As part of our life here in San Francisco, we (staff and students) gather several times each week to sing songs declaring God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives, and speaking out our love and devotion to Him. Several people here at very talented musicians, and almost everyone on our school loves singing. It is not, however, listening to those gifted in music that connects my heart to God most – more than anything else, it is listening to the tone-deaf, honest voices of the older homeless men who spend their mornings here at the YWAM base. Reach-Up is a program that was started about five years ago to give homeless men and women an opportunity to “reach up” for something better. Participants come every morning at nine for breakfast, a half hour of work duties, and a time of singing songs to God and Bible study. While they are here they can use the internet, take showers, do laundry and generally take a break from the exhaustion of street life. Our morning class break often happens during Reach-Up’s worship time. The 10-15 participants don’t use guitars, drums or worship-leaders with gorgeous voices. Instead, they merely play CDs that everyone sings along to. Personally, I often find it difficult to feel connected to God’s spirit when singing along to a CD. With Reach-Up, though, I can tangibly feel God’s presence, even as I walk through the room, as these men sing of His faithfulness and love for them. As the CDs play, they use their voices to thank God for who He is and the many ways He has saved and rescued them. I can almost see Jesus smiling as they sing to Him with honest hearts…I desire to worship Him like that, unashamedly, like a child. I love being encouraged in my relationship with Jesus through watching men living on the streets choose to love and follow Him with their lives.
Leave a Reply