Susan Kim

It is hard to be human.  The reality of this continues to return to me over and over again these last few weeks as I feel that I and those around me have been called to enter into the tragic human realities of death, loss, and grieving.  As I write these words it occurs to me that during this Holy week before Easter the disciples and followers of Christ were probably in a very similar place.  I say that it is hard to be human not just because we have to face such issues, but we are invited to feel them deeply alongside feelings seemingly at odds with death, hope for resurrection

I think of Jim* on the street, whom we’ve known for years.  When we saw him on Broadway he was his usual self, ready with stories in hand to convince us that he was much tougher, smarter, more respected, better than maybe he even knew or believed himself to be.  I found myself not wanting to participate in his stories, laugh at his jokes, and be impressed with his desirability on the streets, though I have many times in the past. Instead I felt sad by his need to cover his own brokenness with amusing tales.  But I understand his need to cover.  We all do it, make up our own reality to keep from facing and feeling what is really true.  It’s a great safeguard against having to feel our deep longing for Easter while we’re still in Lent.

But that is what we are invited to do, and what we hope to invite Jim and others in our community to do, to be people who LIVE by feeling and experiencing the reality of both death and resurrection fully. 

-Susan Kim

*Name has been changed

One thing that I enjoy about going out on Friday nights is that within the reality of suffering there is still space for laughter and enjoyment of each other, but this past week it was really hard for me to join in.  I found myself quiet, contemplative, praying and praying and praying.  We ran into “Jim*” and he was his usual self, ready with stories in hand to convince us that he was much tougher, smarter, more respected, better than maybe he even knew or believed himself to be.  I found myself not wanting to participate in his stories, laugh at his jokes, be impressed with his desirability on the streets, though I have many times in the past. Instead I felt tired and sad by his need to cover his own brokenness with amusing tales. 

Who told you that you were naked Jim? And who told you that the covering of your shame was good enough?  Because God also wants to know “Did you eat from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”  It’s a bit harder to cover the answer to this with some exaggerated tales or fig leaves, so let’s not.

I love that God asks Jim, me, and you.  He’s not fazed by our shame or feeble attempts to mask it.  He asks to allow us to face rather than be hidden in our shame.  He asks to invite us to own and repent of our sin and separation rather than be suffocated under layers of shame.  He asks to heal, restore and reconcile us to Him.   He asks and he continues to ask. And in His kindness and mercy He provides the means, by way of His Son, by which we can answer and accept His invitation to come out from behind the trees, lay down our coverings and receive from Him.

-Susan Kim

*Name has been changed

A couple of weeks ago, there was a woman on Broadway coloring her spare change sign with crayons. As we walked by, without setting down her crayon or lifting her eyes to see to whom she was asking she asked, "Can you spare some change?" We all responded as she continued to fix her eyes down on her sign. It was not just with us, but it was with everyone that walked by her. I'm not sure I saw her face the entire night. There was a nonchalance and shallowness to her request, in that she was asking, but it didn't seem she was really looking for or as Ed may say, anticipating that her desire would be met. I relate with this woman, preferring to ask in a way that does not really convey want or need, and when I finally do ask it is still without the hope and anticipation of fulfillment. I say that I trust God, that I believe He'll answer my prayers and grant me my desires, but my averted eyes and heart and vapid prayer requests convey something different. Ironically, what I've just written is followed by a list of prayer requests. What would it mean for this woman and for me and maybe for you to pray in a way that unveils the deep desires and needs of our lives? To pray in a way that bows our heads before God out of a sense of reverence rather than heads hung low from hopelessness? I feel challenged to let desire, hope, and anticipation burn in me. Let's stoke those flames with and for one another.-Susan Kim

Walking along Broadway we’ve seen our share of creative signs coaxing people to spare some change by means of compassion, pity, guilt, humor, or self-deprecation.  This past Friday, what struck me was not some sign but the hand of a woman, open with her palm to the sky.  

