Jim and Corky are both volunteers at the Haight Ashbury Food Program. HAFP is a non-Christian soup kitchen that relies on volunteers to help them feed 300-400 people from the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco every day. Their mission statement is that food should be a right not a privilege, so they do not discriminate as to who can eat there. There are many people that make enough money to afford cheap housing but not enough to feed their families, so at HAFP you commonly see a woman dressed for work sitting next to a man dressed in rags. It’s beautiful.
Jim is in his seventies. About three years ago he was arrested for a DUI, and was sentenced to several hundred hours of community service. He chose to spend a good number of those hours at HAFP. He loved serving his fellow men so much that he kept coming back to volunteer even after his community service hours were complete. Since then, he has retired and still spends several days every week preparing and serving food to people.
Corky is a musicology professor from London. Dressed in her multi-colored bandana and skirt, she reminds me of a gipsy. Several years ago Corky’s husband died, and then her daughter moved to San Francisco for a job. Being in her sixties without a husband and then without a daughter, Corky became very lonely and took a month off of work to come visit her daughter. While here, she found the HAFP and fell in love with the people. Now Corky alternates spending two months working and “living frugally” in London and one month in San Francisco volunteering at the HAFP and visiting her daughter.
Neither Jim nor Corky have a relationship with Jesus, but both have a love for their neighbor. One surprising thing I’ve found here is the number of non-Christians who seem to have a Christ-like love for the poor and destitute. I can only pray that Jesus is prepping them for the time when He will reveal Himself to them.
Please pray for Jim and Corky, that God would reveal Himself to them. Pray for all of the volunteers in San Francisco that are searching for wholeness in their lives by serving others. Pray that they would find that wholeness in the person of Jesus Christ.
-Ben, CSM San Francisco 2007 Spring City Host