Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chasing After Saul

Some of our volunteers praying over Saul
“Is that Saul?” Ryan asked himself as he looked across the parking lot. Sure enough, that was Saul. Saul was a man we helped get off the streets and into a church that would help him get out of his addiction to alcohol. But a few days ago he had a strong disagreement with one of the people in the program and ended up leaving without telling anybody. We hadn’t heard anything from him and we didn’t know where he was. Ryan slammed the car door and ran over to him. “Saul! What are you doing out here?” Saul shared everything with Ryan and even admitted that he started drinking again. After a long talk, Saul said that he thought God was angry with him. Ryan said, “No, that’s not true! This is God’s love in action. He’s disciplining you in love. That’s why He brought me here today!” After this amazing encounter, Saul decided to enter back into the church program, and this time he’s sticking with it. We’ve been keeping in touch with him and he is doing better than ever. He’s participating in Bible studies, working around the community, and has even saved up to buy a phone. He is growing in character, responsibility, and most importantly, in his love for God. 

Ryan hanging out with Saul 

He's Never Heard of Jesus

“I just shared with a man who has never heard about who Jesus is!” Tony said with a huge smile on his face. Coming on a missions trip from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, he was not expecting to have this type of encounter in New York City.

Galileo, a gentleman from China who had been in the United States about three months walked up to the prayer station inquiring about the Gospel of Johns on the table. As it turns out, he had never heard the Gospel message before and listened intently as Tony shared it with him. “The amazement on his face when I told him that God died for him…” was one of Tony’s highlights from the trip.

The prayer station in Flushing can sometimes be difficult with language and cultural barriers. Encounters like this encourage our team that God is faithful in answering our prayers for those in our town. He hears and answers and will draw the right people at the right time as we step out in obedience. Thank you for praying for the work we do here! 

Clarence Gets An ID

As a social worker, one of my greatest joys is being able to connect someone with a resource that can help them transition off the streets. This process is different for everybody. Some people need a detox, some a job referral, and others an agency that will advocate for their housing needs. It’s just a matter of pointing people in the right direction.

I first met Clarence when he came to the Mobile Resource Center  looking for a job referral. He wanted to start taking the next steps in establishing a new life. He had been using drugs and living in a shelter for years, but recently he hit rock bottom  and that was when he surrendered his life to God. This is what gave him the strength to change and become serious about sobriety. One of Clarence’s immediate needs was getting an ID. He lost his while in the shelter and did not know how to get a new one. I set up an appointment for him at one of the nearby social service agencies.  Since our first conversation, Clarence has received his ID and continues to come on Tuesdays to meet with us.

God Cares About A Report Card

One woman stepped into the room with a handful of papers from her child’s school, including a report card written in English.  She was a Chinese woman who has only been in the country for a short time and was scheduled for a parent-teacher conference the very next day.  Her English was quite limited so she couldn’t understand very much of what was written, but we happened to have two Chinese and English speaking members on our team who were able to translate the papers for her.  

As all of this was taking place, we knew that this was how God wanted to show His love to her. It never ceases to amaze us how God reaches out to people in very practical ways, and that he does it by sending his Church to those who are in need. Praise God! 

A view of some of the massage parlors we go to

Friday, October 23, 2015

Helping Linda

One day at Tompkins Square Park, Linda was looking through the clothing at the clothing table.  She shared with Amy and I that she finally got her own apartment after being in the shelter with her son for several years.  She mentioned she’s been looking for furniture but it was hard for her to pick it up since she doesn’t have a car and she was in need of a table, a chair, and a sofa.

“Really?  We may be able to help with that.  Could I get your contact information?”  I knew of a table, some chairs, and a loveseat that just became available the day before.  I was feeling the tug on my heart to try and do something to help.  But it seemed like a long shot since she lives in Brooklyn and we’re in Queens... but thankfully, it worked out! We were able to bring the furniture over the next day. When we told her we were coming, she began to tear up. She could not hide her gratitude.