She didn’t have a sign in her hand and cup on the ground to hold whatever she would receive.  She wasn’t like Greg who holds his hat in one hand for any spare change and if he’s lucky, a slice of pizza in the other.  She wasn’t holding a sign, a drink, a bike, a dog, or a backpack.  Her hand was empty and open, ready to receive. 

I know that when I ask, when I ask God it’s often with full hands as I hold on to that which I think will suffice until He answers, until I receive.  The problem is I can’t hold both what will suffice and what is sufficient. 

What would it be like for us to empty our hands, or acknowledge the emptiness of our hands like this woman?  What would it be like to feel the touch of God on our palms, as He is so anxious to give and for us to receive?  I feel overwhelmed at the thought, but don’t want to just wonder, I want this woman and I want us to experience it. 

-Susan Kim

I was having a conversation with a little girl this week about those she called “hobos.”  I asked her who she thought hobos were and she said, “people who sneak onto trains to ride for free.”  I asked her why she thought they might have to do that.  She hadn’t yet thought that far ahead.

I told her, “the trains that they ride on are not the kind that have seats in them, they’re just big containers to carry things.  “Oh,” was her reply.  I further explained that sometimes those people are homeless.   In her all-knowing fourth grade voice she said, “No they’re not, they have homes.”  As quickly as we had gotten onto the subject we were off as she returned to laughing at the silliness of words like squiggy and Deuteronomy.

Everyone has their ideas as to who the homeless are. They’re drug addicts, they’re lazy, they’re helpless, they’re going to starve without me, they sneak onto trains to ride for free.

Friday night, we ran into an older gentleman.  From his neck up he looked like a distinguished professor of literature with his silvery gray hair clipped close to his head and his matching mustache and beard, yet his dirty and torn clothing betrayed him. We did our introductions.  His name is James. *  In our conversation he began to recite poem after poem of Robert Frost, Thomas Gunn and many others who were but names to me, admittedly ignorant of the strength and beauty of poetry and its creators. 

After spending some time with him sharing in his love of words and poetry he stopped and said, “Hi, I’m James,” as he held out his hand in a warm greeting.  In this moment his mental illness trumped the mind of a poet and James became another stereotypical homeless guy on the street.

I would love to write here and say that he’s not just another stereotypical homeless guy, but I can’t, because he is.

He is homeless with issues of addiction and mental illness, yet he is also a man of culture and knowledge.  It’s easy to choose to see one without the other to make ourselves more comfortable.   We know how to deal with a homeless guy who fits into our paradigm of “homeless guy” but we don’t know what to do with a homeless person who is more articulate and intelligent than us or vice versa.  Either way we are blind to the person and the gospel. 

What do you see and where do you refuse to see? How will you lay down your own comfort on behalf of others to see people as they are not just who you want or need them to be?  Will you allow for the presence of both dignity and depravity without dilution, allowing nothing but the gospel to be the resolution of the two? 

If so, you may find that James is more the rule than the exception and people may become more than a look, character trait, or talent, but real with a name, face, and bona fide image of God emblazoned upon them.

*Name has been changed

-Susan Kim

I don’t know what it is about riding the bus, but there is this mysterious allure to it that intrigues me. Even though it usually takes me twice as long to get to where I need, even though I spend more time waiting for the bus than it would it take me to get to my destination, even though I rarely know when my stop is and I end up pulling the “stop requested” line when no one, including myself needs or wants to get off, I really enjoy riding the bus. 

When I lived in Mexico, with my not so good Spanish, I would embark on bus adventures, jumping on the first to roll up to the stop and hope to eventually make it to my destination.  It was a great way to meet people as well as get to know the city. Bus systems are not called “community transit” for nothing. 

Much to my delight, I now have opportunity to become a more frequent member of the bus transit community.  I was quickly inducted into the bus scene by having to wait 30 minutes for a bus that took me a distance I could have walked in 10.  When I boarded and sat down I looked up and saw these two guys and as I looked at their faces there was a trace of familiarity.

