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John 13

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Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were int he world, he loved them to the end….Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

(John 13:1, 3-5)

Jesus loves his people.

Lord, teach us to love like you do. Teach us to get on our knees in closed rooms–in the place beyond the spotlight–and to love your people like you do.

So often I examine the depths of my heart and find it covered with stains of pride.
So often I seek out ways to serve God, promising to give Him full glory, and then asking for 60% of the glory when it’s all done. I want to put my name onto all successes, and receive recognition for all the sacrifices I’ve made.

But when I read this passage, I can’t help but sit still, look at God, and long to be more like Christ. Examples like this remind me to place my heart at God’s feet and ask earnestly for Him to refine it so that it would become more like that of Christ. It is the example that Christ gives us that reminds me that there is a deep joy in serving God’s kingdom in all the ways that I can. In the little things, in the big things. In the shadows, or in the spotlight. But always on our knees.

Jesus knew who he was. He knew that the Father had given him all things; he knew who sent him, and he knew who he was returning to. He knew his identity as a king and as a servant. And with his characteristic grace and humility, Jesus, knowing his full identity as the Son of God, took off his outer garments, got on his knees, and washed the feet of those he loved.

Lord, teach us to love like you do.

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Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

March 8, 2012 at 7:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Sock Drive

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Partner with us in providing small joys to the homeless community. Buy a pair of socks for yourself and know that for each pair you buy, one person will receive a free pair at the next Laundry Love event. Let us know if you or your church are interested!

Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

March 8, 2012 at 12:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

On new years, new semesters, and new changes.

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Along with a new year and a new semester, Laundry Love is excited to announce many different changes and upcoming events. As an extension of the body of Christ, we want to humbly present a loving organization that grows and matures as grow and mature as sons and daughters of God.

As a reminder, we as an organization desire to serve as a liaison between the homeless community and the body of Christ in Berkeley. Through this, we pray and hope that God will demonstrate his unconditional love to the community we serve, that they will ultimately hear the gospel, and that we can provide an environment wherein we can live out the command to love our brothers (and sisters). 

We are incredibly excited and honored to announce out new partnership with Suitcase Clinic
Their mission statement reads:

The mission of the Suitcase Clinic is to promote the health and overall well-being of underserved individuals through service provision, cooperative learning, and collective action among community and professional volunteers, students, and participants.

(Suitcaseclinic.org)

Suitcase Clinic offers a broad variety of services, including medical services such as on-site treatment and consultations for dentistry, optometry, and more. From haricutting services, to foot-washing, to serving dinners, Suitcase Clinic offers many amenities towards the same community that Laundry Love seeks to serve. 

Upon hearing about Laundry Love services, Suitcase Clinic sought out Dyllan to ask if we could embark on a partnership. This means that they will be providing us with a small set of funds that had been previously allocated to their own laundry services, and that they will refer their clients to us. Furthermore, during Laundry Love events staff and volunteers will gather those with Suitcase Clinic appointments and organize groups that walk to Suitcase Clinic together. 

With this recent partnership, there have been a growing number of attendees at each event. In January we had over 50 men and women come out, a new record and blessing in light of how the first few events had a steady number of 15-20 attendees. God is so faithful, is He not?

On a different note, Laundry Love has two new focuses: An Inter-Fellowship Sock Drive, and an Inter-Fellowship Sponsorship Program.

1. Sock Drive–“A Sock for a Sock”

SImilar to TOMs’ Shoes Shoe for a Shoe concept, this sock drive will sell pairs of socks for $2 each. For each pair that is sold, another pair of socks will be given to a needy recipient. Socks (which, fyi are $1.50 a pair at Costco) happen to be an item of much value, as attested to by many prior Laundry Love attendees. They hold items, are easily lost, and of course, provide extra warmth on cold nights. If you are interested in getting your church or organization involved, please e-mail laundry.love.berkeley@gmail.com. Otherwise, be on the lookout for the sock drive coming near you!

