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. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Be One to Reach One: Lord of the Harvest

Wednesday afternoons are times of prayer and fasting at Street LIFE Ministries.  We engage our Father in conversation and petitions to send His church to reach those on the streets of New York City.  Often, our requests are that people will hear the call and with deep conviction, come to be the ones to go after the one (#B12Reach1).

Stephanie heard that call all the way from the cornfields of Ohio.  The Lord was speaking NYC to her.  In her own words, she wrote “Late winter the Lord clearly spoke to me that I was to go to Street LIFE this summer.  Wisely I chose to say yes and prepared to write David to ask when I could come.  I received an email that very day from David asking if we were bringing a team!  That was confirmation.”  At the end of the trip, she wrote about it this way, “This week my prayer was answered several ways.  My heart was filled up as I was able to minister with my team and observe THEM being in different places loving people and counting on God to guide them.  What a joy!”

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What Are The Odds?

With all the millions of people in this city, what are the odds that I would run into one of the few people I actually got to speak with at the Gay Pride Parade last year? Was it a coincidence? No, it could only be described as a “God thing”, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be!

Since we had such a good conversation with them last year, our team decided to go over and talk with them. Thankfully they remembered us too! We spent some time catching up and they filled us in on that had happened over the past year. Then, as they were about to leave, I asked if I could pray with them. They gladly accepted. When I inquired what specifically they needed prayer for, they both got quiet and very serious. Then one of them broke the silence saying, “Please pray for my boyfriend’s family situation. It’s not good and he’s going through a rough time.” The other agreed and added, “Yes, please pray for my mental health.” It was clear that he was not doing well. He had shared a little about his home life, his negligent parents, and his struggle with depression. We could see that this was a young man who had come to view himself as worthless after many years of being rejected by his family.  

I bowed my head and began to pray over them right there on the street corner. I prayed for God to bless them with the knowledge of Him and lead them into a deeper understanding of the love of God displayed in the cross of Jesus Christ. I asked the Lord to show them how valuable they are; that they were valuable enough to die for! After I finished praying I lifted my head. The young man who had looked so despondent now had a huge smile on his face. His countenance had completely changed in that short moment of prayer. We believe that God’s GREATER LOVE made an impression on him that night. We exchanged contact information and expect to see them again sometime soon.