It was the time of day when my fellow passengers were on their way home from a hard day’s work, the hardship evident on their faces.  Except these two guys.  They were quietly talking and amusing one another as they took turns putting a smile on the others face. 

Then I remembered.  They were brothers.  I had first met them some time ago on Broadway.  I remembered the conversation we had that night, about struggles with God and Christianity in a fallen world of hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and ignoring the plank in one’s eye while rallying the world against the speck in the eye of another.

But by the time I remembered they had gotten off the bus and I was left with my prayers for them.  For me the bulk of the work with the homeless has been one of remembrance and prayer.  I can’t tell you how often after greeting someone on the street by their name I have heard “you remembered my name” said with incredulity.  There is something powerful about being named and remembered when everything else in life says you are invisible, faceless, and not worth remembrance.  There is something equally if not more powerful in our prayers for those on the street, which is ultimately a remembrance of God, His faithfulness, grace, and His remembrance of us.

So will you remember?  Will you pray?  Because you never know who you’ll see on the bus.

- Susan

It’s been a long time, since I’ve written.  Forgive me.  It is not for lack of need for prayer as you can see from the long list of names of those we’ve seen/met on Broadway the last few weeks.  In fact I’m quite stunned myself at how long the list is.  I can’t help but think and imagine if these 50 + people were to come to know God as their personal God, that would be 50+ people added to His Kingdom, 50+ voices added to the chorus of hearts that sing with their lives the praise and glory of God.  Even if it were only 1 of the 50+ the angels would celebrate, not because a homeless person was saved, but a lost soul was redeemed back from darkness and returned to the light.

Ministering to homeless by way of relationship is difficult and many feel a calling to a select few, but is it? When has the church and Christians been exempted from sharing the gospel of Christ?  When has the church or Christians been exempted from serving the poor, widows, orphans, and aliens among us? 

Though I go out each with a faithful few, oftentimes 50+ is not enough to care to be present and pray as we walk Broadway, and there is something wrong with that.  How many will warrant my/our action?  100?  1000?  Or will the 1 be enough for me/us to care to do something?

As we were out Good Friday night, above the usual noise of Broadway was a loud booming voice of a man yelling at someone, but no one in particular.  Like our little group each week, walking up and down Broadway, he does the same most weeks, angrily shouting at the voices in his head, the faces from his past, I don’t know.  All I know is that he walks and shouts and people, including myself, just try to stay out of his way. 

I rarely hear or at least remember what he yells, but always hear the hostility in his tone.  Admittedly, he has become merely a dangerous, angry man to me.  I lost sight of his humanity and hurt, but was jarred back into reality when I heard him shout “Every man that loved me died.”

His rants began to make more sense, and maybe these rants though directed randomly on the streets, were actually intended for the ears of God.  I know He hears.  All I could do was pray for this man, his pain and loss.  I also found myself praying that he should know the fullness and truthfulness of his own words. Every man who loved him did die, but of those men there was One who was different.  The man of Jesus Christ who loved him died.  But it was not a death of abandonment, loss of love, or unanswered questions or issues taken to the grave never to be resolved, but a death for… you can fill your name in the blank or the name of your friends, family and neighbors, those who believe and those you pray to believe.  Those who love us will sadly die, but only One died for us.  I pray for this man that he would believe and know that he is loved and was died for.  Please continue to pray with me for him and the many others who have yet to believe.

-Susan Kim


When it comes to music, just about anything is fair game in the making of that music, even a couple of institutional size tin cans.  That’s what Benny* was using on Broadway.  He was sitting on the sidewalk with his “drums” positioned in front of him, tapping and singing.  We introduced ourselves to each other, and he told me he was from another state.  He sang me a song and then asked me my name and told me he was from Louisiana as if our first interaction had never happened.  I asked some more questions and he told me he left his hometown many years previous because “they wanted to lynch him.”  He then told me his name was Benny and asked, “What’s your name?”

