The Wagon

Be The Wagon

The Backstory to Why the Wagon is a Central Image in Our Community

What’s the story behind the wagon? A few years ago, I visited the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1891 and is one of the oldest and largest missions of its kind in America.

As I was walking through the halls with one of the leaders, I noticed a picture of a wagon hanging on one of the walls.
The wagon that hangs on the wall is part of the story of their origins. Tugged by two horses, this wagon would go into the roughest parts of L.A.—the part of the city that was filled with bars and drunks and others who were in need. Those on the wagon would offer food, clothing, and hope. They called this thing the “Gospel Wagon.” They would also invite folks to get on the wagon and they would be taken to a place of safety and recovery. Now, what happens when a bunch of drunk people get on a wagon…and the wagon starts to move? Exactly! It was common for people to fall off the wagon. Yep, it’s where we get the phrase, “fallen off the wagon.” If someone fell off the wagon, the wagon would stop and the sober ones would help the fallen get back on the wagon.

We want the FREE community to be the wagon. When folks have “fallen off”—when they’re struggling and barely hanging on to life—we want to be with them and offer hope. We want to remind them there is a God who loves them unconditionally, no matter what. We want to remind them of their worth and value. We want to be the wagon together and journey towards places of healing, recovery, and spiritual connection.

Grace & Peace,
Rev. Ryan