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Under the Overpass

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William Letson

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Under the Overpass

by: Mike Yankoski 20 min. past the world San Francisco Mike Yankoski decided one day in church that he wanted to see what it is like being homeless. The reason he felt that way was because he was reading through Philippians and it "calling for him"
Philippians 4:11-12 Paul says that, "I have learned what it means to be content in all circumstances, whether with everything or with nothing"
Mike decided after a few months of prayer and thinking about it (and after his parents finally agreed) that he was going to plan out his trip
Mike didn't want to go alone so a young man named Sam Purvis was his journey partner and they planned the trip
The trip was going to 6 major cities for a month then head home, sounded like a great idea... or at least that's what they thought at first.... As their journey began, Mike began at the Denver Rescue Mission and while there met a man named Taylor "his first friend on the road". Taylor it has seemed was a very nice guy and had lived their for a very long time; but not very long after came Peter. Peter was also a poorer fellow who was trying to get off of his drug addiction. One night Mike tells of how he heard Peter kicking and screaming and for the next two days did nothing but lay in bed until he had kicked his addiction, he said he was extremely scared for Peter but he was so happy to see him because he did stay at Peter's side for the first night praying for his safety. After his experiences their Mike and Sam both realized this was going to be the hardest 6 months of their lives.
Their are a couple of main points to each chapter and the sections in between it
1: Our good intentions and sound theology are wasted if those we minster to don't feel that we care about their immediate concerns
2: Matthew 11:28
3: Something critical is missing in places that care for the broken and needy if the only people there are also broken and needy. Without the presence of people in the rescue missions whose lives are not defined by addiction, alcoholism, crime, and mental illness, there is little positive influence. Denver Characters: Mama, Greg, Josh, "Big Guy", Pamela, Tiffany, and "little boy"
Events : they meet Mama and Greg who teach them where and where not to go in the city. They meet Josh who was just a friendly character along with "Big Guy" who they met at a church communion. Pamela was a homeless woman who slept across the street from Mike and Sam and asked them to sing her to sleep one night because she heard them the night before and it made her go to sleep faster. Tiffany was a christian young lady who offered lunch to Mike and Sam and they spoke for a while about Christ and what he was doing in their lives. And finally a little boy who wasn't named met Mike and Sam one day (both we panhandling for money) but instead the boy ended up giving them some of his money because he made more than them just because he was a child.
Lessons: Begging is hard, it's something you expect hungry dogs to do, but not men and women made in God's image. When you kneel, hungry and broken at His table, you receive a grace from Him you might, at some other time, have completely missed. God gives us wealth so that, by giving it away, others will be amazed by God's goodness and give Him thanks. Our wealth might be a dime. But if we do it right, the one we give to can be amazed for years. Washington D.C. Portland Phoenix San Diego Coming Back to Normal Under the Overpass Characters: Brian, Slant, Bruno, Theresa, Sugar Man
Events: A random cyclist makes fun of Mike for using a tree stump as a pillow. During their first few days it starts to rain so they decide to camp out under the overpass and meet 2 guys named Brian and Slant. When Mike and Sam were talking with Slant and Brian, Brian is smoking marijuana with Slant but ends up trying to give it up by learning how to play christian music with Sam. After a while they meet Bruno and Theresa (couple) who are thankful to Mike because he shared his burrito with them, at that time Sugar Man shows up to sell drinks to people on the street. Sugar Man was fascinated with Mike and Sam just because they were christians but turns out he himself was doing the same thing they were doing, going out to help the homeless. Sam and Mike started getting frustrated with one another and end up having a fight. But in the end they solve their conflicts even thought they still would argue every so often they promised not to fight again.
Lessons: Don't worry about tomorrow, just be thankful for now. What is your definition for a christian, can it encompass the drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and broken people of the world ? Rules of the Street: 1. Don't sleep in someone else spot. 2. Find a place where you can sleep as long as possible. 3. Try to stay out of the rain. 4. Try to stay away from the rats. Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for: to make them worth it. Characters: Chris, "Jesus Christ", Henry, Marco, Link, George, Drew, Russ, James,
Events: Chris tells the guys where to go and where not to go and what times are safe. They meet a man who believes he is Jesus Christ. Henry is a man with schizophrenia ( also seen as demon possession) who they try to help out but don't do to well. Marco is this "bully" of a character and acts like he owns everything but try's to steal Link's money because Link won't stick up for himself . George is the "other Jesus guy" who goes out and eats a banquet with the homeless people and pays for all of it and preaches to them. Same with Russ and James. Those two do the same thing as George but also offer Sam and Mike a home, a nice cooked meal, a shower and money expenses for bus tickets to Phoenix.
Lessons: God's love for all His children is beyond understanding, and that "the Lord knows those who are his" (2 Timothy 2:19). Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether Henry or the man who thinks he's Jesus are clinically diagnosed as mentally ill or spiritually described as demon possessed. Neither label gets us off the hook of what we are called to do and be in their lives. The words "Jesus loves you" take on a whole different meaning when you're down and out. You hear them differently. You need them more. Just saying them to the next desperate person you meet could change his day. Wrap those words in friendship, a home-cooked meal, bus fare, and you could change his life. Characters: Terry, Karl, Nikki, old man
Events: Terry was very rude to Mike and Sam at first because they were sleeping on church doorsteps and forced them to leave but ended up having a change or heart and apologized to them and gave them some food. Karl was this man Mike was trying to help out but while Karl was yelling that he needed money for food he admitted it was only for a "fix". Nikki was a young teenager who was abused by her father and said that living on the street was better then at home. Ended up she was abused that night from some guy who picked her up and all they could do was pray and offer her a meal before having to leave. Finally some old man got Mike and Sam a job for the carnival clean up crew which paid $50 dollars a night but they only did it for one night before leaving for San Diego.
Lessons: The church isn't a physical building or a doctrinal statement or a perfectly produced program. It is us-we are the living expression of Christ's presence in the world, His body. The sooner we realize it the sooner we will be able to be the healing body of Christ. Love can't cover wrongs if we let frustrations and failure keep us apart. "I notice you, you're a human being and you're worth my time." Characters: Bob, Ronnie, Andrew, Doug, Rings, Carla
Events: Mike and Sam meet an old man named Bob who was not able to eat solid food or it would hurt his stomach, the doctors told Bob they would have to amputate his toes so he was about to leave and go to the hospital with his daughter. Mike felt extremely sad for Bob because Bob was a very happy and nice guy but he knew nothing would be the same after the operation. Ronnie and Andrew were crazy but very good musicians who just couldn't make it in music careers. Doug was the guy who sat in between Mike and Sam and wanted to become a devote christian but couldn't stop drinking. Rings was the nice guy who bought people food and Carla was a old lady who feed Sam and Mike at a church banquet.
Lessons: ****Read them to many to type *Read the Questions he asks at the end of the book.
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