I wondered about all the stories this man had trapped behind his mental illness, but no less real.  He’s a human being and yet I wondered how often he was treated as such in Louisiana and here on Broadway.  I wondered for him and for all the others on the streets, and I felt sorrow on behalf of them as well.  It is really hard to cope and hope in the midst of injustice, tragedy, and suffering, and I’m a Christian.  I can’t even begin to understand having to live, much less cope with life without Him. 

Think about it, should you be asked, “Is life hard?”  Given that though I don’t know your life stories, I would still guess that many if not most of you would answer “yes.”  And you know Jesus.  If life is hard with Him, imagine how hard it must for those without Him.  Thankfully for those of us who know and are known by Him we can know our sorrows and heartaches are held by Him, so in that we can hold the sorrows and heartaches of others, and we can pray for them to know the comfort, peace, and grace of our Lord. 

On this Good Friday, will you sorrow for the lost?  Will you remember the goodness of this day and our God and wish and pray that goodness to be known and experienced by those who have yet to come to know Him?  Will you not dam the flow of living water to end in your life, but will you allow it to flow into the lives of others?  How will you demonstrate the love you have received by dying to yourself for others?   I ask myself these questions and I hope you too will truly contemplate the meaning of this day and our lives in Him.

-Susan Kim

*Name has been changed

I’m amazed and frightened sometimes by how God uses Fisherman’s Club as a means to meet those we’re to meet.  Those we meet are not always homeless, but through the cosmic workings of God last summer we met a successful doctor on Broadway curious about who we were, and he so happened to also be wondering about who God was as well.  He eventually came to know and accept Jesus Christ as His King and Savior.  By this I’m amazed. 

This Friday we met a man.  He hailed a taxi in the parking lot near where we were standing and talking.  He needed directions to a local restaurant/bar and was wondering if we could help.  As we were giving directions his taxi driver decided he needed a burger from the nearby fast food place.  The guy waited in between the taxi and our group.  We were standing around talking with Ratboy, whom we hadn’t seen in a long while and his friends.  The guy asked me what was going on, what were we doing.  I just said we were hanging out, like a meeting up with old friends.  Then John Bear walked up with his usual cheerful greeting and the party grew.  Then the guy tapped my shoulder and asked if he could have a word with me for a minute.  He had noticed Ric writing down prayer requests and he asked me with a bit of paranoia on his face what he was doing.  I explained we were Christians with a church and he was taking prayer requests, because we pray for people.  I then introduced myself, learned that his name was Gene* and I asked him if there was anything we could pray for him about.

As this initiation was given to Gene the floodgates were opened.  Stories just poured out.  He is a man who has seen and been party to more horror than many will ever witness and he carries the guilt of it all in this life and he believes he will as well into the next.  Hell he believes is his destiny as God could never forgive him for what he has done, a tortured soul, for whom his own cruelty to himself feels better and more deserving than God’s grace.  Please pray for Gene, that he would hear that he is heard by God, for his safety and salvation.

This is where the frightening part comes in for me, in that God’s invitation to people to be prayed for, to be lifted up to the very bosom of God has more power then I can ever begin to understand and it is often more power then I often know what to do with.  I could barely hold what was given to me this night.  God’s power is frightening because it opens us up; it is frightening in its mystery and its exposure, and for me this night frightening in how it then calls us to trust Him to be good.

-Susan Kim

*Name has been changed

It was a slow night.  It didn’t seem many people were out and those who were, were not very chatty.  It is nights like these where we walk and walk and walk that I sometimes get anxious wondering where everybody is, or relieved because all I want to do is go home and crash from a long week, and on some rare nights like this Friday, I enjoy the time of prayer and contemplation on Broadway.  In some mysterious way amidst the noise of the streets of life there can also be a place of quiet.  It is a pocket of holiness and sacredness that I know pervades all of life as God is everywhere, yet I seem to only be able to experience it in moments. It may be all that I can bear.  

To be Christian is sometimes an ambivalent experience.  It is sometimes a title that makes me cringe in light of voices which shout much louder than me words of hatred and violence and anti-gospel in the name of our God, and sometimes it is a way of being and truthful reality that makes me weep with gratitude.  Such has been our times Friday nights. 

