Monday, September 26, 2016

Superabundant Grace

Margret receiving prayer from our ladies

Margaret* was pacing the streets of Elmhurst, Queens the same day that we were worshipping in the park as part of our annual Worship Warfare Week outreach. After hearing the worship music for several hours, she finally worked up the courage to approach the prayer station. Margaret had been beating herself up all day for relapsing with alcohol after more than a month sober. Through sorrowful tears, she explained her story to us. We listened, cried and prayed with her, and shared our own stories of falling—and getting back up again. We reminded Margaret of the grace that is always available to her and God’s mercy that is new every morning. We told her that it was no mistake she met us at the park that day, that it was God’s way of pursuing her even in the midst of her sin. As Margaret repented, we saw her countenance change right before our eyes. She stayed at the park the rest of the day, even sharing the Gospel with others and bringing them to the prayer station! We continued to pour into her life throughout the day and connected her with resources that can help her continue to overcome in her fight against addiction. There are many just like Margaret in New York City, and it is our honor at Street LIFE Ministries to bring God’s unfailing love to them just when they need it. Please pray that He will continue to connect us with them!

*Name changed for confidentiality

Completely Restored

Joses' testimony in his own words:

"It was a summer day in August when my life changed forever. I thought I had it all, but it was just a lie. I put my trust in the person I loved the most and I gave her everything, but she was unfaithful abandoning me and taking my two precious daughters with her. My only response was to drown my pain in alcohol and seek help from my so called friends. But instead of solving my problems, things got worse with each passing day. The day came when I decided I no longer wanted to live and when I sought help from my “friends” they turned their backs on me. My own family wanted nothing to do with me even when I needed them the most. I felt so alone and abandoned. But on that Thursday in 2010 walking through the streets with no direction or purpose in life, I felt something telling me to go to the park. I thought to myself maybe my family will be there, but to my surprise, I found something immeasurably better. 

Left picture is of Jose receiving prayer the day we first met him in 2010
Picture on the right: Jose praying over people at this year's Worship Warfare Week
There was a group playing worship music and a team of people sharing God’s word and praying with those who needed it (this was Street LIFE Ministries with their annual Worship Warfare Week in the NYC parks). I approached the team and received prayer. God had appointed that moment to bring me into the plans He had for my life. He accepted me with arms wide open telling me I was not alone. That day I encountered God and He said, “I love you with an everlasting love because I am your Heavenly Father. I am the best friend who never fails you.” In that moment I understood what a real encounter between God and man meant. I understood that true love comes from God through His son Jesus Christ. 

That very day a Christian family took me into their home where they cared for me and discipled me. As I learned and grew I had the opportunity to go to seminary. Praise be to God that I graduated this year and am now sharing the gospel and my personal testimony on a radio show once a week. I am reunited with my daughters and am enjoying the peace that Christ has brought into my life. I just want to share with everyone that there is a God of power and miracles. What is impossible for man is possible with God!"

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Battle is Real at Tompkins Square Park

“Do you have any idea what it’s like to get robbed while you’re asleep?” This was Dominic’s question as he came up to the truck seeking assistance.  He was orphaned at a young age but has since aged out of the system. Now, at 19 years old, he came to New York City with the hopes of a better life, but things were just getting tougher for him. He was conflicted; He knew he needed a job, but his hopeless spirit left him with no motivation. As Dominic and I assessed our options, I invited a fellow team member, Travis, to sit down with him as I made some phone calls. Dominic sat patiently as we secured a bed at the rescue mission.  Throughout the day, Travis and I got to know Dominic as he shared his dreams of going to college, which had all fallen through. He was weary and ready to give up, but as God would have it, we were right there in his crisis moment, which gave us the opportunity to speak words of life over him and show how much God cares.

Things were going well, but towards the end of the day, one of Dominic’s homeless friends offered him a job with a promise to get him his own place. Dominic believed him and changed his mind about going to the rescue mission.  All at once, we saw how the enemy came in and stole all the seeds we had planted. When we are on the streets we see the spiritual battle raging over people’s lives. The Enemy comes to people promising them a better life, and then because of their independence, people resist submitting to the Lord and choose to go their own way. Unfortunately, this is what happened to Dominic. We found out the next week that the job fell through and he was back out on the streets. Although our encounter with Dominic did not end the way we wanted, it is our prayer that God would continue to pursue him. We will also pray and make ourselves available and continue to meet people in their moment of crisis. 

Gaining Compotence

Our heart here at Street LIFE Ministries is teaching others to "win souls for God", and this is something that one man from Danville Virginia learned after just one week with us.

"This week I've seen the entire spectrum of socioeconomic here in New York City, and now I can confidently state that I now feel comfortable ministering to all of them, thanks to Street LIFE Ministries. I've seen God touch the poor and those who are well off, and this applies to their spiritual and economic situation. I feel changed. I've stepped out of my comfort zone and learned that I can adapt."

Friday, August 5, 2016

Breaking Ethnic Barriers

As a white woman from a smaller town in Southern Virginia, doing street evangelism in a predominately black neighborhood of New York City was a little out of Kelly’s comfort zone. “I’ll be honest, when we arrived in Harlem for the Prayer Station ministry, I was a little intimidated and scared.” She was certainly out of her element, but she began to pray asking the Lord to bring people that He wanted her to connect with. It wasn’t very long before Rashawn came walking down the street.

When Kelly offered to pray with him, he explained that this was not his usual route to work and that he usually walks with his headphones in but they just stopped working right before he turned the corner. It was as if God was setting him up as he was coming towards them. “We spoke for over an hour,” Kelly said. “He was excited about the things of the Lord and very curious about a relationship with Jesus. He was not yet ready to commit himself to the Lord, but he took a New Testament and I am praying that he will be starting his walk with the Lord very soon.” Kelly got to experience firsthand what can happen when we are willing to break down barriers and go where the Lord sends us. She ended by saying, “I had an encouraging week with Street LIFE Ministries, and God is doing great things here.”

Friday, July 29, 2016

In The Right Spot

“You’re in the right spot,” Jonathon* said to James and I, looking straight into my eyes.  He was a fairly shy, bisexual man who seemed uncomfortable talking to strangers. As we went through the survey with him, he kept his answers short and didn’t make much eye contact. However, his countenance changed after we prayed with him for guidance and for his family. He looked up at both of us with a smile, and thanked us before leaving.

The few people we talked with before Jonathon were quite guarded, causing us to wonder how the day would go. But Jonathon’s words encouraged us that this was in fact where we were supposed to be; right in the middle of the festival at the NYC Pride Parade.  It was as if God Himself was reminding us, “You are in the right spot.”

It was the right spot, indeed. During our 4 ½ hours at the festival we filled out 45 surveys and talked with over 80 people, most of whom we also prayed with. It was a significant time of ministry in this often-neglected community, and we are already looking forward to next year. Please consider joining us! 

Songs of Salvation

It was our second night at the Red Light District. A small portion of our team had already gone inside the brothels to minister to the ladies, but the rest of us stayed outside to worship and reach the people walking up and down the street. At one point during our worship set, an inebriated man stumbled over and stood right in front of the musicians. David (the director of Street LIFE Ministries) took notice of him right away. Microphone in hand, he approached the man and gently put his arm around him. David held him close and just began to sing the gospel over this man. It didn’t take long before the man started to cry, and soon he was on his face, weeping and confessing his sins before the Lord.

Even though he was fairly drunk when he came over, he was not too far-gone for the Lord to break through. God’s love humbled him that night, and he was changed. We got him plugged into a local church that will follow up with him and disciple him.