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Please ramp up your prayers for our folks...

December 2020 e-news

Merry Christmas to you and all your families this season. 
 
I want to thank you all in advance for your prayers and thoughts for our loved ones who live on the streets. This year has been hard on all of us with COVID, but for these folks it has been extra hard. The weather has turned very cold in our area and there is nowhere for our folks to go, making them feel more shut out than ever. 
 
No matter what you might feel personally about people who are homeless, the fact is they are there, on the streets, and it is already a very tough life.  The Christmas season is a hard time emotionally for millions every year.  For those we minister to, it is a reminder they are alone in many ways; they have no family and now with COVID they cannot go anywhere to get relief from the weather changes.  This is usually the time of year that they drink and use more drugs to escape their depression.
 
With this in mind, we at Street Life Ministries ask you to all ramp up your prayers for our loved ones who are on the streets and those all over the nation. 
 
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.  James 2:8 ESV

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
— Proverbs 19:17


Thank you for your interest in SLM,
Pastor David Shearin

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A veteran of the Year
Dan Smith

Dan Smith is a veteran who served in the Marine Corps from 1980-1985, with a deployment in Sudan. When Dan completed his service, he settled in San Mateo County and began a 25-year career with the Redwood City Police Department, where he is currently a Sergeant.

Dan learned many lessons during military service, including teamwork and never giving up, and brought them to the community he now serves. He is passionate about helping those most at risk in the community and has been a leader of several important projects. He was instrumental in starting and growing a Police and Fire toy drive bringing joy to hundreds of children from low-income families during many a holiday season – a program that many other cities have replicated. As the Police Activities League officer, Dan mentored at-risk youth, encouraging them to continue their education while stressing the importance of self-respect. He was one of the leaders in bringing a tattoo removal program to Redwood City, giving youth a chance to remove gang tattoos enabling them to move forward without the marks of their former gang life and the opportunity to find meaningful employment. 

Dan serves beyond his normal work hours to volunteer in the local Redwood City community. Twice a week he serves meals to the homeless at Street Life Ministries. As a Rotarian, Dan traveled back to Africa to help install water purification systems through H2O Open Doors
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KEVZ KORNER

Have you ever looked outside on a cold, rainy night and just been thankful that you aren’t out there? Glad you’re in a warm house, safe from the elements? Do you ever wonder how homeless folks make it through those times? What they do, or how they do it? Pretty sure everyone knows I used to be homeless myself, and I think my first rainy winter when I was homeless was one of the hardest in my whole life...

We’d made it to The Korridor by then. Right past the trees it was mostly tall weeds with a pathway. We had set up a spot way in the back where we could see you long before you saw us. Our spot was just some tarps. Walls and a roof, but not much of either, as summer had been a warm one. We called it the Cabana, our spot – my buddy had a hammock set up in the back, I had a padded area in front, and it worked…until that first rain.

I don’t remember why, but I was alone in The Korridor that night. Tom Schramm was at his sister’s place, and my buddy Levi was out somewhere too. No biggie, there just wasn’t anyone else there. It was cloudy and kinda sprinkling when I got there, so after munching some food and reading for a bit, I snuggled in and fell asleep…

I had no idea what time it was when I woke up, but it was still dark, and I was drowning somehow. Turned out I actually wasn’t drowning, but our roof tarp had filled with so much water and it had started sagging so bad that it was suffocating me. Almost as soon as I realized this, it burst. I was instantly soaked to the bone, and freezing. I grabbed all the electronics we had – cellphone, laptop, and whatever else, as well as a flashlight, and started to run over to Tom’s. I knew he wasn’t there, but he had 2 tents, and that meant I could maybe dry out a little inside…

Except the pathway was totally flooded and muddy. I had to climb up the bank to the freeway sound wall, and I wasn’t in a place where I could do that. It took me almost 10 minutes to get to where Tom’s tents were. I figured the electronics were probably dust, but they’d actually survived. I was still soaked to the skin, though, and I had to be at work by 7:30am. My bike, conveniently enough, was back where I came from, and any dry clothes I might have had were being rained on, hard, because our spot no longer had a roof. Yeah, things were going freakin’ great…

Well, I had no idea what time it was, but it was starting to get lighter. I needed to secure whatever valuables my buddy and I had left over at Tom’s, stuff whatever I could into my backpack, and try to grab some clothes that weren’t soaked. Took me some doing to get all that done, and still I had to change clothes and ride the 20-some minutes to my job…

I remember being late to work, and being so cold that when I stopped my bike, I fell sideways right off of it. My boss started hollering bloody murder at me the second he saw me, as I was wet and shivering almost uncontrollably. Getting yelled at by a guy a foot and a half shorter than me struck me as funny, and I started giggling until he threatened to fire me. Then I became very calm and collected as I told him that he could either have me get to working or fire me so I could go get warm - but if he raised his voice one more time they’d find him in the trunk of one of his rent-a-cars…

Anyways, I’m sure it doesn’t sound as “life-or-death” to you as it felt to me back then, but that experience made me a whole lot stronger and smarter. We were ready for the next rainstorms, believe me. After that first one, I was ready for just about anything that might get thrown at me.  If I remember right, this was still a year or two before Tom told me about Street Church for the first time. It wasn’t all bad, honestly. We had some good times. I’ll tell you more about those times in future columns, I promise.

Lord, it’s cold, and it’s wet, and I can’t thank You enough that I’m not out in it. There’s a lot of other folks that still are, though. Help them to find safety and warmth in Your Embrace, Father. Help us to bring them in out of the cold.
 
See you on the streets, guys.

Join us for a warm meal

Palo Alto
Mondays
6:45-8:00PM

2890 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306

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Redwood City
Mondays & Wednesdays
6:45-8:00PM
1300 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

more info

 

Menlo Park
Tuesdays & Thursdays
6:45-8:00PM
1120 Merrill Street, Menlo Park, CA
(Menlo Park Train Station)

more info

Redwood City
Last Sundays of each Month
10am-1pm

1300 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

(Breakfast and free Vet Clinic)
more info

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Street Life Ministries exists to share God's love 
by providing life-giving resources and Christ-centered gatherings to people living on the streets of the Peninsula.

Our mailing address is:
901 Madison Avenue
Redwood City, CA  94061

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