A couple of weeks ago, Anna, faithful volunteer and friend was having a conversation with George.*  He asked her what group she was with and as she responded with “I’m a part of a church,” I can just imagine the thoughts which ran through his head which were translated through his face and then his words to her.  “Oh…so you’re a Christian…pause…that’s o.k., you’re still cool.”  To be Christian to George was something of which to be forgiven, to be graciously overlooked for the sake of continued conversation and relationship.  Moments like these make me think of all that has gone wrong in the world, all who have been wronged, and all that has been done wrongly by myself and my brothers and sisters in Christ to have gained such a reputation of ill repute.  Yet, I return to gratitude.  Thank you Jesus that through You George can experience You differently through your daughter Anna.  We have done much and much has been done to mar Your name and the name of Your children, but should people look they can see You.

Last week I was surprised with a humbling moment, shaken by honest sorrow from an unlikely source. We have known Paddy* for many years and have rarely if ever seen him sober.  Should you see him, swaying as he walks, spitting and slobbering as he talks you would not expect that he is a man who reads of Nikola Tesla, mathematician, scientist and inventor, yet he does.  Last week he spoke of Einstein and then Tesla and then somehow we got to Moses.  Paddy asked me if I knew what Moses said to the Israelites after he descended Mt. Sinai and to his surprise I did.  As the night progressed came several more questions from Paddy to quiz my Bible knowledge.  It was like a game and we reached the final round.  He asked, “when Jesus was in front of Pilate there was another man who was a robber and rapist and Pilate asked the Jews which one should I let go.  Who did the Jews pick?”  Paddy had known the answer to every question he had asked me up to this point and I thought this one would be no different.  I responded with “Barrabas, the thief and murderer.”  Paddy thought he finally got me, and said “No, they picked Jesus.” I said, “No, they picked Barrabas.”  Something happened.  Paddy’s eyes were bewildered as he spit out, “They picked the murderer?”  He could not believe what really was unbelievable that they would choose to release the murderer rather than the only One who was innocent, and he began to cry.

He cried and stumbled about ready to fall, but having nowhere to land, saying over and over “they picked the murderer…”  I don’t remember the last time I was so undone by the reality of Jesus, who He is and what He has done, but strange as it may sound, for a brief moment I feel like Paddy and I were worshipping together.  I was glad to be a child and disciple of the Most Holy One.  Thank you God.

-Susan Kim

*Names have been changed

Though for the most part many a part of the street community know that we who go out each Friday night are Christians or at least a part of a church, we still meet new folks who wonder who are we?  As you could probably guess the following account is an example of just that.  With permission of Anna, one of our beloved Sanctuary member and Fisherman’s Club, the following story is hers though the words are 

To give some background Anna caught the attention of a new street guy, Nate.*  They were able to talk and it seemed they were engaged for some time in some good conversation.  It was only as we were ending the evening and walking back to our cars that Anna told me a funny thing that had happened in her interchange with Nate.  I’m assuming that the usual questions asked when two new people meet were asked, what’s your name, where’re you from, etc. and then…

Nate:  So, Anna, are you like with a group or something?  Who do you come out here with?

Anna:  I come out with my church Sanctuary

Nate:  Oh… so you’re a Christian.  Well, that’s ok, you’re still cool.

I can’t think of many “normal” nights on Broadway, but last Friday was strangely weird. Forgive the redundancy. It wasn’t that anything happened or didn’t happen that ought to have, but there was something in the air and I felt it all night. It was something of chaos and the first rumblings of no good.

I don’t know what it is that drew them out that night but Broadway was surprisingly busy with “street people,” many of whom were new to us though they did not appear to be new to the streets. They all seemed preoccupied, too busy to even spare change. All night I was unnerved by the business and busyness that pervaded the streets, the unseen chaotic energy of motion for the sake of motion. I longed for movement of glory, business and busyness that did not forsake the dignity of those involved or the glory of God to whom all praise is due, motion with meaning and intention to see the Kingdom of God expand.

