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