Friday, December 12, 2014

Staying Indefinitely

This year got off to a good start when one of our interns, Ryan Haines, decided to stay indefinitely. In June 2013 Ryan came to serve with us after graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in commercial music. He came because he genuinely wanted to learn more about missions and evangelism so that he would be more prepared to share his faith in the music industry, but God had other intentions for Ryan:

"I knew that if God called me to join Street LIFE Ministries, then I couldn't leave until God permitted me to do so. This is exactly how the Israelites traveled after they were delivered from Egypt. 'At the Lord's command they encamped and at the Lord's command they set out.' God has more for me to learn and more for me to contribute here at Street LIFE Ministries. I'm excited for what lies ahead!"

We are blessed to know that Ryan will be here long-term. He is passionate about the Word of God and this led him to start a Bible study for the men in our community. Ryan has also become our resident music teacher, using the musical training that he received in college to help develop the skills of the musicians on our worship team. Ryan's work ethic and zeal for the things of God have enriched our community and we are glad to have him here with us. 

Meet Our New Interns!

As we look back over all that happened in 2014, we can't help but thank the Lord for the new interns we have had.  Nicole Pannasch was the first of these interns and she has been with us for just over a year. During that time we  have been blessed by her joyful spirit, her willingness to serve, and her obvious love for God even at a young age. Commenting on her time here, Nicole said, "Serving at Street LIFE has been life-changing.  The Lord has drawn me closer to Himself during this time and has shown me much more of His heart for the nations, the lost, and His beloved Bride.  I have been continually amazed by His faithfulness evidenced during our times on the streets, in ministry here at Street LIFE, and in my own relationship with Him.  I am very thankful for all that He has taught me during my time here thus far, and I am excited to continue the journey." It is such a pleasure to have Nicole as part of our community and we look forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to flourish her.

We also had a young woman named Jennifer-Beth join us for a three-month internship this past summer. She loved  working with us and her compassionate heart enabled her to connect easily with the people on the streets. Originally from Virginia, Jennifer-Beth has spent much time in recent years serving overseas with medical missions in Asia. Though she still feels a special connection with the people there, she believes that the Lord is calling her back to Street LIFE Ministries in 2015 to receive more training and discipleship. We are excited to have her back and appreciate her vivacious southern flair.  In 2015 a young man named Drew Gosnell from South Carolina will be joining us as an intern and he intends to serve with us long term. Drew joined us for a week-long outreach this summer so he could get more familiar with the work we do, and he really enjoyed it. Drew's maturity is evident and he carries the peaceful presence of God within him. He will also be a valuable addition to our team.

We thank God for each of these new interns. The Lord has heard our prayers to send us more laborers in New York City; the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few! We encourage you to consider joining us for an internship and pass this information to anyone you may know who wants to get involved in missions. 

Increase for Beautiful One

Watching the ministry of Beautiful One has been a major highlight of 2014! We have adopted eight new massage parlors and two strip clubs, and our outreach team has increased from four to twelve people! As of January, we'll be expanding into even more strip clubs and we'll begin offering English classes to the many immigrants we meet at the massage parlors. We often marvel at the tremendous opportunities God gives us to share His unconditional love with women coming from nations in which the Gospel cannot be openly shared. We also count it a high privilege to be able to lavish His unconditional love on those who feel so unloved and unworthy. In Flushing, the need for this ministry is continually increasing as we constantly see new massage parlors open up.

At a recent outreach, we encountered a woman who has been in America for only a few months. It was our first time meeting her, and we learned that she has no family here with her. As we talked and prayed, the Lord opened a door for us to share of His beautiful love for her and give some timely words straight from His heart to hers. Her previously weary eyes lit up as she connected with God's heart in that moment, deep calling to deep. It's moments like this that thrill our hearts and excite us for all that the Lord has in store for His Beautiful Ones! We cannot wait to see what 2015 holds for this ministry!

For the Least of These

We had another wonderful year of outreach with our Mobile Resource Center. This year we served over 16,000 meals to the needy people of New York City – Praise God! One of the best parts of this outreach is being able to meet the specific needs of our friends on the streets. Just last week a man named James, who recently became homeless, stopped by the Mobile Resource Center to get some food. He was cold and frustrated with his current situation. Ryan noticed that he did not have a hat, and when he offered him one, James’ eyes lit up and a big smile came across his face. He said, “Yes, absolutely!” We have encounters like this almost every week. There was one homeless man that we met whose eyes welled up with tears when we told him that we come to serve every Tuesday. He said, “The government always promises to help me, but they never do anything and you come out every single week.” It is our great privilege to reach those who feel they've been forgotten.

Our consistent presence at Tompkins Square Park enables us to develop close relationships with the people there. Every week our friends Speedy and Jose show up early to help us unpack the truck, and they stick around for a warm cup of soup. We have known them for years and they are always upbeat, even in spite of their circumstances. Jose has been growing in his walk with the Lord and we are hoping to one day see Speedy come into the things of God as well. It is through meeting our friends’ needs and forming relationships that the Lord is constantly opening new opportunities for us to share the gospel. Thank you so much for all of your donations of hats, gloves, toiletries, and care pack items. Your generosity is helping us better serve the people of this great city.