The chaos that I felt made my skin crawl and unsettled my soul. Please pray with us against the forces that delight in the degradation of humanity and the degradation of God’s glory. Please pray with us that God would redeem the lives of those who have yet to proclaim His Kingship and Lordship and that He would redeem this city. Please pray with us that everything that is done in this place is done to the glory, honor, and praise of God.

- susan

There is this woman. She is an only child. She is really close to her mom and by her own words grew up used to getting everything she wanted. She is friendly and has a kind word and smile to share with most who cross her path. Karen* is her name and she is homeless. I’m sure there is much more to her story that would help to explain how this woman ended up where she is, but we haven’t yet gone there.

Friday night Karen was more concerned for her friend who she just heard had been picked up by the police and was now in jail. Karen kept asking that we pray for her friend, Mary* who “does not do well in jail.” The words just seemed to spill out of her as she talked about how Mary has been on the streets for a while, and how she is “her girl” and then suddenly and almost apologetically began to explain how Mary uses and is used for sex as a way of “survival” on the streets.

Did you hear me? Did you just read that? Read it again. Now stop and pray for Karen, and her friend Mary* and all the other boys and girls, men and women who have to do whatever is necessary to “survive.”

Then, Karen said another most painful thing, something, which still makes my heart hurt. “Sex is the way she vents, I wish I could vent that easily.” I cannot even begin to imagine what it is inside these women that having their bodies and souls violated would feel better than whatever it is inside of them that needs to be ventilated.

I write these articles, and I know that these people will be prayed for, but I want more. I don’t want these women or anyone else I write about to be poster children to be looked at from afar, but I want to challenge you to do something. What will you do to right the wrong of evil in this world? What will you do to fight for the Karens and Marys of the world? I hope you are broken and enraged that for many, violation is a preferable option in life, that bodies masterfully created for glory and pleasure are denigrated to the pleasure of evil.

We as the body of Christ are to love these women and the many many others orphaned by their families and in far too many cases abandoned by the church. So pray and follow God in what He is calling you to do to love your neighbor.

- Susan
*name changed

I have spied him the past couple of weeks.  He looked just like this guy, Joseph, * I had met probably close to 3 years ago.  I met him on Broadway in the days when he was a barista on a coffee cart, and in the days when I was on Broadway more than at home.  In our conversations he would sometimes air his despise of the homeless. He eventually decided to quit barista-ing in order to focus on his music career.  We didn’t run into each other as much, but it seemed almost every time I did see him he and his band had another gig he would tell me to check out.  Then he just disappeared. 

I thought maybe his career had taken off and he was touring all around or he relocated to pursue his dreams.  When I first caught glimpse of this Joseph look alike a few weeks ago he quickly ducked into a local fast food place on Broadway.  I thought, ‘no, it’s not him.’  Then on Friday night when I saw him there was no place for him to duck into.  He was with a group of people and as Ric, Anna and I were talking with them he quietly stood behind others attempting to seemingly hide his face.  It was him.  It was Joseph. 

I didn’t say anything then, and I could see as time passed, maybe he thought I had not recognized him, or had forgotten him, he felt freer to come out of hiding, though he was still hidden.

It makes me think of Adam and Eve in the Garden, what if God had forgotten who they were, pretended to not recognize them?  It makes me think of me, and how it does feel easier to emerge from my shame, feeling as if I’ve escaped the pain of shame and need for repentance, when it seems no one has noticed, or when I forget God knows my name.

But thank God that he did not allow Adam and Eve to continue to hide, to not be seen. 

Thank God that He notices, remembers, and provided the Way of repentance and forgiveness, by which you, Joseph, and I could show our faces before Him.   Thank God.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for the people in and of this ministry.  Just a reminder beginning in February, only those who reply to this email indicating their desire to remain on the prayer partner list will continue to receive these emails.  Thanks to all of you who have already replied.


