Friday, November 19, 2010
A Journey Of Faith On The Streets Of America
By Mike Yankoski
OVERVIEW: Ever wonder what it would be like to live homeless? Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag, and a guitar. Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets of six different cities: Denver; Washington D.C.; Portland; San Francisco; Phoenix; and San Diego. For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection--all by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they'd always known...to discover what it feels like to be homeless in America. Mike and Sam's story is gritty, challenging, and utterly captivating. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world--and may even change your life. (Note: This updated and expanded edition contains added stories, an interview with the author, and a "five-years-after" bonus chapter.)
AUTHOR: Mike Yankoski and his wife, Danae, are graduate students at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. Mike serves on the board of directors for World Vision U.S., and is a frequent speaker on a Christ-centered response to our world's great needs.
MY REVIEW: In his forward to this book, Francis Chan wrote: "I am a very skeptical person, and I struggle with cynicism. Like most people, I have heard so many lies that now I have a hard time trusting. I even struggle when reading a good book, because in the back of my mind I'm wondering if the person who wrote it is for real." As I approached Under The Overpass I felt the same way. But after reading the book and seeing all the sacrifices Mike and Sam made. I now believe they are for real.
During a ministry of forty-seven years I struggled with how to respond to people like the ones you will read about in this book. It's taken me a life time of living and adjusting to come to any kind of meaningful relationship with them. I continue to struggle with my mindset and how I regard them. But after reading this book I think I have a better understanding of how to live out in my life what Jesus taught on this subject.
Shane Claiborne said, "The Scriptures are filled with images of a God who is casting down the mighty and lifting up the lowly, of the last becoming first and first last. ...Here is a story of the downward mobility of the Kingdom. It is a story that dares you to move closer to the margins, to the suffering, to the pain...and to meet Jesus there--in His many disguises."
I recommend this book and close with the words of Ryan Dobson: "Under the Overpass is a captivating, terrifying, encouraging, motivating, saddening, amazing account of a young man who died to self with the assurance that God knows best. Rarely does a book move me this much. Mike Yankoski doesn't have a little liquid fire in his heart; he is consumed by it. Let his book ignite your heart and soul."
You may purchase this book at http://www.randomhouse.com/