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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
224 pages
Apr 2005
Multnomah Publishers

Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America

by Mike Yankoski

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Review:

Clean, comfortable, and well fed? Have a cup of coffee and a couple of cookies to hand and ready to receive a nice little blessing? Well, think again. You are likely to choke on those cookies. No nice little blessings here, but rather some big, thought-jerking lessons leading to deep, maybe even uncomfortable, convictions.

Upper-middle class college students Mike and Sam answered God's call, purchased very used back packs and sleeping bags and, for several months, joined the ranks of the homeless. This adventure was not an easy decision. Receiving much advice from Christian mentors, making sure they had prayer backing, these two guys started in Denver and by the time they hit Washington, DC, they knew what kind of hunger makes you eat out of trash cans.

With a guitar and a modicum of talent, they sang gospel music on the streets to raise a little cash. Sometimes they ate 99 cent hamburgers. How long does it take for cement to become a comfortable bed? Where do you find washing and toilet facilities when businesses chase you from theirs? Just how dirty and smelly can a human become, and how fast? How do you handle sickness, injury, rampaging feelings? Which are more predominate, Christians and churches who ignore, chase, denigrate the grungy hopeless, or those who emulate their Lord by helping them? Are there Christians in dire need out there on the streets? What does it really mean to depend on the Lord for absolutely everything? Mike Yankoski knows the answers first hand.

Not a missionary, nor a theologian, although he keeps in the Word, he shares his experiences in absolute simplicity with gritty, deep truth, never shielding us from the smells, hurts, shocks, and fears. With ruthless honesty, Mike, and Sam through him, share their homeless victories, tragedies, and despair. He compares Pharisaical Christians and Christ-like followers. He presents the homeless people they met on the streets: drug addicts, drunkards, families, couples, dog-owners, Christians, pagans, old, young. We might think of them as scum. Mike and Sam learned to know them as people, fearing some, loving many, praying for them all. Under the Overpass provides many suggestions for working with these people.

Maybe God is calling you to do something that comfortable Christians consider unusual; Under the Overpass will encourage you immensely and help you set parameters for your adventure. Whether read individually, or for discussion in a group, middle school age through adults will gain through reading this book. – Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com

Book Jacket:

After meals from garbage cans and dumpsters, night after night Mike and Sam found their beds under bridges and on the streets. They were forced to depend on the generosity and kindness of strangers as they panhandled to sustain their existence. For more than five months, the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. This is their story. Through Mike’s firsthand account, Under the Overpass provides important insight into the truths of the street and calls the younger generation of believers to take great risks of faith to bring Christ’s love to the neediest corners of the world.