Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Tour ~ Under the Overpass

"Under the Overpass" by Mike Yankoski

Publisher's Summary: 

 About the Book
The new updated and expanded edition contains added stories, an interview with the author, a "five years after" bonus chapter, and a new foreword from 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: Denver; Washington, D.C.; Portland; San Francisco; Phoenix; and San Diego.

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—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.

"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

My Thoughts:

The book is definitely one of those true stories that will change your life and mind set, that is, if you let it.  I was drawn in from the first chapter to the last and really liked the epilogue where the author goes over more of what he has learned after being away from the experience for five years.   To read this book and not be challenged in your Christian walk, in the way you think about and view the homeless, and how you respond both as an individual and as God's church, is next to impossible.  I was very challenged from the very beginning even as I read how a young college student, living very comfortably, felt the call of God to go live amongst the homeless and become homeless himself giving everything up for 5 months.  Would I be obedient to such a call?  As I read how he encountered the reactions both good and bad  of the very place where hurting people are supposed to find love, I felt myself searching my own mind and heart to my reactions and thinking when it comes to the homeless of my own city.  As I read the people's stories whom the pair encountered, I was challenged to account for my own assumptions.  

I highly recommend a read of this book at least once, whether you are a professing Christian or not.  A deep look into a life and culture that most of us will never experience first hand but should be able to somehow in some way touch will give us a bit of  knowledge and understanding and thereby remove some of the fear and anxiety of coming across the homeless.  Be prepared to be challenged and to think and search your own mindset and attitude especially if you are a Christian.

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for providing the book for review.

Under the Overpass  is available for  purchase here.

If you'd like a peek in the book you can read the first chapter here.


Carrie said...

Wow - this sounds like one impacting and rather incredible story! I can think of few people who would voluntarily throw themselves into this kind of life. Amazing!

Thanks for the highlight and review! I'll keep an eye out for it.

Karyn said...

Thanks, Susanne. I have seen this book and wondered if it was a good investment. You've answered my question - I'll be putting it in my pile of 'books to read'.

Faith said...

This sounds like a good book! I am gonna suggest it to my teenager and to her creative writing teacher who is always looking to add to the list of required reading....would be good for affluent suburban teens to read this story!! Sounds powerful...thanks for sharing on it Susanne!! I always get such good book ideas from your site!

Linda Stubbs said...

Hi.........I read this book when it first came changing. I loved it..........he had such a heart for the Lord and loved people that needed love! Made me laugh and made me cry! It is a must read! You will not be the same!

Mama Mia said...

I loved this book! Was so interesting and made some good points about the how our hearts should be regarding the homeless. Our church in downtown San Diego has many homeless people in it, and it's always great to see how many people, in their fine suits and expensive watches, will go over give them hugs and share their lives with them.