Today was a great day for us in San Diego! When we woke up, we went down to the chapel and talked with Mike, our leader, about Luke 10, the parable of the Good Samaritan. We discussed this passage and talked about the many different angles that this story can have. We discussed the helplessness and shame that this man must have felt, laying on the street, half dead, without a priest and a church leader stopping to help him. We also talked about the sacrifice that the Samaritan took- not only removing his goods from his donkey to make room, or spending money for the man to stay the night, but he also put down his pride and resentment toward helping a man who comes from a place that discriminates and direspects the Samaritans.
After, we had a MAGNIFICENT breakfast prepared for us by the church, which included eggs, french toast, sausage, cereal, and coffee. After, we headed out to Torry Pines Park, where we hiked and swam in the ocean!! This park area was right on the coast, and we were able to take some off time and enjoy the beautiful California weather. The water was a wee bit cold, and very salty. All of our inner childs came out when our feet touched the sand, and we raced into the ocean and rocks to get splahed by the huge waves. This was such a nice metnal break for us all and we were able to enjoy time with one another!
Once we finished this, we headed over to the mall area to grab some lunch before our next activity. We are really trying to get some good, local San Diego food, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. We ended up going to chipotle and five guys for lunch, and enjoying the freshness of California fast food… (it’s the same as back in Nashville :/). With our stomachs full and with most of our wallets in hand (Bogle…), we left to go onto our next mission: sorting toys!! When we arrived to this warehouse, we were put to work right away!! We were separating bags upon bags (at least 100) full of toys to give away to families that don’t have the money to provide them. We spent four hours separating all the toys, and danced and sang thru them all. The amount of toys in this room were speechless, and the fact that the children were going to be able to come in and pick one out for Christmas put a smile on all our faces. We also left feeling so abundantly grateful for all that we are blessed with.
Once we left they toy drive, we were headed back to the church for an hour before our big night. Some of us needed to refuel- some took naps, and some went to a bakery right outside the church called PIES. This is a coffee shop where they also have – you guessed it- pies! Haley chose the very delicious chicken pot pie, and Ryan went with the white chocoalate peppermint hand-pie with chocolate in the middle. Both a 10/10. Kelsey and Chase had an Afogoto (espresso with ice cream), and I had a London fog latte.. mmm so good!
Once we were all changed and refueled, we headed out to our next mission. We were going out to this park area to serve the homeless community who often make their homes there. We had the honor to serve them dinner, and join in on their worship night. When we got there, it was dark and we did not know what to expect. When we turned the corner, we were greeted by over 30 homeless men and women, and the church who provides a meal for these people EVERY Thursday. Talk about a serving heart and meeting people where they are. This was such an amazing night for us all. We learned so much about ourselves, our preconceived notiions that we carry, and uncecassary fear that we carry around this community. Bogle and Daniel were able to share a little something that the Lord has been teaching them, and they were greeted with nothing but love and encouragement afterwards. What an amazing thing to see so many different lives collide under one name and for one purpose. Ryan also shared a little devotional, and it was awesome to watch this community respond. One man in particular was jotting down notes as Ryan was talking, and it reminded me that we are all children of God, that our stories look comopletley different, none the same, yet we still are able to connect on such deep levels because we know who created us and who we are living for. The community we served have a faith that can move mountains. To see this in a community whose circumstances aren’t safe or wanted really put into perspective for me who God really is and His promises to us. He is here to walk with us. He uses our circumstances to show himself, but he also give us the best gift we could ever ask for – HIM! This really hit me as I watched these people continue to sing and dacne and worship, no matter their circumstances. We were able to go around and talk with the men and woman there and find out what they need prayer for, and give them socks and food to stay warm. This night impacted us all, and we all left feeling moved in some way or another. It really showed us that the church is not just a building we gather in- it is US. It is us gathering and sharing in the name of Jesus and loving one another.
Once we were done serving this community, we went to our fav- IN-N-OUT burger! It was a late night of eating, shopping at target, and hearing, listening and praying for Bogle’s testimony he shared. We all felt like we have been here for a month, but the days are packed, and we are excited for what tomorrow will bring!!