YOLO & Infinity LIFE Groups Reaching Ann Arbor

by Nina Mo

Hey all!

I just wanted to share a little about how my LIFE group, Infinity, had the privilege of partnering with a Focus and Covenant LIFE group (single adults and married couples) YOLO, to outreach to the homeless community in Ann Arbor this past March. As part of the preparation, Infinity and YOLO had a joint LIFE group meeting (which was the first time we ever did that!) during the week in order to get to know one another and pray together. This experience was really awesome because I never had a chance to meet people in the single adults and married couples life stages and we were blessed by their hospitality as they invited us into their home with such wide-open hearts.

For the outreach project, we wanted to distribute care packages to those in need because they lack a lot of things that we may take for granted on a day-to-day basis. During the week, we delegated who would bring which items – ranging from snacks, clothing, toothbrushes, shampoo, and other toiletries. Both our LIFE groups gathered again the night prior to the outreach to make these care packages. We formed an assembly line and the care packages were made almost instantaneously. It was very cool to see how everyone played a role in creating them and how we all came together like a well-oiled machine. To close out, we prayed together for the homeless community of Ann Arbor and wrote an encouraging note/verse to leave in each care package.

This was my first time doing any sort of outreach so I was pretty nervous. Surrounded by people who had done this before or showed no signs of nervousness, I was intimidated and scared that what I had to offer was inadequate. I asked God to give us all a spirit of boldness and that He would use people even like me to speak to and just care for His people.

On the day of outreach, we divided into smaller groups of 3-4 people, and were assigned a different section of the city. My group had three care packages and wanted to give at least one out as a goal – but after walking around our block multiple times without seeing anybody, I was very discouraged. We passed by other groups talking to people, praying for others and handing out their care packages in their respective blocks. I felt like we were the only group that was unsuccessful. But I was really thankful to have two very encouraging sisters in my group who wouldn’t give up and we decided to explore our assigned block of the city.

Then we came across a man named Derek who was selling a newspaper called Ground Cover, on the corner of the street. We talked to him for a little while and learned that he had two daughters going to school in the Ann Arbor area and that aside from Ground Cover, he was still trying to find another job to support his daughters. It was really encouraging to see that he was hopeful and still was actively finding ways to get employed. He had the biggest smile that radiated from cheek to cheek when he opened up the care package that we gave him and he was genuinely so thankful. As we talked more and prayed for him, I knew that God had been and will continue to work in this man’s life – we were privileged to catch a glimpse of His work and cross paths with Derek.

When the day ended, we all came together again to debrief and the groups shared about all the different people they met. Even though we reached out to just a few people in the City of Ann Arbor, I learned that God’s love is enormous for all His people and I was blessed to be able to see His heart for this community.