Knowing that Linda was in need of more than just furniture, we put together a few bags of dry goods, produce, and toiletries. We packed all the food, gifts, and furniture in the van and went to her apartment. She was elated at our arrival and was pleasantly surprised by the extra gifts. It turned out that she had just ran out of deodorant and their food supply was scarce. She loved the table, the chairs, and the sofa, and we were able to set it up for her right away. There was also an extra futon mattress that we brought for her son's bed along with a few pillows.

Meeting Linda was certainly a divine appointment, and God's timing in bringing us together was perfect. She's been through a lot the past few years and all of her struggles really challenged her faith in God and her confidence in the Church. However, we believe that through these simple acts of love and generosity God is beginning to remind her of His faithfulness. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Asking For the Nations!

“Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, 
the ends of the earth your possession.”
 - Psalm 2:8 -

New York City is the "City of Nations". In our own backyard there are many who have never heard the Gospel. Here at Street LIFE Ministries it is our constant prayer that God would open up opportunities to share with people from different ethnic groups. During Worship Warfare Week one of our staff members, Amy Wong, got to see God answer that prayer. Here's the story in her words:

"During Worship Warfare Week, an elderly Chinese lady came up to the Prayer Station asking for a book of prayer. She shared that her grandson had been going to church after school and was coming home praying. She inquired why we ended our prayers with “Amen” and wanted to understand how to pray. Through my broken Chinese and Google translate, I was able to explain how prayer is our way of communicating to God and how as Christians we end our prayers with “amen” because it meant we we're in agreement. I gave her a Gospel of John in Chinese and was able to point her to the prayer for salvation in front of the book, explaining that she could read the tract and if she wanted to she could pray that for herself. She thanked me for the explanation and shared how grateful she was to understand and be able to explain that to her grandson. Personally, I came away from that encounter encouraged, believing that God is hearing our prayers for the nations and giving them as our inheritance (Psalm 2:8).  Please continue praying that we would have more encounters like this!"

Amy sharing with woman who has never heard the good news

Saul Restored

One of our volunteers sharing with Saul
While our worship team was playing at the Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn, a Hispanic man named Saul approached one of our volunteers and asked for prayer. Up until few weeks prior to this, Saul was actively involved in his Church, but some changes in the Church led him to feel betrayed by his pastor. His hurt turned to anger - first toward the Church and then toward God. One bad decision led to another and he ended up on the streets filled with guilt that he had “stabbed Jesus in the back”. We reassured Saul that he could not “out sin” God’s grace. We shared with him the story of Peter and how he betrayed Jesus three times and yet Jesus still went to the cross to pay for his sins. God’s grace began to overwhelm him and he sat there weeping as he confessed his sins. Saul wanted to change and start over again.

Some of the guys praying overSaul
Thankfully, we were able to get him into a Spanish Church that would disciple him and give him food with a place to stay until he was able to get back up on his feet. Saul has been in there for several weeks now and is doing great! He's actively involved with the Church and is beginning to find work around town. It is so exciting to see the way Saul has been restored. Praise God for His love and His faithfulness that never ends!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Testimonies From Teams

It is our joy and privilege to host short term mission trips every summer for teams from all across the country. One moment that stands out was a when young, high school student (who we will call Roger) had his perspective radically altered. Roger had a smooth week until the last day when he encountered hostility from one of the men he was witnessing to at the Prayer Station. The man was very angry with God  and said some hurtful things. Shaken up, Roger returned to the Prayer Station to tell our staff member what happened. This gave us an opportunity to share about the rejection and persecution Jesus experienced during his days of ministry and how he forgave and made intercession for his enemies. After hearing this Roger said, "I would like to pray for him."  That night, at the final night debrief, Roger shared about how this had impacted him. He also mentioned that during the worship time that evening, he dropped to his knees because he was so overwhelmed with the glory of God and with all that he saw God do throughout the week. He ended by saying, "This week was life-changing."

Jeff, a leader of a team from Ohio, shared with us an encounter he had with a man named Christopher at one of the Prayer Stations. He said that Christopher came up to the Prayer Station and just broke down in tears. He was grieving because he hasn't seen his son in over a year, and the fact that Father's Day had just passed only made the pain worse. Jeff spent some time praying for Christopher and told us, "I prayed for him, he kneeled, and then he gave me a big hug and wouldn't let go." Before leaving he told Jeff that he somehow knew that he needed to stop at the Prayer Station even though he originally just wanted a Metro Card. Jeff said, "I told him I will never forget him and would continually pray for him.

