn’t,” Erin said. I took out my knife.

“Get away from my flowers!” A black man yelled. He had just left his apartment and started walking toward us with his cane. “I planted those flowers myself.”

“Oh, they’re very nice. I was just wondering what the name was,” I lied innocently.

“Their name is, is, is pink and yellow flowers.”

“What kind of name is that?” I laughed, putting my knife away.

“They’re Brazilian flowers,” The other black man offered.

“I planted those flowers. They’re my flowers. Don’t mess with my flowers,” The man with the cane said.

“I’m really sorry,” I said.

“I’m just kidding, son,” he chuckled at last, breaking his poker face. “Go ahead take a flower. They’re the city’s, so don’t let them catch you.”

“They’ll never come up here, don’t worry,” I said, and finally cut a flower.

“What are you taking? You ain’t gonna just take one, are you? Take more.”

“I can’t, I’m biking home. I only wanted one, anyway.”

“Give me your knife.” I didn’t argue. He cut two more and gave them to me. I tried to figure out how to hold them, all the while with a big smile on my face. “I love putting it in water, on my table. They’re real pretty when they open up. Here, give one to your better half or something.”

“Thank you, sir.”

-Yi David Yang

Wilderness Post Parte Tres

As I first started writing this post to you I sat on the ninth floor of one of the many office buildings in Downtown Oakland, reflecting on the deliberation of those last five hours. After our meeting with members of the East Bay Immigration Coalition we came back to the CLUE office to debrief and continue to plan for the upcoming prayer vigil. I find it hard to stay present in the moment, reminded of how I was so riveted that morning by the gravity of the situation that Bay Area undocumented people face. Faithful men and women from the Pacific Steel Workers Union who have had stable jobs for over a decade are being targeted for audit by the federal government—with the ultimate end being their expulsion from their principal means of making a living.

Yet I am only witnessing the tip of the iceberg to the unfolding story of growing unrest in social justice circles across the country. To put things simply, our current administration is becoming more and more draconian. I mean, using racial profiling to conduct searches, seizures, and detainment without a warrant? Deporting mothers or fathers who have children at home, or youths stopped for traffic violations? You’ve got to be kidding me. Each new scenario that presents itself shows another facet of the brokenness our country calls domestic immigration policy. The difference is now I can finally put a face to the deplorable human consequences. And the more I see the human faces the harder it becomes to dismiss the current status quo as simply an interesting issue to discuss. It is real, tangible, gritty. It is the life and death dance worked out in deserts and cities, in the fields and the detention facilities.

Street Level reveals similar human consequences. One of them is named Carlos, a man with chronic arthritis that has spread to all major joints, yet cannot risk asking for treatment because of his undocumented status. Limping over and explaining his situation in clipped Spanish, his wide smile and dancing eyes are a thin façade hiding enormous pain and torment. In a moment the lethargy I felt at writing up interviews is gone, as I try to convey my sympathy to his plight. This man is probably almost as old as my Dad, but unlike him, could never have the opportunity to any better arthritis treatment than popping a couple coveted aspirin. Sorrow and compassion mingle in my heart and add a touch of constriction to my throat I hope is not betrayed in my voice. At the end of our conversation I realize that he knows better than to ask me for medical attention. Instead, his aim is to leave a small part of his enormous burden with me. He moves quickly toward the door, filled with the strength gleaned from understanding another human being acknowledges his suffering.

As God taught me, as SUP taught me and as BAyUP has reinforced time and again, Mercy is willingly stepping into the suffering and struggle of another. Embracing the person behind the mess, and the mind behind the madness. I feel like this lesson is being fortified in my being with every interaction with a man or woman seeking for a validation of their God-given dignity. The dignity the world denies them. The dignity that Christians often deny them too. The dignity and identity that I can recognize in my communion with them.

As God teaches me more and more through my sites, I am also learning a great deal about the hardships of living in community. Here I was, thinking that I could get used to anything for just 6 weeks. Instead after only two weeks I began to feel cooped up and cornered. If it is tougher than I thought to live in a duplex with 11 others, what must the families I see feel like living 7 or 8 people in one apartment?

Part of the dissonance I experience is in remembering how much of my summer I want to consecrate to hearing from God. I have been pushed to embrace flexibility and sacrifice control of being able to do things my way. Blocked from leaving to gather my personal thoughts with Him alone, or prayer-run for exercise at my convenience. They say it is because it is too dangerous to run around my neighborhood; too easy to be surprised unexpectedly by someone in the streets and alleys. I guess I get that. But it still feels dumb not being able to break up the work/prayer/seminar marathons except for the weekends when I have time to bike or walk over to somewhere safer.

