California Adventures…

12 07 2011


I had the opportunity a couple weeks ago to go to the Dream Center and serve. I really did not know exactly what this trip would be like.  My expectations were blown away…

The first day we were there we went to church and then to Hollywood Boulevard and went to the beach the first night for a teaching/worship time..


Kodak Theatre

The leader of the Group - Pastor John!

The second day we got up and went to San Monica Pier and then the students walked two miles to Venice Beach.  I stayed back and watched the students things.  I had a great time and got into a great conversation plus they made a great Sand Castle (which I don’t have a picture of!).  That evening we went to the Universal City Walk – we ate dinner and did some shopping (where I bought magnets – the don’t cost alot)

San Monica Pier


On Tuesday we finally went to the Dream Center and when we got their we went into a student service called the Movement.  It was a pretty cool service and at the end the teens who were apart of the program prayed with us and that really gave me joy.  We then went to the park and had lunch and I think we had more injuries during lunch then the rest of the week.  Here are a couple photos from the morning.

Justus and Colton - what were they doing? Rapping during the Movement!

We walked a ton of stairs on Tuesday - made me really want to be in shape 🙂

We ate lunch at this park Tuesday through Thursday!

The rest of the time I had the opportunity to take few photos and really am thankful.  I think my camera would have distracted me from what was going on around me.  The first day Tuesday afternoon and we cleaned the temple and I was with the crew that cleoaned windows but we got done fast so we had some time to talk to the men who were with us and one gave the most amazing testimony of what God has done his life, but the thing that stood out to me was a man laying on some grass.  You could tell he was homeless.  It really opened my eyes to the reality of what some of these people lived in!  That evening we went to the Youth Service called the Reach – it was very cool and again our students showed their courage by going up to the front!

Wednesday was a day where we got up and had service projects all day!  The morning my crew went down to the local gas station and cleaned car windows for free and the reactions were varied – from a questioning look to a sure I will allow you to do that…Here is a picture I toke that morning!

Washed Car Windows Wednesday Morning

I don’t have any pictures from Wednesday afternoon nor Wednesday night but I think these two outreaches are my favorite because we were serving and loving people.  Wednesday afternoon I went on the Food Truck and it was such a great feeling giving out food to those who really need it.  That evening we went to Skid Row and I was on the relational team.  Let me tell you the range of emotions I went through that evening – one of fear (to see all those people there and not knowing what I was going to be doing) to compassion and love.  I talked to a man who really showed me that those  people (alot of them – have a lot of hopes and dreams).  Wednesday was by FAR my favorite day of the trip.

Thursday I finally had Adopt a Block and had trash detail in the morning – We went to the neighborhoods around the church and picked up trash – it wasn’t glamorous but it was truly a service to the neighborhood.   In the afternoon we had Food Truck again and we went to hand out food and by far that was the biggest distribution that I toke part in.  I was able to pray for some people as well.

Friday we had our last project – I had out flyers to people who were walking to a bus stop for the Dream Center’s 4th of July party.  I had people who gladly toke it and people rushing by that they had no interest in it what so ever.  I am like that how often to do I rush around and don’t stop and look at the people right in front of me and their needs.  That afternoon we went to Huntington Beach and had our last team meeting.  In was an incredible time – the students shared what God did in their life.  Here are some photos…

Huntington Beach

The Last Team Meeting!

I will never look at people the same after this trip – I will see their eyes and the looks they give.  I will see the joy, the despair, the confusion, and not regretting their decisions.  It was a trip my heart got opened to the needs of the homeless.  It has been real hot in KC the last few days and a thought went through my mind – I wonder how the homeless survive in this heat and I wonder where they go.  I will never be same.

God did an amazing thing in my heart that weekend plus I got to know some of the students better.  WHAT AN AWESOME WEEK!