It was an early morning start. We loaded up the car with camera gear and tired eyes and headed towards coffee. Just a few weeks prior my roommate and dear friend, Amy, contacted the Dream Center in L.A. inquiring as to any need they may have for photography. They immediately responded with gratitude and excitement, expressing their desire and need for our service.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Dream Center, it is a non-profit outreach program dedicated to helping people within the inner-cities. They provide food, clothing, shelter, life rehabilitation, education and job training, Biblical training and much more through 273 ministries and outreaches. They reach thousands of hurting and needy children, families and adults across all races and cultures each week. Each weekend they host an event called "Adopt A Block". Volunteers load up in buses and travel to different areas in L.A. and spend the day distributing goods, services, and love to the people within these areas. They then invite the youth, ages 12 and up, back to The Dream Center for food, fun, games, and fellowship. It is truly something beautiful to witness, and I am blessed that I was able to. My favorite part is that they do it for the glory of the Lord...and it's all too evident in the lives that have been changed.
Amy, Janey, and I are consumed everyday with thankfulness in being able to do something we love--and we each felt the desire and the opportunity to use our gifts in photography to capture the outreach they have going there. It was with the intent to serve that we first set out on that early morning drive towards the Dream Center. And those others who volunteer weekly at the Dream Center...it's obvious they act with the intent to serve. Somewhere along the way, we all end up realizing that our acts are being openly received and appreciated. And, without intent, we also end up receiving.
Consider this part 1 of 2....this post will focus on the acts of SERVICE that I witnessed during the first part of my visit to the Dream Center. The loading up of trucks, distribution of goods, and just a few of those who received.