2 ordinary guys decide to take a chance and live with the homeless for 10 days while carrying cross

While many of us would rather go on vacation and get out of the Arizona heat, John Islas and Jared Shatz are staying in the heat for a meaningful reason.

John Islas is a youth pastor and Jared Shatz is a pastor intern.

Jared and John have decided to take a leap of faith by living 10 days out in the desert sun with the homeless in hopes of turning people's lives around.

"Just in the course of getting to know each other, we realized individually God had placed a vision in our hearts to go out and just be with people where they're at and give them what we have, no matter what it takes," said John.

These two good-hearted guys met through a mutual friend and decided to take on the streets of Phoenix while holding a cross on their shoulders.

No showers, no proper place to sleep and at times no food -- but those aren't the hardest challenges for these two youth pastors.

"The hardest part about being homeless is the fact that people look straight through you," John said. "There's such a disregard for people who eve look homeless."

Jared and John say that it gets tough for them at times, but with faith and support from their family, they keep pushing.

"It's not about religion. It's about being a good person, but without my faith, I can't truly be a good person. I can't love on people like this," said Jared.

The two pastors already have helped guide some homeless and a family to resources where they can change their lives.

"We're walking across the street and there's this family there and it was a mother, a father and an aunt and they were all early to mid-twenties. They had a 7-month-old baby," said Jared.

They found it in their hearts to lead this family to a center to get help.

One of the biggest worries that anyone could fear or face, especially the homeless out in the streets, is crime. 

Josh said they had a minor encounter with two men using a flashlight to mimic a gun pointed at them one night.

"He was just staring us down giving us the death glare and he had this flashlight that had a trigger at the bottom and he was just scanning us up and down and finally pulled the trigger on and we were like 'All right, this guy has something else in mind,'" said John.

So far, the two pastors don't know how many people they have helped along their journey, but with faith and dedication, they know they helped make a difference this summer.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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