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A Light of Hope to Those in Need


October 2015
The following is a reflection of the eye-opening experience I had while serving soup with the Beacon team back when they were still serving the homeless at Lincoln Park. Beacon for Him Ministries opened their doors at 439 West Anaheim Street on October 6, 2014. It's hard to believe a year has already passed since then.

(This article was originally published at

Wide Awake

More than an hour after my head hit the pillow, I’m wide awake.

Images from this morning replay in my mind…the ladle, the soup, and the Styrofoam cups. Sunshine thawing the grass and so many pairs of hands and feet. Homemade tamales sit piled high on a tray, while a long line of men and women—mere shadows of humanity—humbly wait to be fed. I’m sure I can see Jesus inside the depths of their tired eyes.

These images will not allow me to sleep. The most haunting ones repeat, like the one of the wide-eyed young man with sunburned cheeks. The man approaches, his steps heavy and unsteady, as if he’s not walking at all, but falling forward, helplessly sliding down a slippery slope. For heaven’s sake, he couldn’t have been a day over twenty-five! Was he new to the streets? Starving? Or just trying to figure out how on earth his life came to this?

Lord, that was so many hours ago. There’s nothing I can do right now. Please clear my mind so I can rest.

But the images keep coming, like the one of the pregnant woman sitting on her bed of blankets. Surrounded by everything she owns, she leans against a tree, smiling, as if she was relaxing by the pool. And then I see Shannon, the woman who launched this ministry. Her youngest child sits on her hip and her other three prance through the park as Shannon pours out abundant love on her homeless friends.

A large black man approaches her, his hands stuffed into his pockets. “It was pretty cold last night.”

She smiles softly. “Were you able to get into the cold-weather shelter?”

“Nah. We didn’t make it in last night.”

“Too full?”


Silence. Sunshine. The food line progressing.

I bend over the giant pot of Posole, the rich, red, steamy broth drenching my senses. I keep scooping, hoping it will never run out, like Jesus’ baskets of bread and fish. A woman screams. “Hey, that’s my bag! Get away from my bag!” Shannon tries to console her. That man did not mean to mistake her personal belongings as a bag of trash.

I continue ladling, cup after cup. I collect a scoop of hominy and top it off with a heaping scoop and a half of broth. A woman in line exclaims, “These people are going to be blessed. They don’t have to come here and do this. God is going to bless them.”

“Actually,” replies the man standing next to her, “It’s what we’re supposed to do. We are all supposed to help each other.”

I turn and smile. It’s David. He used to be a journalist for a local paper. Now he’s homeless. And he’s right—we are not doing more than what we are asked. This is the least that we can do.

Our food runs out. How many have we fed? Thirty? Forty? The images are sketchy from here...some time spent mingling and David smiling, pointing to a clear plastic bag with a striped Fedora resting on top. “That and what I’m wearing is everything I own.” I watch a ball belonging to one of Shannon’s children roll into traffic. David goes after it. “I love to play in the street,” he says, laughing.

Then the prayer circle, homeless hands linked with sheltered ones. My longtime friend Raquel and I smile at each other. When was the last time the two of us held hands? Shannon says a short prayer thanking God for allowing his love to shine on the park this morning.

“Amen!” rings through the park.

The most brutal image comes up next, the one where we walk away, while everyone else sits and stands in place. They just watch us pass by. We might as well have slipped into another dimension because once we drove off our lives were once again separated from theirs. I moved on to run errands, while they…what? Waited for the police to come and do another sweep of the park?

And now I lie in bed wide awake, wondering how long those weather-beaten faces continued to stare into space. Have our friends been able to stay warm since sundown? How many of them are able to see God’s love even now, in the dark of night?

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Upcoming Events:
You're Invited!

Come and join us to celebrate our one year anniversary. We are hosting an open house so that we may better connect with our community, and share our exciting vision for the future. Long beach is an amazing city full of wonderful people. We have seen first-hand that when a community stands together to make a difference, positive change occurs.

We are a new and rapidly growing nonprofit organization serving our most marginalized Long Beach residents. We offer hot meals, clean clothing, a library, assistance to accessing resources and recovery programs, a pet sanctuary, and much more.