A girl named Mackenzie said that she came on the trip with the intention of blessing others, but by the end of the week she felt like she was the one who received the blessing. "Devoting a week to ministry and time spent with God has revived and refreshed my spirit," said the young girl from Louisiana. Proverbs 11:25 tells us that "those who refresh others with themselves be refreshed". That is exactly what she experienced! Overall,  Mackenzie said that her time with Street LIFE Ministries gave her a "pretty substantial priority shift" and caused her to evaluate things in light of eternity. She left saying, "I feel equipped to reach out and minister when I return home." 

Testimonies From Brazil

Our mission trip to Brazil is one of the biggest highlights of every summer. This was our seventeenth time going to Brazil and we have no intention of stopping any time soon. Every night we take to the streets and spread the good news through worship, dramas, preaching, and prayer.

David putting shoes on homeless man's feet
One night we had the privilege of joining a local homeless ministry to bring soup and the gospel to those living on the streets. When we arrived at our ministry location, there was a man laying on the sidewalk using the curb as his pillow. During our time of worship, David went over to pray for him. While they were talking, he felt the Lord tell him to give him his socks and shoes. He politely declined, but David insisted. With great appreciation he accepted the offer. After the exchange a few of our team members spent some quality time with him in prayer. The man was extremely blessed to have received such practical and spiritual support during this difficult time in his life.

Sherilyn with two street girls from the slums
Sherilyn, a young girl from Ohio, shared the following testimony from our night of worship and evangelism at the town square. "A woman came to me and, through a translator, I found out that she had attempted suicide the day before and felt lost and confused about God and her life. I grabbed her head and prayed that God would show her just how much He loves her. After that and watching The Puppet Master (the drama), she turned to me and said, "I'm Free", and for me, that was such a blessing. Brazil is a wonderful place and I can't wait to return!"

This year's trip was Beth's first time ever being involved with missions or evangelism. Though she didn't know what to expect during her time in Brazil, God blessed her for her obedience with a life-changing experience. "The Lord gave me His eyes and allowed me to see each person I met the way He saw them! My attitudes and approach to others changed. I swallowed a very large humility pill and will make an extra effort to continue seeing people the way Jesus does - looking past the social norms and really looking into someone's eyes and sharing pure unbiased, unconditional love like I have never done before! I want others to walk in this kind of love when I return home. I want others to see a changed person when I return!" Since returning from Brazil, Beth has already gotten involved with local outreaches through her church. It is amazing how one mission trip can have such an impact on a person's life. Praise God!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Salvation on the Streets

The "Red Light District" of Belo Horizonte is a neighborhood populated with brothels, porn theaters, and lost souls… it's the perfect place to do ministry! We went there several times on this trip, each time bringing worship, the Word, and the presence of God. Our first night in the Red Light District, during our second or third worship set, a man who was either going to or coming from a brothel was drawn by the music and stopped by to see what was going on. A few members of our team approached him with a translator to talk and share with him. After a few minutes of conversation, the man put his hands over his face and started to weep uncontrollably. His sobs were audible even over the music! Then he dropped to his knees and just started crying out to God, confessing and repenting of his sins. This went on for several minutes. Once he calmed down a little bit, he stood back up shouting, "Jesus! Obrigada Jesus!" (which means "Thank you Jesus" in Portuguese). Without any hesitation at all, he joined in with us praising, dancing and just worshipping Jesus. While watching this man it was clear that as he listened to the worship music and talked with our team, he came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and got right with God. He was born again right there on the street and he responded with exuberant worship. Some of our team joined him in singing and dancing, celebrating his new life in Christ!

Our New Brother (in the striped shirt) giving
praise to God! 

Sergio Saved!

