East L.A. Day 3
East LA Day 3
March 5, 2018
As we walked into Homeboy Industries yesterday the radiating compassion, forgiveness, and kinship was undeniable. One Homeboy, Gary Powers, walked our group through the building. One story in particular really struck us; he talked about his involvement in gangs and his many years in jail. After coming to Homeboy he encountered a man that had been in a gang that rivaled his own. The man had killed several of his family members and friends… and that day he asked Gary for a ride home. Without hesitation, Gary agreed. He paused and was amazed by what he had done. He said, “For fifty years we have been killing each other, and now we bake bread together”.
Another line in particular struck me. Gary quoted 1 John 4:18 saying, “There is no fear in love.” Gary stood as living proof of this verse. True love knows no boundaries. True love does not see a difference in gang affiliation, neighborhood, or family. True love embraces everyone. Father Greg Boyle often tells the homies, “There is no us and them. Only us.” Personally, I saw this as a challenge to live more freely in love, and to be less afraid of the consequences of vulnerability.
The overall sense of community at Homeboy Industries was remarkable considering the undeniable differences the homies share. I was awestruck by the work of God in each individual that made up the community. Each homie has chosen to accept their enemy to work toward the better. Here I thought we were coming to help them, and yet they are teaching us things that will shape our lives forever. The exposure to pain and suffering bring us closer to God, and help us to understand the basic and beautiful human dignity of his greatest creation, the human being.
During this trip, we have seen the grace of God in a variety of ways, each of which has impacted us is different ways. From our host families’ endless generosity to the unity the various community under God at Homeboy Industries, the enormity of compassion has overwhelmed us. Our next journey we will visit Skid Row to continue our adventure anchored in Christ. We can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us.
- Bailey and Lacey