– Hey bro!
– Hey Alan, how you been doing? – Doing great man. What are you guys up to? – We were going down here to
– catch you off! – to catch the food truck, yeah. – Well, you caught it here, man, so good! – Thank you!
– Thanks! – Stay dry man. See you guys.
– Yes sir! There was a time that I thought I was going to be mega-wealthy. You know, was a developer and loving what I was going to do. We were gonna own helicopters and jet airplanes and ships. I met my wife Tricia in late 1980, and she was Roman Catholic. And at this point in time I didn’t care, man. Whatever. I’m still pursuing my career, myself… And then the kids started coming along. And I remember one day, she’s going out the door with a couple of kids, headed to Mass. And it looked to me like the train was leaving the station. And I said, you know, I’d better hook my car up to that train, because I don’t wanna be left behind. – Come on! There was a bookstore here in Austin, And I went over there and began to study the history of the Church. And so I developed this real intellectual relationship with Jesus. And then I got invited in 1996 to go on this retreat called Christ Renews His Parish. And by the end of this retreat, there was no question that all the intellectual stuff, just, ‘BAM!’- dropped to floor. Right into my heart. I found that there was a freedom in that belief. And I started thinking about, ‘What can I do to advance the Kingdom of God?’ I felt called to give the Christ Renews His Parishretreat to a group of men, and on that retreat was a formerly chronically-homeless, alcoholic drug addict, named Houston Flake. And that’s when the vision of Mobile Loaves & Fishescame to us. – We have this great opportunity out here to encounter every socioeconomic class that exists on this planet. From the richest at the very tip-top of the 1%, to the absolute poorest. And we should approach everybody with the same loving heart. Amen? – Alright. When we were founding Mobile Loaves & Fishes it was 5 white guys in a conference room downtown, overlooking the Capitol. We knew what we wanted to do, but we didn’t know what to do. And one of them said, “We ought to get Houston to come and help us!” So Houston comes in and says, “You know, Alan, why don’t we go to my conference room?” So we jump in my truck and head down South Austin, start walking up this trail. About 100 yards up the trail there’s this woman sitting in a chair, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer. The closer we get, the uglier it is. And as Houston approaches her, he gives her this great bear-hug. And I’m standing over here going, ‘I’m completely not equipped for this. Why am I called into this?” And what was happening was, the person that I think for me represents Jesus Christ the most in the flesh, was this formerly chronically-homeless guy holding my hands and pulling me through this spiritual wall of stereotype. And it’s one of the greatest gifts that I’ve ever been given. White guy thinking he’s going to come in and save the world, end homelessness… And then the homeless guy that’s actually doing it. I made the commitment of knowing every person that lived on the streets of Austin, Texas on a first-name basis. Because if we believe that God created us in his divine image, how can we look at anybody and not be able to see his image? The people that are on the streets are accustomed to being abandoned by human beings all along the way. There’s no overnight fix to this deal. We have to inspire people into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. See, compassioncomes from two Latin root words: Com, which means with, and Pati, which means to suffer. If you want to understand something as profound as homelessness, you’re gonna have to go and suffer withthese brothers and sisters. – I’ve gotta pull you outta this line. …(stammering)… – Good to see you, Alan! How are you man?… I just feel very deeply that Mobile Loaves & Fisheshas created a movement. It’s really challenging people to orient more to community. So that’s why we created Community First! Village, bringing our brothers and sisters up off the streets and connecting them to the rest of the community. This Community First! movement, it’s all about connecting human-to-human, heart-to-heart, so that stereotypes are transformed. That’s where I get the greatest affirmation of what Christ has called me into. It’s that transformation. It’s watching people that are highly privileged connect to those that aren’t, and watching them come together as one in the Body of Christ. So if there was a Fortune 500 of the happiest people on the planet, I’m- I’m number 1. It’s been nothing but a blessing.