The second Tuesday in Brazil we met a man named Sergio during our homeless outreach. After we introduced ourselves, he immediately began to tell us his story through the translator. Up until four months ago, he had been addicted to drugs. He had gone through multiple rehabs but it was of no avail. He needed something more than rehab. That's when he began asking God for help and, even though he did not know God personally, he began to experience victory over drugs. Now, four months later, he's free from his addiction and even going to school to enter into the work force, but he is still separated from this ex-wife and ten year old son who live together in a distant city.

Clearly Sergio was aware of God's existence and he recognized his need for Him, but he had never heard the grand story of redemption. His eyes locked on us as we began to share about the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus won for him on the cross. The good news was being presented to him for the first time! Once he heard about the necessity of repentance and faith, he began (with tears) to voice a humble cry to Jesus. First he asked for forgiveness for all the crimes he committed against God and then thanked Him for making a way for him to be saved and have new life. After this, Sergio excused himself because he was late for his class at night school, but then, about ten minutes later, he returned! He decided to skip class and spend the rest of the evening talking with us. We praise God for His faithful pursuit of Sergio and what took place in his life that night.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Let The Little Children Come To Me

There was much excited shouting and laughter Friday afternoon in Moore Park as we ministered with a team from Pennsylvania to the children. Wherever I looked I saw a few of our team playing with or chasing or being chased by some ecstatic kid! It was a sweet sight and even sweeter was the look of appreciation (and relief!) on some of the parent’s faces. Towards the end of the day a little girl and her cousin came over to me with the Beginner's Bible we set out by the face painting area. “Will you read us a story?!” She asked enthusiastically. “Of course!”  I replied and gladly shared the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand. As I told the story showing them the pictures, another kid came over and began listening. We talked a little more about who Jesus is and other miracles he did. As soon as I finished an older boy came over, grabbed the Bible, sat and began flipping through it. He is from a Muslim home and has shown a lot of interest in the Bible stories we have shared at other times, often asking questions afterward. He sat and read the Bible for about ten minutes before going off to play with the other kids. These were both quick exchanges, but I am so thankful for the seeds being sown little by little as we minister in this park. Thank you for your prayers for these kids and their families to come to know Christ as Lord and Savior! 

"Tell Me The Story From The Very Beginning"

Gifts from a recent outreach
We came down the stairs to the small, dirty, basement massage parlor one Thursday night to find that all the ladies we knew there were no longer working there. Slightly disappointed to not be seeing our friends, I began to pray and ask the Lord what He wanted to do that night. One by  one, all the ladies received a customer except a woman we'll named Melissa. We made small talk for a while, and then I told her that we were there not just because we love her but because God loves her. Her eyes opened wide, and she exclaimed, "You're here to tell me about God? Tell me the story from the very beginning!" She had heard the Gospel once before while she was visiting Shanghai, and God had been using the seeds sown at that point to stir some serious hunger in her. We spent over an hour with Melissa that night sharing testimonies from our lives and helping her further understand the Gospel.

Every time we would explain that God loves her personally and wants to do the same miracles in her life that He's done in ours, a huge smile appeared on her face and she got chills. At the end of the night we prayed for her, and she said, "I feel different, like lighter!" Then we invited her to the English classes we've been offering, and she said, "I'd love to learn more English but will the classes have enough time to discuss the Bible? I really want to learn more about the Bible!" Throughout our time with Melissa, we were blown away by her responses and her hunger for the things of God. That very night, she was on the verge of converting but was afraid of what her family, who are all Buddhist, would think of her decision. We lovingly explained that it is her choice, but to follow Jesus means to give up Buddha. She went to church the following Sunday, which happened to be Easter, with our translator. Just a few days ago, we received word that Melissa quit her job at the massage parlor because she wants to follow God! She is taking real estate classes, and I cannot say enough how thrilled we are at what God is doing in her life! Please keep her in your prayers, and we'll keep you posted!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Audley's First Prayer Station

A friend of ours named Audley joined us for his first prayer station several weeks ago and he had a pretty incredible encounter out on the street. He met a man named John who seemed to have a heavy heart. John began to explain his situation to Audley and said that he was having a lot of problems with his marriage. He is an American but his wife is from Ethiopia. The cultural differences have been causing a lot of tension, and to make things worse, she has been struggling with suicidal thoughts.