2. Inter-fellowship Sponsorship

As it is a commitment for Laundry Love to serve as a liaison between the homeless community and the body of Christ, we are starting up a new program in which interested regulars to Laundry Love events. We want those who are in need to recognize their worth as God’s creations; such love can be exemplified in the simplest of ways: birthday cards, saying hello on the street, praying for them, etc. We want to have a more structured way in showering them with love. So what does this sponsorship entail? Small groups, fellowships, classes, or any group of friends can be paired up with a Laundry Love regular. Laundry Love staff will provide you with a basic biography and description, and provide themes per month or week on how to show them love. If you are interested in signing up for this program, please email laundry.love.berkeley@gmail.com.

 

With so many new changes, we are excited to see where God will lead us next. He has been so faithful, and we are confident that our God can do immeasurably more than we can possibly ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). 

Please partner with us in prayer as we spur one another on to be faithful. Let us teach and be taught on how to love in a way that is more pleasing to Christ. We want to love God today more than we did yesterday, and to love Him more tomorrow than we did today. Such is the natural effect of being His child, is it not?

Be on the lookout for more updates!

 

In Christ,

Laundry Love.

 

Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

March 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

September 27–Laundry Love Event

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At the close of the last school year, we were flabbergasted at how faithful God had been. And at the start of this school year, we’re excited to see how faithful God will continue to be.

This past Tuesday we held our first Laundry Love event for the 2011-2012 School year, with about 35 attendees and many volunteers (thank you to all who volunteered!)

Here we can meet 2 charming men who attended Laundry Love, Cameron and Johnny. Myung, a Laundry Love staff member, had the honor of meeting them and conversing with them. His account of the entire interaction is as follows:

I spent most of the night talking with (or rather listening to) Cameron. He’s been in Berkeley for 31 years since he moved here from Iran, where his immediate family and most of his relatives still live. The moment I started asking questions about him, it was very clear which thoughts were most pressing on his mind: 1. settling down with a job, 2. meeting “the right person” and 3. political economy. I’m pretty sure Cameron can spontaneously lay down a 4 hour narrative about political issues–no problem. While he was talking, he briefly mentioned “god’ , so I asked if he was Christian. He said that he was Muslim but had no problem with Christians… Then he continued to talk endlessly about politics. 

Also at Laundry Love this Thursday was Johnny- an animated, friendly, and humorous African American fella. I introduced myself to him and talked to him briefly, but I felt as if I’d met him before. I asked him if he’d come out to Laundry Love before (he did), but it wasn’t until later, right before he left, that I remembered where I’d seen him; I had bought him food from La Burrita several months ago. He had been one of the few men on the street that asked for food instead of money so I had ordered him quesadillas along with my burrito, for which he seemed really thankful. That previous encounter had been so brief, so I was surprised that I remembered him, but he seemed to remember me too (at the mention of the quesadillas, at least). 

That night after Laundry Love, I was walking up Durant from the gym and saw Johnny in front of La Burrita again. I recognized him from a distance, approached him, and went “Johnny!”, to which he looked up, smiled, and returned my handshake. We had a short conversation about how he was doing, the landscaping job that he got asked to do the next morning, etc.–little things. We then put our fists up for a farewell pound, and I turned to go home. …All so casually, as if I’d just run into some close friend on my way home.

The whole sequence of events seems trivial, but the real beauty of Laundry Love is the relationship-building process. Seeing beyond the differences in background and occupation, clearing all preconceptions, and getting down and real with our fellow beloved of God. From introduction to conversation to friendship: these are seeds being planted for the kingdom of God. GLORY.

Written by Myung Cho, edited by Michelle Kim

Stories like these are constant blessings for the Laundry Love staff and volunteers.
We want to continue sharing these blessings with you.

Colossians 3:12
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” 

Be blessed, dear reader, and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

My prayer is for God to bless you in abundance–not to glorify your flesh, but so that His spirit would saturate you, and overflow to those around you.

Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

September 30, 2011 at 7:55 am

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April Laundry Love

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Today, I had a unique encounter.

A homeless man brought his two sons with him. This was our first time having children. The older son was in his teens and the younger one seemed to be around 10 or 11…early elementary school age. What broke my heart was that the dad was just smoking weed and doing drugs outside the laundromat with some other homeless people while the older son was just sitting next to him watching him, in the midst of the drug activity. The younger son was inside playing with some toys.

I was able to talk to the kid for a little. I think he had some kind of speech impediment because he couldn’t talk completely normally (he had a bit of a slur). He initially didn’t really want to talk to me because he was shy and I was a stranger; throughout the conversation (which consisted mostly of me asking him questions) he was hesitant to answer. However, upon some inquiries, I found out that his family of 3 often wander in the streets. Although he mentioned something about a “home,” I don’t think they have a home.

He gets “home-schooled” by his dad, which led me to infer that he wasn’t getting any kind of proper education (which may have some connection to his speech). He wants to become an archaeologist when he grows up. But man, my heart grew so heavy talking to him and I received so much insight through his encounter. Even at this young age, he doesn’t see a need for school, even in light of his career aspirations. He thinks that he already knows all that he needs to know in this world and if he doesn’t, he can just learn it on his own. Moreover, he seemed convinced that there is no God, without any particular reason…I’m assuming from his dad’s influences.

I realized, you know, these kids are the ones that will grow up to remain on the streets unless they receive some kind of proper education and care. Growing up in these circumstances, they simply know no other way, outside of the one that they were brought up in. Poverty attacks at such a young age many times. As of now, this kind of a life is what this kid will inherit from his dad. Imagine how many of the people we see on the streets are where they are now because of this exact reason? I was so shocked to see how this kid’s mind and perception of the world is so cemented within him already. This experience was extremely eye-opening and really made me realize the importance and blessing of education and really, a God-fearing and God-loving household. I see this kid on the streets from time to time, and I just want to love on him and help him in any way. I’m honestly not sure how I’d be able to do this, but hopefully God will make a way!

 

Written by Laundry Love Staff Dyllan Lee, edited by Michelle Kim

Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

July 6, 2011 at 6:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Hamid

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Today, I had the privilege of meeting a man named Hamid. He stays near People’s Park for the most part. From the moment I met him, I could tell that he was very different from the stereotypical “homeless” person. He was very timid and very…pure-hearted. He was almost too polite and was initially worried whether the detergent that we provided would damage his clothes or not.

We started to talk and he told me how he ended up at where he was today. He grew up with a rather authoritative father, who had come to America from Iran. During Hamid’s childhood, he grew up in a Muslim household, and was pressured to be Muslim practicing Islam. He told me, however, that he could not truly accept it in his heart because his father’s physical abuse towards Hamid and his mother did not reflect well upon the Muslim religion he enforced. So Hamid grew up pretty resentful of his father and even hated the fact that his own facial features reminded him so much of his dad.

It was during college, however, that his life really fell apart. He was dumped by his girlfriend, which took an enormous toll on him mentally and emotionally. On top of this, he finally told his dad that he could not conform and continue to yield to his demands, which resulted in him getting kicked out of the house, excommunicated from his family and him dropping out of school due to worsening grades.

From that point on, he’s been on the streets, unable to find the hope, motivation, or strength to overcome life’s obstacles.

And yet, it’s amazing how he still believes in the good in people — even the “homeless people who seem to be crazy and mean.” Talking to him, I could tell that he is very educated; he knows what’s going on in the world (not in a skewed way but in a way that demonstrates that he’s just very informed) and he’s very knowledgeable about a lot of things.

Today, he still isn’t in contact with his parents but is semi-dependent on his brother, who is supposedly very rich. His brother gives Hamid some money regularly and lent him a beat-up mercedes (he’s known by some homeless people as the one with the mercedes, which inaccurately labels him as someone that he’s not), in which he now lives.