Our mission is to bring hope to the hopeless, and to love people right where we find them.
Open House
Saturday, October 17, 2015

439 West Anaheim Street
Long Beach, 90813

2pm - 4pm

*Parking available at Seaside Park behind our facility off off Magnolia.

If you find it in your heart
to care for someone else,
you will have succeeded. 
~Maya Angelou
Zumba Spook-A-Thon Fundraising Event

October 24th, 2015
10am - 12pm
Come join us for a Halloween themed Zumba fundraiser benefitting Beacon for Him ministries! 

This will be a fun way to get connected to a great cause, give back, and get your work out on! 

We have 4 awesome instructors:
~Rachel Gunther
~Marlene Holloman
~Alex Fajardo
~Lisa Mitolo

Tickets are on sale for $10 per person pre-sale & $25 at the door.

There will be a free raffle & prizes! 

Costumes optional

We hope to see you there!!!

Contact us to purchase your pre-sale ticket.
Poetic Asides:
by Michael Pacheco
Life flows like a river in perfect harmony.
People come and people go, leaving only memories.
I see God through the window of a child's eye.
Life is not easy, this is true.
But love is still possible, I believe this too.
God's love abounds in the infinite now

and transcends beyond the stars into eternity.
To read more about Beacon Writer Michael Pacheco and to view more of his writings, CLICK HERE.
A Columbus Day Reflection and Poem
By James Bockrath

Monday, October 14th was the annual observance of the Federal Monday Holiday recognizing the "supposed" DISCOVERY of the NEW WORLD (Western Hemisphere) by Christopher Columbus (representing the OLD WORLD of the Eastern Hemisphere of our planet earth) in the year 1492 on October 12th. Therefore, the appropriate THEME for this occasion is "discovery." Christopher COLUMBUS was of Italian lineage from the Mediterranean coastal city of Genoa, at a time when the Italian peninsula was comprised of separate political regions and City States. At the time of Columbus (August 26 to October 31, 1451 -  20 May 1506), Genoa was a City State Republic. Previously, during the 15th century, the Iberian Peninsular Kingdom of Portugal dominated the exploration of far off lands. Specifically, among their great and famous explorers were Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias, and Advise Cadamosto.
The Spanish monarchy became very envious of these successes, and accordingly was very receptive to overtures advanced by Christopher Columbus concerning his proposal to reach INDIA (and the islands called the East Indies just east of it) by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean. Previously, the Portuguese under da Gama had reached INDIA by sea when his fleet had sailed around the continent of Africa and across the Indian Ocean to its shores. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain (whose marriage united two lesser kingdoms into the more commonly known now larger) then "sponsored" Columbus. There is even the famous legend that Queen Isabella pawned her jewels to raise the money for construction of Columbus' fleet of ships. In observance of this historic commemoration, I have composed a narrative poem depicting the first voyage of Columbus to the NEW WORLD:
In 1492 Columbus crossed an ocean blue in hope of finding something new. His notion that the world was round was held by but a few, and although true, was not the common view. A plan, grander than a look at the varied hue of sun through crystal, grew. A route to the East Indies, was what all the commotion was about. Without a doubt, most thought his idea to be but one in pursuit of blaze for glory. A quest for fame and gain could inspire a nation to attain station as best above the rest, although it could also expire the same if that became lame or inane. While in search of sponsor, and as one loyal to a game of plain sport, an answer for Columbus came from the royal court of Spain. His days then became sunny when he did raise the money to build a fleet of ships. With approval at court, where he did consort, Columbus prevailed to have a guild build him three ships to greet the lips of those who would disagree with his plan. There was the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, each steady in the water, and at the ready, for that spotter who would also be their plotter. While still there, an imparting of prayer, with plea to succeed, did precede their departing, with glee, to be at sea. Once put out to sea, where no one anymore from shore could see, every sail within the grip of ship became unfurled. As bound to mast with rope to last, each did catch its batch of wind, as to drive its ship to run thus fast, with such blast. As a gale the wind might hail to bring travail and cause quite a wail, while a ship did sail. From off the norm a sudden storm could form, to then inform the senses that it was about to deform the calm. Someone had then to conform himself in his fright with the balm of psalm and to reform his thought to where then that could be brought to the demand of the plight at hand. . . .


 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

(NIV Matthew 18:21-22)

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