There have also been relational hurdles to overcome. The social dynamic skews 8 females against 3 males, and Asian-American cultural style against Anglo style. I feel like I need to take the Myers-Briggs test again, unsure if my personality has altered significantly or just been exaggerated or “brought to light” in contrast to the others surrounding me in this enclosed space. Just last night I had to have a heart-to-heart with Josef John about my intents and feelings towards others. Thinking out loud allowed me to diagnose with greater clarity what was wrong. My mind as of late has devolved into being overly critical and judgmental. The taxing days and long nights have gotten to me. A spiritual gorilla the size of Mighty Joe Young named “Burn-out” is trying to climb on my back again. And like Sarah Lin challenged the returning-leader team at Chapter Camp: “When you’re in Burn-out you’re in sin”. How much more direct could you get?  When I am taking my eyes off of God and not actively dismantling the thorns growing up around the seeds He has planted in my heart, the words that He is already growing within me are being choked out by the cares of this world. The repercussions are evident: misalignment of attitude and a selfish/materialistic mindset instead of a radically transformed one.

The good news is I know this is not the inheritance God has for me, for in reality I am a person who values healthy confrontation and reconciliation. God has blessed me with the strong motivation to remain open-minded and empathetic despite being in the midst of trying circumstances. I’ve described it before as “suspending judgment to refine relationship”.

An inner city missionary once said “Kingdom efficiency is seen through an eternal perspective”. And I’m starting to realize what this means in regard to letting go of the stress associated with work, and the criticism attached to my view of people. God is definitely rehashing truths I had yet to fully internalize while inspired to write “Loving the Idea more than the Actual” on my Tumblr. If you haven’t read that then get at ittt.

So overall don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to paint the portrait of BAyUP community with such broad negative strokes.  Often it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. True to form, I can safely say some of the most life-giving parts of BAyUP community are painted painstakingly and with expressive care for detail.

The BAyUP-Open House embodied that to me so well. It was tight that Matt Kim drove out on short notice to grab dinner with me at Anh Dao Pho, and Henry Yang and Adam Kauk took me out to Yummy Guy afterwards. It was Hecka legit that a huge crowd of friends and family came to stand in solidarity with all the students sharing about their experiences. And super-legit tripled that Erica Vilay acted as the technical architect behind my team’s moving testimonials. It was such a godsend to invite people who care about us to come cheer us toward the second half of our summer journey. I for one drew so much strength and hope from recognizing that their honest praise, caring embrace, and loving intentionality reflected a people committed to interceding for us in the spiritual as we walk in the physical. Come what may, I will hold up that evening in my heart to identify what I am fighting for.

I seek the Shalom of the community as God has given me Shalom through my IV community. I seek identification with the poor in Spirit, as Christ has identified Himself with my personal brokenness and my sin. I seek Kingdom Justice and Kingdom love, as they are revealed to me day by day through His children and His word. And perhaps most of all: I seek surrender control, discipline to rest and receive from God, and the anointing to stave off burn-out with the replenishing fire of the Holy Spirit.

That’s most of the reason why I am writing to you now, sitting at home on a cloudy day with Josef John reading nearby, while the rest of my team takes their Sabbath near downtown Oakland and Chinatown. The other part of the reason why I’m here is that I feel sick and exhausted. I went to morning prayer, eat breakfast, went back to sleep, eat lunch, and then started to blog. Finally! A long interval of rest after a hard week. J

To pass some of the time during the trip where I’ve felt too weak or distracted to engage in constant conversation, I have gotten to reading Christian lit– including a novel about the community in which I’m living. If you’d like to take a gander then grab “Straight Outta East Oakland” by Harry Louis Williams II. It is a slightly romanticized picture of the streets I walk, but truer than you’d EVER like to think. Just watch out, it’s gnarly violent and ridiculously sad. Yet the message of the Gospel displayed in this book rings loud and clear, maybe even louder because of it. The way of the Christ-follower provides such a stark contrast to “the Game”.

Another book on my mind is called “From Brokenness to Community” by Jean Vanier. Thanks to Erina’s recommendation and Shela’s interest to share an excerpt of it during morning prayer, I have begun to read it in expectation of letting God’s vision for community galvanize greater faith and compassion within me with which I can love my BAyUP ‘Xiong-mama’, ‘Ahyi’, and my IV student peers.

From East Oakland this is your boy J.M.K., signing off.

