I want to pass along a request from a fellow pastor who serves God in East Oakland. Last Thursday I got to meet up with a number of church planters who have beautiful desires to reach all kinds of people throughout the Bay Area. I got to meet Bernard from East Oakland. Before he joined a panel discussion on church planting, I got to talk with him privately, and he shared with me that Oakland is a city that's one bad step away from a violent explosion like Ferguson, Missouri. Oakland has fired 3 Police Chiefs in the span of 3 months, and the distrust between the people and the police is huge. Bernard and his people, along with other small churches, have been walking the streets of Oakland each night just to provide prayer and encouragement to hurting people. Bernard specifically asked me, "Pastor Andy, please pray for Oakland. It is ready to explode."If you read my blog would you please join me in praying for Oakland. Pray that it does not explode in violence but instead explodes with the peace of God. Bernard later admitted that being a pastor is hard. He said, "For awhile I quit every day, but then my wife and I decided that I only get to quit twice a week. So now I only quite twice a week, and then I decide to continue on with God's strength." That is the best description I've heard of what it feels like to pastor people, and to seek God's best for a broken city.