While he was sharing, Audley interrupted him in the middle of his sentences and asked him, “Do you know a girl named Krystal?” John took a step back, surprised by his question and said, “Yes, I do.” Audley followed up by asking, “Is she a short black girl?” John said, “Yeah… actually she is.” Audley said, “You’re never going to believe this, but my friend Krystal has been telling me to pray for her friend named John, who's been having trouble with his marriage because his wife is from Ethiopia!” It turns out that Audley and John had a mutual friend who had been telling Audley to pray for John. That day Audley actually got to meet the man that he was praying for on the streets! It was a God thing.

John was blown away and said, “Wow, there are millions of people in this city and you just so happened to meet me out here today.” Audley said, “Yep, God must be up to something!” Audley ministered powerfully to John that day and, when he left, he said; “Now I have something to smile about.”

Update On Rene

Yesterday I had the chance to speak with René again.  He is doing very well other than he may need another surgery on his knee.  It’s been four months since his last drink!  I also found out he is friends with another brother in the Lord, Otilio, in whose life God has brought about great transformation.  I had the pleasure of learning Otilio’s testimony several years ago.  This is wonderful to hear that René has other Godly influences in his life.  He no longer hangs around the guys that were a bad influence in his life.  He has been attending various churches several times a week and would like to find a church he can stay at.  King’s Fellowship is far for him, especially with his leg, though he would like to come.  It was very humbling when he said I’m the first one of his Christian friends for whom he prays.  Yesterday he shared with me how he can picture the Words from the Bible when he reads them.  God has been giving him revelation of His Word.  Lastly, René requested prayer.  He is so hungry for it and believes in its power.  What an amazing story of God’s continuing grace in René’s life!

Sharing Jesus With Joseph

Joseph is a homeless man who is usually closed off to conversation about the gospel, but this week things were different. He came to the park lamenting about his living situation and began his usual rant about how nobody can really know God. Ryan reassured him that this was not true, and that the whole reason Jesus came to earth was to reveal who God is and to make reconciliation with God possible. As the discussion continued, Ryan also let Joseph know that, not only is it possible to know God, but that God already knows us completely. He shared about how Jesus spent portions of his life as a homeless man (even without a bed to sleep on) and that Jesus had seen every moment of Joseph's life and could relate with his current situation. Joseph had never heard these things about Jesus before, and by the end of the conversation his attitude had changed and he was very grateful for the talk. 

We've been praying for Joseph a lot lately. It looks like God is beginning to open the door for the gospel in his life!  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beautiful Moments in Beautiful One

God continues to move in powerful ways through Beautiful One! We recently welcomed a new member, Jillian D'Angelo, to our outreach team. She has a passion to reach the hurting in all walks of life and is a great asset to our team. It is exciting to see the Lord pulling together a like-minded team with genuine hearts to love and serve women who are being sexually exploited in NYC. Last month we had the joy of ministering to a woman in a massage parlor who had only heard the Gospel once before in her life! She showed incredible hunger to hear what Jesus had done for her and smiled repeatedly as we shared testimonies of how His love has changed our lives. After spending over an hour with her, we prayed together and she said, "I feel different, like lighter!" The following Sunday, which happened to be Easter, she accompanied our translator to a Chinese church service and was very touched by the presence of the Lord! This month's strip club outreach also had some beautiful moments, one in which we were able to be there for a woman on her first night back after not stripping for some time. She was encouraged by our love and presence there on what was a very difficult night for her. One club which we were not able to get into last time allowed us in, and at another we were given access to VIP parking any time we come! It continually amazes us to watch both God's favor and His everlasting love at work in the lives of all those who work at the clubs and massage parlors. Please keep those we are reaching in your prayers!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Aldo's First Prayer Station

