God is Love and Love is God part 1
A few weeks ago I was privileged enough to go on a mission trip to the DREAM CENTER in Los Angeles, Ca. It was the most incredible experience of my life. It has forever changed the way I think about people and how God really does love us. The Dream Center is an amazing outreach that started with one man's dream and a word from God, and that man is Matthew Barnett. He purchased a hospital in the heart of Los Angeles and turned all of the hospital rooms into places where needy people could get their lives back on track. Some of the programs and outreaches they have going on are rescuing girls and women from human trafficking. I just read on their Facebook that they rescue and take in over 275 girls and women a month! That is a huge amount of women who's lives will be forever changed. Also, they go out with buses and go out into skid row in L.A to take in the homeless and addicted. If they choose to enter the rehab program then they are given a room and also are able to go through their programs to get off of drugs and change their lives. Then most of the time those who were once addicted and lost give their lives to God and work at the Dream Center! Another thing that they do is take food trucks out into the community and hand out food to the needy and feed the homeless. They also take buses out into neighborhoods, show them God's love and then fill the buses with adults and children and give them rides to church. There are many other things that The Dream Center does and you can take a look at www.dreamcenter.org and they also have a facebook. Just type in The Dream Center in the search bar. I really don't even know where to start with what I experienced. Some things were too heart breaking to even look at. There were moments when I cried, and cried REALLY hard. I was deeply sadden by suffering and hungry babies, filthy children who didn't have clothes that fit and lost homeless people of all ages. One morning, we separated the food that was just dropped off and donated by Albertsons into tons of grocery bags. We were basically grocery shopping with the donation pile for the families that were about to get their children taken away from CPS. CPS contacts the Dream Center and then the Dream Center is able to assist, give them what they need every week and help with the children, even teach the women how to clean and cook so they are able to keep their babies. After we bagged up the groceries we headed out to each individual apartment to drop off groceries, diapers, wipes, baby toys and furniture and cleaning supplies. I slowly walked up the stairs with a huge box of diapers in my hands and as I approached this woman's door you could smell the stench coming from her place. It smelled so bad. I did not know what I was about to see. We knocked on the door and walked in slowly. I set the diapers down by the door next to the CPS worker that was observing the children. I then realized as I looked around how small the studio apartment was. The whole place was as big as my bedroom. THE ENTIRE place. Including kitchen, bathroom and the living area was the bedroom. In the living area there was a bunk bed with 2 twin beds stacked on top of each other. I looked at it and saw 5 small children sitting on the bed with a baby play pen next to the bunk bed with baby #6 in it. They were absolutely disgustingly filthy. The children smelled of rotten poop and potty. I don't think they were not potty trained and would poop and pee their pants which was probably hardly cleaned. I smiled and started talking to all the children as they all rushed around their baby sister in the play pen and looked at her. I stepped closer and looked down at the baby girl no older than 5 months. She was disgustingly filthy, smelled so bad and her clothes were black with dirt. I stared at her for no more than a minute and excused myself out of the door. I ran. I had to get away. I couldn't believe what I had just seen. I burst into tears as images of that apartment kept flashing in my head. The apartment was so disgusting. SO EXTREMELY SMALL for 6 kids plus the mom and mom was pregnant again. They were kept in the tiny area all day every day with nothing to do. Not a lot to eat. The baby girl made me think of my own 4 month old daughter. What if my kids had to live like that? Crud smeared all over the walls and cabinets. Living in that rotten odor. Dirty clothes and hungry. My heart couldn't handle that feeling. I was so heartbroken for those children. I wanted to take them all and bathe them, give them happy means and toys but I couldn't. I just had to drop off what they needed and look at them while trying to smile. The amazing things is that the Dream Center will be helping that family. They will be going once a week to clean the apartment and supply the mom with whatever she and the babies need. The images of what I saw and experienced will forever be etched onto my heart. Everyday at the dream center I saw the love of God working in action... That was just the beginning of what I saw. I can't wait to share more with you because there is so much more!