SO! Yesterday ended up being a very long (and good) day. Because of that, I didn’t get a chance to post anything about our day, so the next two posts will look a little different!
We’ll be sharing some perspectives from our experiences from yesterday and today from serving group 1, then later on we’ll share some from serving group 2!
Yesterday, our group went to Laguna Honda Hospital, a long term care facility for the elderly (and they’re also expanding to other care) and finished the day with a prayer walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Today we spent the morning at St. Vincent Dining Room, helping with food prep and serving lunch. Afterwards we went to the Mission neighbourhood of San Francisco and spent some time going about in groups, meeting people and seeing how we could meet some needs!
Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but I am so proud of how our youth are pushing themselves. It’s awesome to see how much all of them are growing!
Wow. Our time in San Francisco has been incredible so far! The Lord is good and He is here working in the lives of the people we meet and in our own lives as we serve.
We started the week off with us all being a bit (okay, extremely) tired from travel and some of us a bit anxious and nervous for what this week would hold.
That being said the girls have absolutely blown me away with how they have been adapting to this new environment, learning how to be content in uncomfortable situations and places, and how they are so excited to serve the Lord everyday in a new and different way. This evening we went on a prayer tour through San Francisco where we got to pray over the different areas and it just broke my heart hearing about all the things that are happening in behind the scenes of this beautiful city. Prostitution, homelessness, drug abuse, the money obsessed, gangs and “adult theatres” which hold young women for entertainment are just some of the issues here. We’ve seen some pretty disturbing and heartbreaking things and it’s been amazing to see how the girls are responding to the poverty and worldliness that resides in this city. Please pray for our hearts to continue to be broken along with the Spirit for these people who are trapped or lost in these issues and that we would be able to love and serve faithfully for the rest of the week.
Today we had the chance to serve at a seniors home, which was a highlight for me. Laguna Honda Hospital does an amazing job at coordinating activities and it brought me much joy to help them bring life and joy to the residents. Volunteers help reach more seniors at a time, maximizing interaction and exercise.
Their program involves a beautiful garden for walking, a mini farm, aqua-size, dancing and more. My favourite moment was singing karaoke with Amy and Laney for the seniors.
Today was the most amazing day. This morning our group got to serve St Vincent de Paul helping prepare food, serving it, and washing the dishes. This was a really great organization which served, hosted and gave less fortunate people a place to stay and some food to eat.
This afternoon was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me. As a group we were given $20 to spend on someone who we thought is in need. Kyra, Kayla, Johanna, and I came across a street busker named Laurence. We were able to hear a bit of his story, including his spiritual journey and were able to buy him pizza and pray with him. This was such a cool experience which really helped me come out of my shell and see the way God has worked with Laurence.
Yesterday was super cool, we went to an old folks home/hospital and I got to push an elderly lady around in her wheelchair and her name was Johanna too! Today was definitely my favourite day so far though. We spent the afternoon walking the streets of San Francisco. As I walked around with Kyra, Amy and Kayla we came across this black man singing on the street corner named Laurence. This was especially cool for me because knowing he loved to sing was a perfect connecting point for us. He sang to us, we bought him some pizza and we sat on the sidewalk and just talked with him for an hour.
Yesterday we went to the Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. Once again the staff that I met are a highlight. The grace and compassion they serve with is inspiring. They are so passionate and involved in/with the lives of their residents and guests. John is the director, he will is a wonderful man! So interesting!
We went on a prayer walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Later we went on a prayer tour through the city. The next day, Wednesday, we got to go serve at St.Vincent de Paul. Absolutely wonderful! It was so much fun to help out/hang out with the chefs and volunteers. I met some interesting people. One gentleman that I served, had me bring him 5 trays of food, every time I smiled, we exchanged names. When he was leaving he came up to me and said “Tessa if I could turn back the hands of time and have met you, I wouldn’t have half of the problems I have now.” It’s cool to see that a smile and positive interactions can uplift these people. Also being a twin! So many people are blown away, we even had to take some selfies!
Today was a really good day, as was yesterday. I had an amazing time helping with the seniors at the Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation center. It was amazing how much fun I had pushing the residents in wheelchairs around. This morning I worked in the kitchen at St. Vincent de Paul, until the lunch shift started. I was the dessert girl, making sure that each tray of food had some dessert. This afternoon pushed the edges of my comfort zone. Walking around the city and talking to strangers is not something that I have been taught to do. But I adapted quickly. We met some interesting people who had cool stories. God is definitely at work here in San Fran, and also in my heart. Please pray for me. I have been sick since late Saturday, and now I am losing my voice.