–JohnKnox

Albums to listen to: ‘Thistled Spring’ by Horsefeathers,  ‘Sea-sew’ by Lisa Hannigan,  ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ by Bon Iver,  ‘A Good Day’ by Priscilla Ahn and ‘Come on, feel the Illinoise’ by Sufjan Stevens.

Prayer Requests:

1. My little brother David has a urinary-tract infection. Pray for his physical healing and God’s hand upon him.

2. My rest in God—No burnout allowed.

3. Healing from my exhaustion/cold/scratchy throat.

4. Grace to have more time to exercise.

5. People to come to our prayer vigil at the West County detention center on July 20th. I just met an asian man with a family, whose wife is being detained and most likely deported because she’s not a citizen. So messed up.

6. Transformation of my attitude, mind, and emotions to love my BAyUP team well every day in every way. Patience, humility, and compassion are KEY to grow in.

7. More sleep.

8. Continued ability to speak Spanish with alacrity. When I was speaking it every day I was getting really comfortable, but now that I have not spoken with much frequency for the past few days I am having a harder time of it.

9. Grace upon my academic records at Berkeley and the office accepting my prereqs as per protocol instead of being lame and not putting them on my record.

BayUP Open House

Come hear about our time at BayUP 2011 & learn how Immigration is a Pastoral Crisis at the Bay Area Urban Project 2011 Open House! 

Where: Regeneration Church  — 238 E 15th St. in Oakland
When: Monday, July 11th, 7PM
InterVarsity’s Bay Area Urban Project invites you to our Family & Friends Night, an evening of celebration and reunion.  Come and hear what this year’s participants have been learning.  We will also have the honor of learning from a renown organizer and ordained minister with 30 years of experience in organizing on behalf of the working poor.

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, the executive director of CLUE (Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice) will speak from her 30 years of experience with a broken immigration system about the impact of the current system, the pastoral implications, and possible solutions.


A life of advocacy for the voiceless

Yu-Shuan told us we’d be in for some mutual conversion during our time
here. Only now as I skim through my journal entries from this last week do I realize
that already, my own transformation is starting to emerge.
Ally, Bhavna, and I had an extensive orientation week with the staff at
MISSSEY. We received free (yeee!) copies of Girls Like Us, a book written by sex
trafficking survivor and activist, Rachel Lloyd. A full week of discussion and learning
about the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) has been heavy on my
mind and heart.

It’s extremely easy for young girls to be caught and trapped in “the life.”
Pimps know that many young girls in the area come from either foster homes or
broken families with parents under the influence. They know that these children
will hold onto whatever figure proves himself a constant form of presence and
provision. These girls’ understanding of love and self becomes twisted into what
the pimp and his violent beatings define them to be. I couldn’t possibly describe the
sad story of injustice that is the commercial sex industry in a brief blog entry. Still, I
wanted to share a glimpse of the injustice I’m being exposed to here.
I’m angry that the industry has become so profitable at the expense of
innocent children’s lives. At the same time, I do believe God is using my experiences
(coupled with affirmation from my parents) to beckon me to a life of advocacy for
the voiceless, in the name of justice in the political sphere. I don’t know what exactly
this entails, but it gives me something specific to pray about (and that’s always the
good deal).

Pondering over the individual situations of children who are vulnerable to
exploitation has caused me to reflect on the family that I grew up with. I grew up
knowing I was loved (even if it wasn’t always outwardly communicated). To say and
know that my mother is a woman of prayer, that my father is a man who fears God
has never resonated as a greater blessing in my heart than now. And then it got me
thinking about my own future marriage and children – what kind of spiritual
mother I’ll be, what values I’ll instill in my kids. Then I thought “I will start praying
over my future babies and husband now!” The worldly forces that pull kids into
trouble and men/women into sin are strong, but the Holy Spirit’s anointing of
protection will always transcend these. Totally random and untimely resolution, I
know. But I receive every God-honoring thought as a gift, and I shall hold it dear to
myself from this day on.

The little kids in our neighborhood are absolutely the friendliest I’ve ever
encountered. If only I spoke Spanish, I would definitely be their best friend. Just
kidding; John Knox already has that one covered. I’m thankful for the New Hope
community who has welcomed us to be more involved with our neighbors – we’re
having a block party! I have volunteered to run the fishing game (so I can play with
the cute little ones). In other news, the 11 of us are eating, sharing a bathroom,
passing time, and praying together quite nicely.

For my epic closer, I would like to extend a heartfelt “I miss and love you” to
the ones I love and pray for every night. Thank you and good night.

Slip N’ Slide

On our block: The neighbors haven’t stopped with the illegal fireworks since several
days before the 4th of July. I’ve never seen them from this close before. These
fireworks are mesmerizing to stare at and pretty but in a louder, more explosive
way than I’m used to.

