When Mike Yankoski was a college student, he was met with a radical idea one Sunday while attending church – “What if I stepped out of my comfortable life with nothing but God and put my faith to the test alongside of those who live with nothing every day?” The image that accompanied that question was one of the many homeless and hungry Americans he passed every day.
So began Yankoski’s plan to live for 5 months on the streets of a handful of U.S. cities and embrace Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:11-12, “I have learned what it means to be content in all circumstances, whether with everything or with nothing.” Regarding the year’s worth of planning, which included convincing his parents and friends and finding a traveling partner in Sam Purvis, Yankoski writes that he and Sam “understood that we would not actually be homeless. We’d only be travelers through the underworld of need-privileged visitors, really, because any time we wished, we could leave the streets and come home. Most people on the streets have no such option.” Even with an escape plan, Yankoski and Purvis tough out life in the open and experience what it means to be one of the invisible homeless population – seen and not seen. And their notions of faith and the faithful are shattered.
“God probably isn’t calling you to live on the streets like He did Sam and me, but He is calling you–like He does each of His children–to take important risks of faith that are unique to you and your opportunities….” Yankoski writes of Christ’s call to his disciples as read in Matthew 16: 24-25, Then Jesus said to his disciples,’If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.’ and poses this challenge: How will you walk off the edge with Him?