Today was our first full day on our Los Angeles trip! Our class was split up into two different van groups; Van Group 1 and the infamous Van Group 2. Personally, I was placed in the second group where we woke up before the sun did and headed to a charter school in Compton. The school was started by a woman who felt called to start an after-school program, which long story short, God multiplied into a growing school from elementary stretching into high school. I was apart of a team that helped clean and organize a renewable garden project while some of my other classmates were placed in classrooms with the students. The people of Compton were kind and full of hope, trusting God for help and change. The experience as a whole completely changed how I viewed the area. Who knew that God loves the Bloods and the CRIPs as much as He loves me? I say that jokingly but to be totally transparent, sometimes I judge others for who they are without Christ instead of helping others to see who they can be in Him.
Afterwards, the rebellious Van Group 2 went out to the Art District of L.A. for lunch and shared with each other of how God showed up in their day. Following lunch, we departed to join up with Van Group 1 which had come back from working in a soup kitchen in the heart of Skid Row. We met up at an extremely boujey (expensive) mall where we were able to share, experience and spread God’s love to the “elites” of L.A. My Evangelism partner and I, Cori Bishop, had an hour to two hour long spirit led talk with one of the kiosk workers. After our final hugs and goodbyes, we prayed and helped connect her with a local church that we know about. God blessed our time.
We were able to climb one of L.A’s hills and went to the Griffith observatory where we looked through telescopes and told dumb Dad jokes. Well maybe I was the only one telling the Dad jokes, but either way, we had a great time. Today, God’s love won!
Written by: Nathan Conte