Our good friend Aldo Alvarez joined us for his first ever prayer station outreach this month! When we met Aldo at the Flushing Prayer Station last fall, he was not walking with God but he was inquiring of us about spiritual matters. Since that time he has come to know the Lord and now he's passionate about studying his Bible and sharing the Gospel. Though nervous, Aldo was zealous on the street as he approached the people walking by. He said, "This is amazing! I feel like one of the first Apostles... This must have been what it was like for the early church going out and sharing the Gospel with the people in Athens and Ephesus." This experience only  fueled Aldo's fire and passion for Jesus and he intends to join us for more outreaches in the future. We have been so blessed to watch Aldo grow in the Lord. He met us on the streets, got right with God,  and now he's going back out on the streets sharing God with others!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Our First International Intern

My name is Gabriella and I’m from Brazil. I have been in full time missions with YWAM in Brazil for three years. About two years ago, God spoke to me about coming to Street LIFE Ministries.  However, it was only at the end of last year that He told me that it was now time to serve in New York City, to learn a new culture, a new language, and to do it with this ministry.

It has been an incredible time here so far. Serving people in the streets is helping me to understand more about the grace and the love the Father has for everyone. It is a very different experience for me and is very challenging. I am growing in my relationship with God and in my trust in Him. I am so thankful and happy to be here. No matter how difficult it will be to learn a new language, to obey and walk out what God told me to do strengthens and helps me to keep moving forward until all hear the Good News.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Praying For Deliverance

As we drove into Tompkins, we were praying for people to reach a point of saying, “Enough is enough”  - especially for those we see each week. One of our regulars, a Spanish man named Rene, hobbled up on  crutches to the Mobile Resource Center for some soup. When Carol asked what had happened, he told us that he had surgery on his leg because of an old injury from when he was young. After talking for a while and receiving prayer he asked us where our church was. When we told him about King’s Fellowship, he said, “I want to go there. I need to change my life. I’ve read the Bible but it’s been hard lately because I’ve read other things.” It turns out he had read books about black magic. Carol counseled him saying, “Jesus wants to set you free from that oppression. He can take it completely away if you ask for His forgiveness for reading those things.” Rene looked burdened and said, “I need that. I need to change my life. I only have the New Testament but I want to read the Old Testament too.” Carol found a bilingual Bible which he could read in Spanish and English! Rene was so happy to receive it. God answered our prayer that day and we are believing for complete transformation as we continue to share Christ with him.

The Need for Love

Under the awning of the truck on a cold, wintry day at Tompkins Square Park, I huddled with a woman we serve as the snow poured down around us. The weather seemed to echo the hurt she was feeling. With sorrow she explained how she had been quite sick recently yet her husband forced her out of bed to cook for their family. She went on to describe how he often forces her to have sex, cook, and clean, no matter how she is feeling. He never thanks or encourages her for doing any of these things, but instead criticizes any of her efforts that fall below his standards. Sometimes when she desires his affection, she’ll sit down beside him and tell him how much she loves him. He ignores her when she does so.

She is a Muslim who has expressed occasional interest in Jesus, yet she knows her husband would kill her if she ever converts. She is not just in a loveless marriage; she comes from a culture that considers women to be second class citizens. She is one of many who live in oppressive home situations that feel more like a prison than a family. At one point she looked at me and said, “I just wish he would hug me and tell me he loves me sometimes. I just want to feel appreciated sometimes.” In that moment, God whispered to my heart, saying, “Tell her how much you and I love and appreciate her.” I wrapped my arms around her, looked into her eyes, and told her just that. In that moment I saw the anger and hurt begin to fade as she smiled and received the affection of heaven, something she has never truly known. We see her nearly every week at Tompkins Square Park, and I have not heard her speak such clear English as she did that day. I believe God enabled her to share her heart with me so He could share His heart with her. It is encouraging to know that His love never fails. It will not fail her. Please pray with us for her entire family to receive revelation of that!

