It's been a good couple days so far in San Francisco. We're working with a ministry called Mission Outpost that is based in the SOMA (south of market) district.
We arrived Saturday night after a long and partly snowy drive from Portland. The team from Concordia University also has 12 people and arrived just after we did. On Sunday we started the morning with a prayer walk around the neighborhood and we participated in two church services. One was held here at the Outpost and the other was a called the Homeless Church. It is an outdoor church that meets in a plaza on Mission street. Both services were very different from church back home and we helped serve food and talked with people for a few hours. In order to experience some different culture on Sunday night ate dinner at an Indian restaurant that was fantastic. For many of our students it was their first experience with Indian food, so it was a great cultural encounter.
Today we spent time working at the San Francisco food bank and helped prep over 4,500 pounds of food. In the evening half of our group stayed at the Outpost to help with the youth drop in night. They played games with the neighborhood kids, basketball, had dinner together, and even got in some break-drancing. The other half of the group helped put on a Bingo night at a low-income housing building for families down the street.
Our team is definitely starting to feel the physical strain from the constant activity. There are about 3 students who have some degree of sickness, but they are all starting to feel. It's great seeing the students wrestle with the issues they are being faced with and how this experience is stretching and challenging them. The insights being shared during our nightly debriefs are really impactful and it's easy to see they're getting a lot out of it.
Tomorrow will be our day to be tourists and explore the city. In the evening we'll start two nights of lessons and games with another group of neighborhood youth. I'll try to get a few more updates in throughout week so check in later.