I shared the Gospel with him, telling him that God is not a dictator and a merciless deity who just punishes people (which was kind of the image he had of God because of his earthly father), but that God loves him unconditionally and without end and He’s passionately looking for Hamid to come home. We both got emotional as I was sharing this and he was very thankful that I shared this kind of God with him. He was very open but I think he still had a lot of fear and didn’t feel that he was good enough and wasn’t ready to accept God as His own Father. Before he left, I just prayed for him and gave him a hug.

Without a doubt, this has been the most touching encounter I have had through Laundry Love. I couldn’t help but just thank God and just lift up my brother up to God through my prayers. I got to get in touch with him a week or two after Laundry Love because he gave me his cell phone number. But unfortunately, we were never able to meet up and his phone no longer seems to be working 😦 I’m still hoping and praying that I’ll get to meet him again soon!

 

 

Written by Laundry Love staff Dyllan Lee, edited by Michelle Kim

Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

July 6, 2011 at 6:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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       Laundry Love was a little different than usual tonight–less people.  Whether it was the warm weather or Cal students being gone, the streets of Berkeley were empty.  A few of our staff and volunteers went out to gather up more people (it reminded me of the parable of the wedding feast from the Bible), but alas, nobody was around.  However, one awesome thing about having less people meant more quality time with our beloved patrons. And tonight we had the amazing pleasure & opportunity to meet our good friend & brother, Warren.
      Warren is a friend of Trey (I’ll write a story about Trey in the future – he’s one of our regulars that makes his home right outside Bing Wong Wash Center and we love him a lot).  Warren just got out of prison and is currently on parole.  Since he seemed a little embarrassed when he told me exactly why he was in prison, I’ll leave that out of this story & you can ask him yourself in person if you come volunteer for Laundry Love, since I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Warren around.
Today was Warren’s first day in Berkeley & when I first met him, the impression I got was that he was a very social, kind, and funny man.  He has literally travelled all over the country & has amassed a good amount of wisdom and street cred in that time.  But, it wasn’t until Warren went to prison when his life really changed.  Through a series of events while in prison, Warren found Jesus.
        After joking around with Warren for an hour or so, Warren found out that I was a Christian and started sharing about when he began to love Jesus in prison.  Now that Warren was out of prison, he was looking to get his life back on track and moving in the right direction.  His parole officer had assigned him to do a 10-day stay at a rehab facility in Fremont, after which he would be transferred to a 1-year program in Oakland, where he would have shelter, food, and time to get himself prepared for what awaits him in the rest of his life.  He said that he would have to stay in Berkeley for the night since he couldn’t check himself in until the next day, so of course now he was out on the street for a night.
        As Laundry Love was closing up for the night, Warren asked if we could pray for him.  We all circled up and prayed for Warren, and then afterward Warren said, “Now it’s my turn,” and started to pray for us!  I was truly blessed by Warren’s faithful prayers.  Earlier I had asked Warren if he wanted an extra sleeping bag I had from my place when I found out he was staying on the streets that night, but he refused.  As we were leaving, I was showing Warren how to get to the rehab center from BART, gave him my phone number to call when he got there safely, and asked him one more time if he wanted that sleeping bag; this time he emphatically said, “Yes!”  I went home to get it and by the time I had brought it back to Berkeley, Myung had already bought Warren food for the night.
       Later that night after Laundry Love, Dyllan and I were chatting in the car and he was talking about how if it wasn’t for Laundry Love, he would never have encountered these people and experiences anywhere else in his life (Dyllan had a great discussion with a Muslim friend that night at Laundry Love).  I said back to him how I was thinking the exact same thing & how amazing an opportunity Laundry Love really is to just meet the people of Berkeley, listen to their stories, and love on them with the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And you know what?  I’m sure Warren is thinking the exact same thing too.
We love you Warren – welcome to the Laundry Love family!
Written by Mike Hamada, Laundry Love Staff. 

Written by Berkeley Laundry Love

June 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized