The Dream Center is a non-profit outreach group dedicated to helping inner city individuals and families. Their ministry provides hope by meeting both physical and spiritual needs. The organization provides food, clothing, shelter, life rehabilitation, education, job and Biblical training, and much more.
Brooke Jackson, sophomore, along with 13 other classmates, spent the week cleaning streets and parks, feeding the hungry, and spreading the word of Christ.
Jackson jumped at the opportunity to serve on this trip because the Dream Center has always been a passion of hers. “Four years ago, I heard about the Dream Center and knew one day I would end up there,” Jackson said.
Interacting with members of Dream Center made the trip an incredibly meaningful experience. Jackson most remembered meeting a former gang member, Chris, with visible scars and bullet wounds. “Just a year prior, he was in a gang and now he is so in love with Jesus. It was really cool to see someone who went from killing people to telling truth,” Jackson exclaimed.
Although a veteran when it comes to mission work, L.A. made for Jackson’s first domestic service trip. The experience opened her eyes to the great need for service right here in our own country. “Los Angeles was nearly more broken than a third world country,” Jackson said. “There were so many people who used to have what we have, but somehow got in the wrong situation and ended up on the streets.” The trip made Jackson realize just how big a mission field there is here in the U.S. and not just overseas.
“Going to L.A. was a bit of a culture shock, but it gave me a direction of what I want to do after college. L.A. is where I want to ultimately end up,” Jackson said. A Nutrition major, Jackson would like one day to serve the city in body image counseling and the fight against sex trafficking.
Prayer made for the heart of the trip and got the team through their struggles. This proved crucial due to the trip’s extreme level of intensity. Jackson recalled literally cleaning up cups of feces and used needles. In gang ruled MacArthur Park, blonde, blue-eyed and 20, Jackson ran into an altercation with a young man wanting to sell her into prostitution. “It had the potential to be one of the scariest things I had ever been through but, because we had prayed so much, I wasn’t afraid,” Jackson said.
Jackson and her team can truly call themselves angels. They truly believe that, through their love of Christ and fearless devotion, they brought joy and hope to a city truly needing it. The selfless work these students over Spring Break may only have made a dent in the fight to save L.A.; but, forever, left lasting impressions on their lives.