Our region has been devastated by what came to be known as Superstorm Sandy. Flooding, downed trees and power lines, millions without electricity, and at least 40 dead in NYC alone characterize some of the aftermath. While we are giving thanks and praise to the Lord that none of our staff members or property was harmed, we are also grieving for those around us who have lost homes, family members, and more. We have been making trips to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Far Rockaway, where many continue to lack even the most basic necessities. With temperatures dropping and supplies low, the soup, hot chocolate, toiletries, blankets, and coats have been most welcome gifts. Our friend Rich had no power, food, or money after the storm. The first day we were able to get into Manhattan we brought him more than 10 bags of non-perishable food items, as well as fruit. He shared with us that none of his other “friends” have helped him. Another man in the Lower East Side thanked us profusely for coming to serve, saying, “Despite what the media is saying, we’ve been forgotten about down here.”
A family we met in Jamaica, Queens lost everything, so they have moved into a church warehouse and are giving all their time to serve others. Dawn from Far Rockaway told us how she and her family weathered the storm on the third floor of their home because the first and second floors were completely flooded. Thankfully they survived but they have lost everything. These are just a few of the stories of those we are now serving. As long as there is need, we will continue to go to these communities, according to the mandate God has given us to bring LIFE to the streets of New York City! This is a tremendous time for the Body to rise up and demonstrate His love and power to the hurting and poor. See next page for ways to help us help them.
Faithful in the Storm
Meet Sylvia and her family. Imagine enduring one of the worst storms to hit the northeast in a long time and watching your first floor fill with water, all in the midst of your second pregnancy. Weeks without power, extensive home repairs, and preparation for the new baby engulfed their lives since Hurricane Sandy in late October. Yet all the while, God has been revealing His love and care for this family. Numerous times we have seen Sylvia weep as she experienced His faithfulness through the Body of Christ during one of the most difficult seasons of their lives. Street LIFE Ministries and others have provided basic needs and worked with them through the process of repairing their home. More recently we have been able to help organize the nursery for the new baby who comes in April! Though they heard of God when they were children, Sylvia and Mike are now seeing for themselves how loving, attentive, and personal He actually is. It is such a beautiful thing for us to witness. Please pray that the Lord would continue to pursue this family until they are His completely. They are not far from the Kingdom of God.