Grace and Provision: An Update on John

We are seeing God transform a life right before our very eyes! Back in January the Lord brought a man named John Cappola to the prayer station. After getting laid off at the beginning of the year, he ran into multiple issues with his family that caused him to enter the New York City Shelter System. In the shelter, John was confronted with much pain and suffering. He temporarily lost his job, his family, and his security, but this actually served to lead him to Christ. He said that with everything taken away from him, the only thing he had left to cling to was Jesus. That's exactly what he did. John explained how, prior to this experience, he had seldom attended church but now Jesus has become a reality to him.
After meeting us at the prayer station, John has been regularly attending our gatherings and working through the material at our weekly men's Bible Study. Learning about his Savior has helped him find strength and perseverance to endure his current trials. One of his great motivations for growing in the Lord is to be the father he needs to be for his sixteen year old son. Though there are still tensions in the household, God has recently answered John's prayers in giving him more time with his son. We continue to contend in prayer for full restoration in his family.
The most recent miracle in John's life occurred just this past week. Ever since we met him, we’ve been praying for his job situation. Since then he’s had frequent interviews, but nothing was panning out. This week he was offered three full-time jobs! God took John from having no work to having too much work! Now, instead of looking for a job, John is deciding which one to take. God is so good! Please join us in praying for John, his family, his job, and for continued growth in his relationship with the Lord.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 New Year's Eve Outreach

Ministering to a man on New Year's Eve
We began 2015 with our annual New Year’s Eve Outreach. This year we hosted two teams from Ohio who helped us bring the gospel and about 125 gallons of hot cocoa to the people in Times Square. One of great stories from this outreach came through an interaction with a young Muslim girl. She came up to the Prayer Station and said, "Can you pray for me? I hear that things happen when you guys pray for people." We prayed for her need and we're continuing to pray that she will be brought into a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How awesome it is to know God is answering prayers; even people from other religions are being drawn to the living God!

This outreach also had a big impact on the individuals that served with us. Many of them mentioned that the outreach was very new and challenging to them. But they also said that God met them in a very personal way and encouraged them to keep pressing on for His glory. This trip changed the way they viewed people and they saw how easy it can be to witness to someone, even if they just met them. One young man said, “It didn't really matter how much time you spend with them, but just sitting there, talking to them and listening to them, is what mattered the most.”
The teams listen attentively
during the final night debrief 

Pastor Gary, who has come to serve with us in the past, shared the following story with us. He said that during the outreach he actually saw a man that he had met on one of his previous trips. He said, “I refuse to believe in coincidences. I was supposed to see him again to remind me that it’s worth coming here, investing in people, and building relationships.” These are the kind of impacts that we love to see in the people who come serve with us. Some of the young people are even considering doing an internship with us. Praise the Lord!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Clinging to Jesus

After getting laid off on New Year’s Day, John ran into multiple issues with his family that resulted in him living on the streets. The brutally cold weather conditions caused him to enter the New York City Shelter System. In the shelter John was confronted with much pain and suffering, but this actually served to bring him to Christ. He said, with everything taken away from him, the only thing he could do was cling to Jesus. That’s exactly what he did. Prior to this experience, John had spent time in and out of churches, but now Jesus has become a reality to him.
Ryan talking to John at the Prayer Station
We met John at our Saturday morning prayer station and invited him to The King’s Fellowship after hearing some of his story. He enthusiastically accepted the invitation and has been coming ever since. God graciously touched his heart his first time at King’s Fellowship. He said it felt like God was loving him through the entire service; during the meal, the music, the message, the fellowship, and the prayer. John often tells us that he feels very welcome in our community and he wants to continue coming. One of his main motivations to learn more about God is so that he can be the father that he needs to be in order to set an a good example for his son.

On the night of one of our prayer meetings, the enemy kept telling John, "Don't go, don't go!" But he couldn't refuse his need and determined not to let anything get in his way or keep him from coming. As he approached our building, he heard David Van Fleet singing prophetically about fathers coming home and being restored to families, wives, sons, and daughters. When he came in, the song continued and the sense of God's mercy and love only intensified. A few minutes later, John's received a text from his son saying, "Come home, dad." He shared all of this with us after the prayer meeting and shared how real the presence of God was. He had never experienced anything like that before, but he knew that was the reason the enemy did not want him there.

Even though we've only known John for a few weeks, we have already seen so many prayers answered in his life. The Lord has even given him several promising job interviews! Please pray with us for our new friend, that he would keep walking the straight and narrow, experience God’s provision, and that his family would be completely reconciled and restored through the gospel of Jesus Christ.