JESUS WAS IN LOS ANGELES TODAY. The media did not report His sighting, only the evidence of the lives that were changed by His presence at the L.A. Mission.
I joined hundreds volunteers on Friday, many of whom began arriving to the LA Mission at 4 a.m. in the middle of Skid Row. Yes, “skid row” is a literal place, a 10 block radius in the middle of Los Angeles that City officials have zoned for missions services to be provided to the homeless; a place where hospitals often bring the indigent when no family or friend will come to pick them up after emergency services; a place where the addicted and abused go in hopes of a warm meal; a place where more than 40,000 homeless men, women and children are forced to reside so they can wait each day for food, medical care and if they are fortunate enough, a bed or temporary housing.
The L.A. Mission made Good Friday very good for so many in need. On Friday we served over 3,000 meals to the homeless and those in dire need. I was simply amazed watching the Los Angeles Mission do so much to help offset a record jobless rate that has been threatening Los Angeles and Skid Row in particular. While many across the country are staging protests and throwing barbs at Congress and the White House, Herb Smith and the LA Mission’s army of volunteers were lifting up the light of Christ, drawing the homeless in off the street.
The L.A. Mission has programs designed to provide hope and healing to those in need. Not only do they provide food and shelter, but they have an entire aresenalof solutions, including counseling, addiction treatment, GED preparation, and career and vocational training. The Mission works with scores of local businesses who reach out and help to put the homeless back to work as productive citizens.
“The homeless population in the city was up 10 percent this year over last year — which was up 10 percent over the year before, ” said Herb Smith of the LA Mission. “We’re tracking the jobless issues in the economy.”
Willie Mays, 56, said he was the proof.
“I just got laid off from my job a few days ago. I was a custodian at one of the hotels around the corner.” Mays has been staying at a homeless shelter nearby. After enjoying a meal of ham, green beans and mac’ n’ cheese, Mays sat down in a tent where a nursing student washed his feet.
“It tickles,” chuckled Mays. Then, he walked — with the aid of a cane — to the next tent… to receive a free new pair of shoes.
Volunteers did foot washing for over 2,000 of the homeless in L.A. and provided new shoes. I was so touched by Alley Mills, most know for her work as the mom in TV’s “Wonder Years”. Alley spent the entire day on her knees washing the feet of the homeless, bandaging street caused blisters and sharing the love of Christ. There was a touching humility that so many saw in the eyes of both Alley and the homeless she touched today.
JESUS TRULY WAS IN LOS ANGELES TODAY….