After we finished up lunch, we headed to downtown LA to the offices of Homeboy Industries. This ministry focuses on people who have been a part of gangs and/or incarcerated and provides services to get them a healthy life outside of gangs/jail/prison. There are classes for all different areas of life. They have a bakery and a cafe (the food is REALLY good!) that provides jobs for these folks, and connects them with a renewed sense of purpose and meaning. We heard stories from multiple people of how their life has turned around because of Homeboy Industries. One of their major offerings is tattoo removal. This helps people be able to get employment and to cut ties and start a new chapter of life. The people who are in the program at Homeboy Industries consider this their "family." They are connected and help each other and encourage one another. You can learn more about this ministry and the man who founded it, Father Greg Boyle, at their website. www.homeboyindustries.org
After our tour, it was just a short walk across the street to China Town, which was a neat little stop to check out. I wish we had time for a tour of Dodger Stadium too, but I'll have to make another trip for that.
What I Learned
This is something I really learned all week long. From the moment I stepped off the plane in LA, the main thing I noticed was the diversity. Ethnic and racial diversity, socio-economic diversity, religious diversity, etc. It's all there in a relatively small space. You don't see that as much in the Midwest so it stuck out to me, but for most people in LA it's just normal. Which, to me, is a great thing! The thing I learned was that we still have a lot in common with each other even if we have different backgrounds. We can emphasize our shared experiences and create community around that instead of emphasizing our pre-conceived stereotypes and divisions. It has inspired me to seek out more diverse friendships in my community.
I am a Software Developer, a career shift made in 2018. So far, I have experience with C# .Net and Angular. I continue to let curiosity lead me into learning new technologies. I plan to share what I learn along the way about technology and personal/career life. Previously, my vocation was United Methodist pastor. So in addition to coding, I'll share about theology, the Church and The Bible. I also enjoy running, music, and I'm a deeply committed father and husband. Maybe my experiences will help you. I know it helps me to share.