by Yeju K.

SMI was the first time I had ever done my laundry at a laundromat. I have to say, it’s kind of a vibe, you know?—sharing Bible stories as we wait for our clothes to dry and spending quarters on the claw machine. I love that our team is so willing to not only serve God together but also do laundry together. 

If you really think about it, God is like a washing machine with the detergent representing the blood that Christ shed for us. By His blood, we are freed and made new, purified white as snow. Just as the laundromat has already provided countless washers and dryers, God has already made His investment in us. God is always waiting for us to turn to Him because of His love for us. Now it is our turn to spend our quarters and make our investment in Him. 

From a bird’s-eye view, Kensington is a broken community filled with people facing homelessness and addiction. Although I didn’t really know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised at the people I encountered when we started doing outreach. Everyone acknowledged each other on the streets and was friendly with their neighbors; it was evident that there was trust in the community the people worked to build. The people we met were so hospitable, inviting us into their homes, and also vulnerable, sharing their testimonies and prayer requests with us. I didn’t know how willing the people would be to receive prayer, but it was clear that God was already working in them and softening their hearts to receive the Gospel. From the people on the streets to those coming to Kensington for their jobs, they were all so resilient, knowing and trusting that God will get them through. Although there was a slight language barrier between those that spoke English and those that spoke Spanish, this didn’t stop us from getting to know one another because God’s love has no barriers. I can see the joy that comes from the Lord shining in their eyes when they smile and when they speak.

As we were going out into the community, providing health screens, and praying for people, God has also filled me through those we have met. When we said that we were Christians, some would have the heart to pray for our safety and some would even share Bible verses with us. This was one of them: 

Psalms 91:14-16 

“The LORD says, ‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.’” 

God has given this community many difficult trials to face, such as homelessness, lack of food, lack of a supportive community, limited access to healthcare, etc. Rather than saying, “You have to eat healthier foods and lose weight,” we would say, “Do you have access to healthier food options? We can provide information if you need.” I learned that a physician is not someone who directs orders at a patient but rather someone willing to listen to their whole story and take that into account when providing care. Although we are all broken and need healing, it is such a joy and honor that God is using us as part of His healing hands. 

“Your mercy flows like a river wide, and healing comes from Your hand. Suffering children are safe in Your arms, there is none like You.”

– “There Is None Like You” by Lenny LeBlanc