*Names have been changed

-Susan Kim

Johnson* and his friend hurried past us on Broadway, I see they have the look of “business” in their gait.  As I talked with Rocky* a man whispered in his ear, as I have seen hundreds of times before on Broadway, a desperate brokering for drugs.   Arnold* trudged past saying that he was going to check himself into the psych ward.  Trevor,* unfamiliar with who we were, asked that if we knew of anyone who would want any “black” (black tar heroin) to let him know.  It was an ordinary Friday night.

As we walked and prayed I had an overwhelming sense of sadness as all of this, the drugs, the madness, the violence to self and others, the futility has all become so normal, ordinary, and even mundane, not just to those a part of street culture, but us who live among them.

It is life.

Evil really has done its work in making what ought not be, what was not intended, an ordinary, expected part of life.  Of course in this world of fallen people and sin things like addictions, homelessness, and mental illness are realities, but when did we stop raging and weeping for the poor, the afflicted, the widows and orphans?  When did we shut our eyes, mouths and hearts to the suffering and lifeless living of our neighbors?  It was when we failed in our inaction, apathy, laziness, and selfishness, a turning of a blind eye to the work of evil.  It was when we failed to say no to evil’s work of defacing humanity with the erasing of hope, desire, love, and redemption in the hearts of those on the streets and the hearts of you and me, which in turn said yes to a life of futility and a soul numbing existence for them and for us.

I have to be continually reminded of who I am in Christ, and what I have been so graciously given by Him.  He is the reason I fight my own inaction, laziness and selfishness and settling for the futility of mere existence as inevitable for those on the street, because in Him is kindness and hope.  He is the reason I can stand firmly and to the face of evil plainly say, NO to what ought not be on behalf of the street community and others who have yet to come to know Him, because in Him is truth and authority.  He is the reason we can boldly proclaim and live life and all that is intended by our Father and Lord, because in Him is mercy and strength.

He is life.

So in Him, let’s live.  I invite you to join us in body and spirit, to stand, walk, and pray with us for transformation in the lives of the street community and all of Capitol Hill and that Capitol Hill would be marked as a shining light in the Kingdom of God.

Just a reminder, if you would like to continue to receive these emails then please respond to this email with a short note indicating your desire.  Beginning in February only those who have responded will continue to receive these emails.  Thank you to those who have already responded

-Susan Kim

*Names have been changed

I didn’t realize how fickle the weather is in Seattle, but Friday evening the weather proved just that.  It was dry, then it would sprinkle, then it would dry up again to be followed by a heavier pour.  It just couldn’t decide what it wanted to do.  In the meantime we walked, talked, quietly prayed.  We ran into three guys, or maybe more they ran into us.  Joe,* Bob,* and another guy named Joe.* 

As we walked down Broadway they didn’t even know it but were breaking a “cardinal rule” of Fisherman’s Club that anyone who has ever come out with us ought to know, which is, DON’T BLOCK THE SIDEWALK.  As we walked toward them there was no other way to get around them then to go right through, but they stopped us. 

They were celebrating the sobriety of one of their compadres and wanted to include us in the celebration.  So, why not?  We like celebrating.  We were congratulating Joe on his sobriety, people were talking, cracking jokes, an overall good and somewhat briefly chaotic time. 

Then from behind the chaos the other Joe slipped over to where I was standing and asked if we could pray for him about something. 

He said that he wasn’t sure if he was going to hell or not because some years ago he had torn up a Bible.  It wasn’t so much what he did that impacted me, but the why.  So I said, ‘You must have been really angry to do that.’  From there came a small snippet of Joe’s tragic childhood, which would erase doubt  in the minds of most as to why such a person would bear so much hurt and fury toward even God of the universe who is said to love and protect the orphan.

- Susan

It is the last Friday night, the last Fisherman’s Club, of 2005 that is.  Before I get into the details of the evening I feel I owe you a brief rundown of the goings on since my emails have been unfortunately infrequent.  As you probably are well aware, we have been going out on Friday nights without our traditional fare of cup of noodle soup and cocoa, and lo and behold, one evening we ran into another group, Teen Hope, with a van, with cup of noodle soup, and yes, even cocoa passing them out on Broadway.  It has been good to meet them and to experience the confirmation that our focus can be in areas different from passing out supplies as there are and will be many groups who come out to do that. 

This Friday was rainy and cold and Broadway was quite empty, so after getting thoroughly soaked Jenny and Daniel (two great volunteers) and I ducked into Starbucks to wait for the rain to stop before heading in for the night.  I wasn’t in a particularly prayerful mood this night and was kind of relieved to be heading in a little early.  The rain finally let up a bit and we decided to brave the cold.  Still Broadway seemed empty of the homeless who were much smarter than us in that it seemed they found shelter from the wet rather than be victim to wet jeans, socks and shoes as we were. I was perfectly satisfied leaving Broadway without having spoken with many people, without having my heart moved, without having to utter prayers of praise and desperation to God, without having to be humbled by the awesome privilege He has given to me, to us to serve and be blessed by Him by serving and sharing the message of Hope with those whom He loves.  I almost made it off Broadway, but in God’s kindness and mercy He interrupted my self-centered apathy at Hollywood Video.

There was a small mob of people.  Rita, Jacklyn, and Andrew were some to name a few, people for whom you and I have been praying and have maybe even wept.  We joked and laughed and they shared the latest news in their lives, news that broke my heart for them. Later walked Bill. He was coming back from a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting.  He’s been clean and sober for several months.  I remember him when his face and body was covered with picked scabs, a result of meth use, but now he looked healthy and was smiling.  During those conversations, those moments, my heart was stirred to want to shout prayers of thanks to God, as well as to shout prayers of ‘God have mercy on us.’

It is in seeing the faces of others that I am drawn to God, and I realized that as much as Rita and Jacklyn and the many others need our prayers, this encounter at Hollywood Video revealed how as great is their need for prayers my heart and soul desperately need to pray.  It is how the soothing balm of God’s kindness softens the calluses, which harden me to others and to God.  It is how I am drawn to love though I am so incapable and unwilling.  It is what reveals the face of God in the face of a pregnant drug addict on Broadway.

Prayer is something to which we are deeply committed and foundational to this ministry.  This prayer request list and update, I hope has been a guide for you in knowing ways in which you can pray for the homeless community in Capitol Hill. I am so grateful that you are out there praying for those on these prayer lists and for us who labor in Capitol Hill. 

Hi all,

It’s been awhile and I’m sure many of you are wondering what has happened to those Fisherman’s Club people and the homeless in Capitol Hill?  Well, the homeless are still here as are we. We have been walking Broadway for the past month prayer walking without the frenzy of soup and cocoa and it has been a really good time and reminder that when we go out it is not to be conversations with people to be occasionally interrupted with conversations with God (prayer), but quite the opposite. 

I was anticipating a huge reaction to the ceasing of food and drinks on Friday nights, angry people demanding their cocoa and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (and we have had a couple of those), but I am now realizing how in that anxiety I failed to anticipate all that God could do with and through prayer and a praying people.  I think I ‘expected the worst, yet hoped for the best’ as the adage goes. 

You’d think I’d never encountered the God who spoke ALL of creation into existence, who parted the Red Sea, who healed the blind, the lame, and raised people from the dead, the God who would leave the ninety-nine in search of the one who was lost, the God who “while we were yet sinners” demonstrates His love for us by sending His perfect Son to die for us so that we could be saved and rescued from death and sin.  Is this a God in whom I ought to expect the worst, yet hope for the best?  No, but I often believe and live that way, another reason that I am in desperate need of the gospel and His forgiveness.

Please continue to pray with us.  I have felt them in my own heart.  We have also seen how God exceeds our pathetic expectations with acts of redemption in the lives of those we have known.  In the prayer requests you’ll read of old friends who have been clean and sober for some time, others who have found jobs.  Every good thing is from God, though these are not “religious” changes, they are absolutely from God and He is deserving of all the credit.  So praise Him.

-Susan Kim