I just finished reading Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. I was going to begin my review by saying that it is an easy read, but easy is not the right word. What I mean to say is that it is a relatively quick read at 224 pages. But easy? No way.
Under the Overpass is the story of 2 men, Mike Yankoski and Sam Purvis, who spent 5 months living as homeless men on the streets of 6 major U.S. cities. The idea for this journey began in the heart of Yankoski as he sat in church one Sunday and had something of an epiphany concerning the disconnect in his life between what Christ calls His disciples to be and to do and what he realized was his “comfortable upper-middle-class life.” Yankoski says, “I sat there in church struggling to remember a time when I’d actually needed to lean fully on Christ rather than on my own abilities. Not much came to mind.” Thankfully, Yankoski wasn’t content to ignore this disconnect or bury it in the depths of religious busyness. Instead, he says he “walked out of church that morning seized by a big idea, assaulted by dozens of questions, and sure that I had heard deep in my heart a still, small voice saying, ‘Follow Me.'”
This book will challenge your perceptions of homelessness and the homeless. It will force you to confront the hypocrisy and prejudice that may be lurking not so inconspicuously within your own church and heart. It will force you to reflect on what it really means to take up your cross and follow Christ.
I don’t think you can read this book and stay the same. I hope that you can’t. Living this story changed Yankoski and Purvis for the better, I’m certain. Reading it did the same for me. If I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, then I must love the unlovely, embrace the repugnant, and serve those that the world has deemed unworthy but that Christ calls “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40).
Jesus said the harvest is abundant but there is a shortage of workers (Luke 10:2). It’s time to stop the busyness and be about the Father’s business. It’s time to repair the disconnect.
Recently, Precept Ministries International announced that Jack Arthur was stepping down as CEO of the ministry that he and his wife Kay founded over 40 years ago. Their son David Arthur was appointed CEO in his place. This was a natural passing of the baton. David is a gifted leader, teacher, and man of God who will guide the ministry with integrity and passion for many years. I am excited to see the direction in which he leads.
October 5-6, 2012, David and his mother, Kay Arthur, will be speaking at a conference in Columbia, SC, and trust me when I say, you really don’t want to miss it. Both Arthurs speak the Word of God with power and authority and explain it in a way that everyone can understand. The cost of the conference is VERY reasonable. The number of seats is limited and will most likely sell out way before October. So go ahead and click here to register and get your tickets now.