At our house: It’s hot! The two kids from the family that lives downstairs let Kimmy
and me try out their new Slip-n-slide in the backyard with them. It was both wetter
and shorter than I thought it would be, but still fun.
The blue teddy bear I brought from home has been in a different person’s sleeping
bag every time I return to our bedroom. I am still not completely sure who the
culprit is.

In our team: We are getting more into the rhythm of what our weeks will be like
for the rest of this summer. We all come home from our sites at different times, but
then we get to gather around the dining table, talk about how our days were, and eat
home-cooked foods together, sometimes without utensils, and sometimes without
thumbs. Then we play games, entertain the idea of collectively writing a romance
novel, and sleep early so we can pray the following morning.

My favorite thing about this team is that we regularly pray and confess together, and
in the same way that none of us is afraid to be weird or quirky, none of us is afraid
to be honest about feelings of disappointment, weakness, or callousness. I am more
able to recognize and trust that God is real and near to us because we are learning
how to be real with each other and with God.

Me! Learning about poor people and broken systems was, at first, just heavy
and frustrating. But it also makes me more aware of the problems behind the
more visible problems, and allows me to see people for more than the current
circumstances I see them in. I really want this to carry over into post-BAyUP life!

allyson jue lam 7.4.11 11PM

Wilderness Post Part Deux

Good evening from Oakland. Diving into the third week of BAyUP, I write to you enjoying the company of friends interrupted by the staccato burst of fourth-of-july fireworks. God is knitting our team closer together through prayer, sharing, and candid conversations. And though I lost my phone charger, I feel like I’ve experienced further breakthrough coming to better terms with the technology fast. I have to confess that at first my mentality was to see how far I could “push the limit” by pressing  for staff to let me listen to my i-pod during the Sabbath, and sneaking out some texts to people on my phone. I began to have a change of heart on Saturday though, remembering how important it is to unplug and remain present with the community with whom He has blessed me. Due to unforeseen complications, I and the other three guys on my team have moved in with the rest of the Berkeley ladies in their apartment/duplex. We have a room to ourselves, but now face the hardship of sharing a bathroom between  11 people. Sketchy right?  Haha, actually I’ve been consistently reminded the longer I’m here as to the actual extent that my life is comfortable and manageable. I continue to eat healthy, get plenty of exercise, and receive abundantly of the generosity of free food and the hospitality of churches, businesses, and friends in the city. Recently at a church’s breakfast fundraiser for a local homeless shelter, the event coordinators bequeathed the gift of over 20 boxes of ‘Wheaties’ to my team and me. David, Josef, and I proceeded to hide them all over our home’s 9 spacious rooms and derive much joy from having the rest of our housemates go on a treasure hunt to find them…daily!

Working at Street Level Health Clinic has been legit thus far, and currently my team and I are in the process of conducting extensive interviews of the staff and clinic volunteers to draft an ethnography about the history, culture, and vision behind their humble organization. We hope to draw poignant and representative stories and values from the ethnography that could provide the backbone of a great fundraising letter to potential donors. I have been able to interview volunteers and staff in Spanish, and it has been such a joy to recognize how much of my knowledge and comprehension of the language I have retained. By far the biggest obstacle our team faces at SLHP is creation of a huge mural to artistically portray its role of support in the immigrant and urban communities in the San Antonio district of Oakland. As you all probably know, art is not my forte, especially the kind that involves huge paintbrushes and attention to finely sculpted detail. PRAY FOR US!

 

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, my team works with Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), planning an Interfaith vigil to be held outside an immigrant detention center in Richmond. We hope to unite church communities to publicize and speak out against the profile-and-snatch tactics and lack of especially legit legal representation for illegal aliens trying to make a living in the United States to avoid abject poverty and violence in their home countries. I’m so stoked to be working with this organization, because its Christian approach and prayerful mission scope remind me that there are Christians out there in our little big world that not only passionately feel God’s heart for justice, but dedicate their lives to its pursuit.

 

Prayer Requests:

1. Pray that I continue to steward the technology fast with grace.

2. I can engage with the demanding schedule of my sites and still have time and love to meet my neighbors and volunteer at a church “block party” next Saturday.

3. God continues to give me His heart for my team and the city, so that I understand just how much I have to learn from my team and the people of the community.

4. A hedge of protection from sunburns envelops my body.

5. I have the bandwidth to sacrifice my usual comforts to embrace a lack that brings faith to the forefront of my daily life. Man shall not live by bread and sufficient hygiene alone right? *^_^

Yours,

John Knox