Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America  -     By: Mike Yankoski
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Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America

Multnomah Books / 2005 / Paperback

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Product Description

Why did Mike Yankoski choose to go from upper-middle class to repulsive overnight? Needing to know if his faith in God was genuinely apart from a comfortable existence, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, became citizens of a foreign land: homeless America. Learn how it became a passport to the unknown and a supreme test of their faith.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1590524020
ISBN-13: 9781590524022
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

5th Anniversary - Updated & Expanded Edition
With foreword by Francis Chan


Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Live Homeless?

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—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test.
    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. 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 first hand what it means to be homeless in America.
   Mike and Sam's story is gritty, challenging, and utterly captivating. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.
 

Author Bio

MIKE YANKOSKI and his wife, Danae, are both graduate students in theology at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. Mike is a board member for World Vision, and a frequent speaker for World Vision, Compassion International, Union Gospel Mission, and colleges across North America. The Yankoskis make their home in a community house on Vancouver's east side where they seek to live authentically among people in need.

School Library Journal

Adult/High School-As a college student in Santa Barbara, Yankoski was comfortable with his life. However, listening to a Sunday sermon one morning, he began to wonder whether his faith would remain as strong if his privileged upbringing and typical college existence were taken away. So began his decision to put his faith to the test. After discussing his plans with his family and various advisors, he and a friend took a leave of absence from their studies and their middle-class lives to enter the world of the homeless. They spent five months in 2003 on the streets of Denver; Phoenix; Washington, DC; and other cities. Playing their guitars and panhandling, they relied entirely on charity. The harshness, hunger, dangers, and indignities they faced are reported in detail. They formed friendships with other homeless people and watched many of them struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Yankoski steers clear of preachy or patronizing tones, and his dry sense of humor makes the book thoroughly readable. Teens will appreciate the frankness with which he approaches the day-to-day challenges and his personal struggles.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

Yankoski's parents were right: It was crazy to live as a homeless person in six American cities for five months; fortunately, this crazy idea makes for quite a story. Yankoski, a Christian college student, challenges the reader to learn about faith, identify with the poor and find more forgotten, ruined, beautiful people than we ever imagined existed, and more reason to hope in their redemption. The journey begins at a Denver rescue mission and ends on a California beach. Along the way, Yankoski and a friend learn the perils of poor hygiene and the secrets of panhandling. They meet unfortunates like Andrew, who squanders his musical talent to feed his drug habit, and hustlers like Jake, who gives the pair tips about how to look and sound more pitiful to get more money. Yankoski tends to moralize: If we respond to others based on their outward appearance, haven't we entirely missed the point of the Gospel? Still, the book features fine writing (I awoke, rolled over and saw beads of sweat already forming on my arms. Saturday, early morning, Phoenix) and vivid stories, authentically revealing an underworld of need. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Under the Overpass

"The Scriptures are filled with images of a God who is casting down the mighty and lifting up the lowly, of the last becoming first and the first last. In relentless nonconformity to the patterns of our culture, the Christian call is not to move away from suffering but to move toward it, so that we can bear some of the burdens carried by our brothers and sisters. Here is one story of the downward mobility of the Kingdom. It is a story that dares you to move closer to the margins, to the suffering, to the pain. . . and to meet Jesus there—in His many disguises."
—Shane Claiborne, best-selling author, activist, and recovering sinner

"Under the Overpass is a captivating, terrifying, encouraging, motivating, saddening, amazing account of a young man who died to self with the assurance that God knows best. Rarely does a book move me this much. Mike Yankoski doesn’t have a little liquid fire in his heart; he is consumed by it. Let his book ignite your heart and soul."
—Ryan Dobson, best-selling author of Be Intolerant and To Die For

"Every once in a while a book comes along that is so raw and revealing it proves to be a catalyst for cognizance and conviction for multiple generations. Under the Overpass is such a book. Mike and Sam’s five-month journey through the underbelly of America was not a brazen stunt by bored college students but a quest born out of guilt and curiosity thatbecame a Christ-fueled passion for the poor and dispossessed. I know Mike and am inspired by the fact that his zeal has intensified over time. He lives what he learned on the streets. Be careful as you read this timely book; it could radically change your perceptions and maybe even your calling."
—John Ashmen, president, Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

"Often it’s hard to understand why God calls us to do difficult things. But when we’re willing to answer His call, our lives are forever changed. Mike and Sam were willing to say, ’Here I am, Lord,’ and I have no doubt that their story will change you too!"
—Brad Meuli, president, Denver Rescue Mission

"Everyone with a beating heart will benefit from reading this book. Leading through example, Mike Yankoski takes readers on his amazing journey through the forgotten streets of America. Into the darkest places where most choose not to look, Mike chose to go. This book is so deeply moving that emotion is soon overrun with an honest desire to make a difference for what our dear Lord calls ’the least of these.’"
—Kim Meeder, best-selling author of Blind Hope and Hope Rising

"Mike Yankoski hangs out with alcoholics and drug addicts. He panhandles for bus fare and eats from dumpsters. Yes, he has guts. But he also has faith."
Dean R. Hirsch, President, World Vision

Product Reviews

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  1. Army Mom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Makes you think
    November 19, 2013
    Army Mom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We all get busy in our day to day lives and we rarely give much thought to those that live out in the street. This book gives you a eye opening, in your face account about what it means to be homeless, to go without eating for days, to have to sleep with one eye open, not to be safe behind four walls and a security system.

    This is a book that every christian should read, whether you are called to work with or pray for those that have so little.
  2. Tuckersdad
    Western North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A book everyone should read!
    June 26, 2013
    Tuckersdad
    Western North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I currently volunteer at a rescue mission one night a week and serve at a soup kitchen every Thursday. This book has really helped me understand the challenges the homeless face, challenges we have never experienced. I truly believe God motivated Mike to take this journey and write this book so we the much more fortunate can get some insight into the lives of those semi invisible people we tend not to see by choice. I commend Mike for his courage. Everyone should read this book!
  3. Fullquiver231
    White Cloud, MI
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thought provoking book.
    April 19, 2013
    Fullquiver231
    White Cloud, MI
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A book that challenges your comfort zone and your idea of faith in America today. I would highly recommend all who proclaim Christ to read this book.
  4. a fellow traveler
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    graphic understanding of the homeless
    March 2, 2012
    a fellow traveler
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    This is required reading for anyone who cares for or ministers to the homeless. Although the author is a young man, he gathers great wisdom and understanding during his journey through one of the the less fortunate parts of our society.
  5. Milly
    Rapid City SD
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    excellent book! everyone should read this!!
    January 4, 2012
    Milly
    Rapid City SD
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book. I mean that these boys would do this. I don't know how the homeless do it day after day. This just re-affirms my dream to build a soup kitchen/shelter in my area. Thank you Mike & Sam for opening my eyes even more. GOD bless & keep witness-ing.
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