Straying from our daily routine can be uncomfortable, especially when venturing to an entirely different world so close to home. The City Impact missions experience brings this truth to a new reality. City Impact is one of our ministry partners that attends to the vastly underserved homeless population of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. They exist to intervene on behalf of the people of inner-city San Francisco. On streets lined with needles, human excrement, and immense spiritual oppression, it pales in comparison to many of our own daily lives. This deeper dive into material poverty and homelessness allows participants to grow in their faith while supporting residents with prayer.
Drew Graham, an Elder at St. Andrew’s, and his family journeyed to the Tenderloin in early December. “God was evident within our family, our team, and in our ministry activities with the residents of the Tenderloin. San Francisco seemed like a long way to go when we could have made the trip for a day to a location nearer to home, but sleeping in the district, spending nights together, and taking time to focus on God’s work for several days in an unfamiliar context really stretched us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We pushed through boundaries within our team and worked together well. Once we discovered each other’s’ strengths we began to rely on one another.”
City Impact is a ministry not only focused on the material needs of the homeless but deeply concerned with the spiritual needs of the community. Prayer is the centrifugal force of this ministry. One of the focal points of the trip is street ministry, which can be uncomfortable and awkward at times. Unlike other ministries within the Tenderloin, City Impact is the only one to actively seek out the residents. This allows for an opportunity to pray with them and invite them into practical social services and health care, restoration of relationships between God, themselves and others, and enter into holistic healing from the brokenness of addiction, loss, and abandonment.
Sarah Yoon, another team member, shares her prayers for City Impact’s ministry: “City Impact was an amazing place to see God’s work done through His people. I pray for those volunteers who have given their time and energy, that they not grow weary or lose hope as they daily serve the seemingly hopeless. Further, I pray that God will constantly supply dedicated volunteers to meet the job need to help these people. Helping others in this capacity is a blessing.”