Freedom House Shelter and Advocate Volunteer Training at PCC in September

Freedom House

Fall 2017 Volunteer Training Program

Training Begins Saturday, September 9 | San Mateo County
Freedom House now is accepting applications for its upcoming volunteer training sessions for those who would like to serve the organization as an Advocate or work directly with survivors as a Shelter Volunteer.  Advocate Volunteers attend a one-day session to learn about human trafficking in order to educate the public about the issues and how Freedom House is addressing the needs of survivors. To be considered for one of the limited Shelter Volunteer positions, candidates must submit a completed application and undergo a LiveScan background check. Shelter Volunteer trainees must complete the required 40-hour training course.  To learn more about the volunteer program and to receive an application, contact

For further information about their organization, you can visit their website or you can view the training flier here.

Thanksgiving at Fair Oaks – A Message from Angie Ibarra


On Thursday, November 18 Fair Oaks Elementary School hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for families and students with the help of volunteers from Generations United and PCC. Below is a message from Angie Ibarra, the Executive Director of Generations United.

“When we first had the dream of moving our Thanksgiving feast into the community 4 years ago, it was with a goal of raising up local missionaries who would care about the marginalized and often forgotten families in our city. Thanksgiving @ Fairoaks as a glorious time – over 300 people were served by about 30 local PCC missionaries – they served all the Thanksgiving food. Some food was donated in advance through a Taco Truck fundraiser hosted by a PCC family (The Wongs), people who participated in this event brought bags of food and the mothers from the school created recipes of dishes to serve that evening. Other PCCer’s brought food in advance or went shopping. We also were fortunate to utilize the PCC Thanksgiving decorations that have been stored for years and we found them this year! it was a time of loving our community after a very difficult 10 days where our community is gripped by fear of the future. It is Unfortunate how the election results impacted a community that was already facing huge challenges financially in RWC. Many found themselves feeling utterly defeated and unsure of what the future might hold for them and their families.

It was amazing to witness the love on the faces of all who served and all who came especially incredible to know that this is a community who feels loved when they have felt marginalized and unwanted and dejected it’s exciting to know that God wants to use this all in his great plan of redemption of using people who are rooted in love to serve others or disenfranchised and marginalized in our city.”

If you would like to learn more about Generations United and their work in our community, visit their website here:

Resources for: Beginning to Understand Whiteness in the Context of #blacklivesmatter (Pt. II)

Have you read my post on understanding whiteness? Check it out to give you some context for these resources!

Looking for ways to deepen your understanding or action with race and racism? Here’s a wide array of resources from books, articles, videos, and more to help you along the way. Thank you to those who helped me assemble this list.

A few tips:

  • Take your time – Choose the resources that you are ready for and expect to be uncomfortable at points. Don’t be discouraged. Feel free to pause, but also…
  • Read, watch, and listen IN FULL – Seek to understand as much as you can from each of these resources. This is not done by judging the first paragraph or minute. When you are done…
  • Talk it out with a friend – In humility, take what you’re learning to a friend and process with them. Make sure you feel safe with that person. I am available to talk to and process with if you would like. You can contact me here:



White people, I recommend reading these two articles first:
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism – Explaining white people’s aversion to talking about race

White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement – How to talk to white people about race



Churches Examine White Privilege – what predominantly white churches are doing to further the conversation around race among their congregants

How Not to Say the Wrong Thing – A story from an author whose wife battles cancer and the insights gathered from friends who did and did not offer words of comfort

On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart – A Pew Research Center study on the views of whites and blacks on racial inequality. How similar do you think your views are to those around you?

The Mark of a Criminal Record – A sociological article explaining discrimination in hiring practices based on race and prior incarceration

The Problem with Saying, “All Lives Matter” – Why saying “all lives matter” in response to “black lives matter” is true, but not helpful. “The cries of a few fringe groups do not invalidate an entire movement, thank God.”

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism – Explaining white people’s aversion to talking about race

White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement – How to talk to white people about race



The New Jim Crow – A website for the book of the same name that explains the legal and policing practices and policies that has led to the mass incarceration of people of color

Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race – A book that gently and clearly explains the subtleties of race and whiteness.

Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing – A very valuable book on systemic issues among police departments

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing – We’ve talked about paying attention to the pain, and this book is all about how slavery, lynchings and direct/indirect institutional racism have affected the psychology of black America



Black and White Racism in America – From The Liturgists Podcast, Michael Gungor and Science Mike talk with musicians and activists Propaganda and William Matthews about race, racism, and white supremacy in the US

Pastor Michael McBride Says Stop Reaching for Whiteness – From Politically Reactive, Comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu speak with Berkeley pastor Michael McBride about #blacklivesmatter and the inherent oppression of racism for both blacks and whites (Warning: some explicit language used)



5 Tips for Being an Ally – Sometimes the use of the word Ally can be problematic, but there are some really helpful concepts here and there are resources in the description

Is Racism Over Yet? – A quick video explaining how systemic racism has worked since the Civil Rights Movement (note her sources in the info section)

Race: The Power of an Illusion – Documentary and quick information on race with additional resources

Why Colorblindness Will NOT End Racism – A short video on why neglecting to recognize race in ourselves and others will not end social problems associated with race



Campaign Zero – A campaign from #blacklivesmatter calling for an end to undue police violence with specific policy suggestions

Harvard University’s Project Implicit – A project to chart and describe implicit biases through taking quick online tests. You can take tests to see if you have implicit biases related or race, sex, weight, and many other things.

The Metanoia Collective – A group of Christian bloggers writing about what it means to follow Christ instead of following the power of whiteness

Race: The Power of an Illusion – Documentary and quick information on race with additional resources

Local Opportunities to Serve

You don’t need to fly across an ocean to be Jesus’s hands and feet. Serve and love those who are homeless in our community by joining Street Life Ministries. Educate and train children through Redwood City Reads, AbleWorks, and Bayshore Christian Ministries.

Street Life Ministries

Redwood City Reads


Bayshore Christian Ministries


Looking Back

pose 10479737_10152095559997041_5096069122171306720_n womenwalking young girl library tree litttlebysIt is so easy to be overwhelmed by the need of these children at MCM. They lack food, shelter, clothing, affection, opportunity, choice and so much more. When you see them at first, as a group, it seems a dire situation. It is easy to judge what they should be doing or how they should be acting towards each other. But once you see the children as individuals, you see there is joy, desire, knowledge, dreams and aspirations. They are strong, smart and driven. Taking the time to know these children one on one is when they begin to realize that they are truly loved. It is through relationship that you are able to teach them that they can move out of their poverty to live a life that they choose.

Meeting Elias and Asante and being able to encourage these young believers was the highlight of the trip for me. Elias is a 20 year old young man who works at the game preserve and who we were able to give a bible to. He cried as he read it and told us that we were an answer to his prayers and because of our encounter, he knows Jesus is alive. His family and friends were telling him there is no God, but he had a shred of faith. Asante worked at the lodge, was part way through college, but had to stop because her father died. She came to MCM with us one day as her focus is nutrition and she wants to help stop poverty in Malawi.

Some of the people in their villages have nothing. It was amazing to realize that the people I met, like Faris and the Grandmother did not share their bags of maize with each other even though the grandmother only had 3 and needed 10 in order to survive the year. Faris had six.

The people here must go into this “survival mode” where they will do anything to survive themselves. This is something I have never seen before. Also, the kids here have nothing. Some of them have only one meal a day and have been wearing the same shirt or shorts for two years. I expected these kids to be sad, unhappy or unfriendly, but they are very happy people. The littlest things make them happy too. This has been amazing to be able to help them and to see so many happy people in this completely different world.

The people of Malawi are thirst for Jesus – it is infectious. I can’t wait to witness back home to his faithfulness in making this trip and loving service possible. He didn’t need me to make these things happen, but He allowed me to be a piece of it.

When I was telling people that I was going on a mission trip, they would say “ You are so wonderful for doing that for others”…as if I was giving the children a gift. Leaving Malawi, I realize that I am the one who is blessed to know these children.phoebe selfie2

At the Airport

Yasmin and Grace (both 11 years old) were sitting in the Kenya airport waiting for a flight to Malawi! The girls are tired, but having fun and thinking about the children they will soon meet! Yasmin can’t wait to paint faces at Malawi Children’s Mission. Grace really liked Anne Frank’s house and team time in Amsterdam.  They don’t know what to expect in Malawi, but they are loving the adventure.


Pray for Yasmin and Grace by name that they would experience God’s love as they serve at MCM.cpl1OMWYWKZDMCLBnVs_t0UDfTLo2TaXSuO9Y6S5qAVjTCIlmCxL7rVDH7nVqhjsJJrazA=w1249-h450

Malawi Here We Come !

We leave today for Malawi. The team is hopeful. and very excited about God’s purpose in having us go to Malawi together. He really is the one who pulled this trip together, so we have an acute awareness of His presence and the idea that “He’s got this”. Pray for humility, team unity, sensitivity to his Spirit and for the ability to love like He does.

Janet Miclean
Pastor of Women, Connection and Care


Featured in this photo (Not in order)

Karen Hirsh, Max Hirsh, Suzie Hughes, Grace Hughes, Caitlin Johnson, Janet Miclean
John MicleanDanny Valencia, Amy Valencia,Yasmin Valencia

#Photocreds to Israel Soler