Monday, July 21, 2014
Under the Overpass, by Mike Yankoski
Title: Under The Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America
Author: Mike Yankoski
Publisher: Multnomah Books
About the author: Michael Yankoski is a writer, aspiring theologian, and urban homesteader who dreams of becoming a competent woodworker, musician, and sailor. He graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA; received his MA in theological studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia; is a (novitiate) Oblate of St. Benedict, and has authored four books. Michael grew up in Colorado, feels at home on the Pacific Coast, and currently resides in Indiana, where he and his wife are pursuing PhDs at the University of Notre Dame.
About the book: Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag, and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities.
For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection-all by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they'd always known...to discover what if feels like to be homeless in America.
My take: This was a really good book and an eye opener for anyone who is very complacent in life. At one time in my life, I spent about a year feeding the homeless breakfast every Sunday morning and every Sunday evening handing out food baskets. It was a great experience. But I was never on their side of the table. I never got to truly understand how they felt and what they went through. That is what Mike and Sam did on their five month journey. They got to experience not having money. Trying to find places to sleep and food to eat. Also, how to survive on the streets, which can be a learning experience in itself.
When I first received this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it or not. But once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It helped me gain perspective on the lives of those that I might have touched when I worked with the homeless. To be able to hear one's experience and "go" on the journey with them was very interesting. I don't know that I could last out there for five months trying to survive, but if you are in that situation, it is probably a different story.
I think everyone should read this book. Whether you are a Christian or not, you could benefit from it.
I received this complimentary book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.