Another UFC Youth Summer in San Francisco.
The anticipation for these trips is always huge. After seeing God work in hearts and lives there time and time again, there is a sense of expectancy before leaving.
This time was no different.
As the 23 students rolled into the streets of the Tenderloin, the anticipation mixed with anxiety and a desire for comfort. Still, not one of them gave up or turned back. They chose to walk toward the YWAM base, toward whatever Jesus had in store for them (even if there were some nervous texts home).
That first night they were given hot chocolate and sent out to love on these new streets. Anxiety heightened for some as they walked up to strangers, unsure of how they would be received. With each interaction, their courage grew. By the end of the night they were praying for people with whom that had nothing in common, and telling people that Jesus was the reason for the love they had.
Each day, their excitement to share the love of Jesus grew. They slept on concrete floors and walked the streets in exhaustion, learning what it was like for the homeless. They served food at Glide (a soup kitchen across the street from the YWAM base) and worked to see people filled in a deeper way than just with food. They picked up trash, made new friends, worshipped, and washed one another’s feet. They continued to pursue no matter how exhausted, and saw Jesus at work.
This group was mature. They desired to do what they were called to, and chose to grow rather than complain or run.
This group was loving. They prayed with each other and those on the streets relentlessly, they believed that Jesus has a love for people that breaks down any barrier.
This group was fun. They smiled, and laughed, and made strangers into friends.
This group was inclusive. They were bold. They were teachable.
Trip one was fruitful because they said “yes” to whatever Jesus wanted to do, and they didn’t stop pushing until they sat back in the vans. Being with them was an honor, and a beautiful reminder of why we started to do this trip in the first place. So thankful to get to see God have his way in each of them this week.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4
We saw darkness overcome with light this week, and we saw Jesus fill us as we emptied.
There is power in the name of Jesus, and San Francisco will always be a beautiful reminder of that truth.
Watch this video for a glimpse of what it was like: