Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Muslim Woman Meets Jesus

Recently at the Flushing Prayer Station we met a woman who once was a devout Muslim.  Fifteen years ago she began to seek God, wanting to know who he really is.  After looking into other religions, she decided to read the Bible.  “I’m going to read the red words because those words are the words of Christ!” is what she thought to herself.  His Words came alive to her.  At one point, she felt something like liquid flowing over her as she was reading and praying.  Eventually she gave her life to Jesus after a journey that took over a year.

She has experienced many difficulties for converting from Islam to Christianity.  Although these trials were difficult to face, she would do it all over again because Jesus is worth any pain and persecution! There was such a light and joy in her eyes as she recounted all that Jesus had done and continues to do in her and other people’s lives.  Sadly her husband, also a Muslim, chose to leave her and her two children.  Her kids are being raised in the ways of the Lord.

In fact, she felt the Lord leading her to go to Philadelphia to minister to people.  She brought both of her kids.  There were a number of people she had a chance to encourage and tell about Jesus.  She encouraged us in our outreach and recounted how the Lord had placed it on her heart to go and witness in downtown Flushing.   

Meeting her was a testimony of the many prayers going up for Muslims around the world that they would have an encounter with the Living Christ.  Many Muslims are closed off to hearing the Gospel or are in closed nations where preaching the Gospel is not allowed.  Our prayers make a difference in seeing them come to the Lord.  For this woman, a formerly devoted Muslim, if someone had tried to talk about Jesus with her, she most likely would not have listened.  But the Lord met her anyways.  Therefore we can be encouraged to share the Gospel with Muslims and if they don’t receive it, prayer has a powerful impact. 

Meet Emily...

My name is Emily Angelucci and I am a student at Northpoint Bible College located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. I am interning with Street LIFE Ministries this summer for my senior missions internship. As I prayed about where to intern for this summer, God placed New York City on my heart through dreams and confirmations.  However He did not give me a specific ministry. Eventually I had to take a step of faith when no further direction came, so I searched on the internet for missions internships in NYC. 

After reading through a few opportunities I came across Street LIFE Ministries. What drew me to them was their expression of their heart for serving the many different people of NYC.  Also I noticed their genuine desire to see those who join their team to not only be equipped for outreach and service, but also to grow in their relationship with God. As I prayed further about this opportunity, God gave me an unshakeable sense that this internship would be where a true deepening of my relationship with Him would take place. 

It is the start of my third week here and I can attest to already seeing the first fruits of this deepening taking place! From the outreach on the streets to the community living and fellowship, God has been using each moment to engrave his priorities of servanthood, humility and love upon my heart. I know I will be eternally grateful for following the call of God to come and serve at Street LIFE Ministries in NYC and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds for us! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Around the World in One Afternoon!

David shares this story....I had a chance to go to a new park in Elmhurst, Queens with the team that came from North Carolina in May.  I was praying as we set up games. Then a young girl named Lameha came by and I invited her to get her face painted but she declined.  A few minutes later, she came back after getting permission from her mom and said YES! We talked a little and she played some games and then I invited her to read a book that we brought. I asked her to read it to me and she began to read.  

The book shared the Gospel and Lameha was reading it aloud and hearing about God's love for her as she spoke the words from this story! It was so wonderful. As she read about how much God loves her, this little girl from Bangladesh was declaring the Word over herself.  What an opportunity! Her mom also allowed her to take the book home, which I’m praying she’ll continue to read and even share with her brothers and sisters since they knew nothing of Jesus! 

Another young boy came by who also was a little fearful at first but then he came back and we had a wonderful opportunity to talk.  He played some games and then he said “I want to do something for you.  I'm gonna make hopscotch and you and I are going to do it."  I responded with, "OK it’s been a long time since I’ve done that". He just smiled and with the chalk, made a big hopscotch.  Proudly, he went first and then he told me that it’s time for you to do it. 

So here I am, nearly 61 years old, playing hopscotch in the park with Tenzin who was from Tibet.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and even did a couple extra moves to make him laugh a little! Except for a few friends, he shared that he was typically alone in the park so, in the short amount of time we spent together, he felt loved, valued, and cared for.

Just before we left I  had seen a young girl so I went up to her.  I felt led to let her know I cared about her, and she told me her name was Archana, and she was from Nepal. I began to share my story of teaching in a Bible school in Northern India.  There was a man that I met who had left his family in the mountains of Nepal, to come to learn the Bible so he could go back home to Nepal and preach the gospel and win his people to Jesus! I shared with her how much the Lord loves her as well as all the people of Nepal!

It is so amazing living here in Queens, New York with nearly 200 languages/people groups. The opportunities are at our doorstep to minister to people from all over the earth that God has brought here (Ps107) in order to know Him, love Him, and worship Him above all other gods! There truly is no greater place on earth to share the great news of the king of all kings who loved us so much that he gave his only son that we might receive forgiveness and eternal life! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Don't Be Fooled by Appearances...

On a beautiful spring day at Tompkins Square Park, a middle-aged man approached the step van for a hot meal.  After enjoying his soup, he struck up a conversation.  “I know I may not look like it but I’m staying in a shelter right now.  Could you help me with finding a job?” 

We always have on hand listings of various resources to pass out to people who ask.  So we gave him an employment resource sheet. 

“I’m a carpenter but I got hurt.  After living in the same place for a while, my landlord evicted me.  First I stayed at a shelter in Brooklyn and now I’m here.”  He talked about his living conditions, especially about not being allowed to cook.  Through our conversation, I could tell he wanted OUT. 

After a little while, he had to leave. So I offered to pray with him and also let him know what we have to offer if he needs anything.  He gladly accepted prayer.  We trust the Lord to open doors for him so that he can get back on his feet again.  We hope to see him again soon to find out what has happened since we met and continue to actively pray for him. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

From Care to Prayer

Rutgers University Chi Alpha students crossed the bridge literally from New Jersey to New York City as a group of eleven came to work with the poor and homeless and to reach out near York College in Jamaica, Queens.  Most were fearful at first but so eager to learn, pray with people, and be the bridge for God’s love. We were so blessed to have them here for the week.  

Read Elena’s story....“The best experience I had this week happened while I was passing out care packs. I was asking him about his family and I asked him to pray.  But I still felt the Lord leading me to talk to him more.  I was intimidated because he was not the type of person I would approach and talk to but I did it anyway and it was a very fruitful conversation.  I listened to his entire life story and he told me about his time in prison and how he had been addicted to multiple drugs.  He’s since been trying to turn his life around and he has a wife and three sons.  

For the first time in my life, I actually listened to a homeless person’s story and my heart broke for him.  I was able to see him as Jesus sees him and my perspective has been completely changed.  After hearing his story I asked if I could pray for him and when I was finished, we were both in tears.  I will never forget that conversation and the compassion I felt to him.  I now understand that God has called us to love, not just friends and family, but everyone we come in contact.  I will take this new perspective back to my university and I know my life won’t be the same.”

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

"How Do I Pray?"

On our way in to Tompkins Square Park recently, we were praying for the day and those we would meet.  The Lord impressed that He was going to bring people who were searching for Him and eager to learn more about Him. 

A few people approached the truck asking for housing assistance; they currently live in a shelter.  A young woman chimed in, “And I really need prayer too.”  

After sharing with them the information, we took some time to talk a little more.  She told me, “I don’t know how to pray.  What do you do?  My son prays but I want to learn.”  

It was wonderful to share with her how we can talk to God about anything, even like a friend.  We can approach Him with any of our needs.  

We also talked about the Bible and the prayers in it, especially the Psalms.  “I don’t have a Bible.”  Thankfully, we always have Bibles on the truck to give away.  We blessed her with a new Bible and pointed her to the Psalms and the Gospel of John. 

Then we prayed and she went on her way.  We’re praying that this seed planted in her life will grow and flourish into a relationship with Jesus.  The Lord is faithful; He directed our prayers and answered it that day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bring the Right Buyer Lord


David was so excited about how the Lord answered prayer to bring an early inheritance to someone to help provide for the newer 12 passenger van, that he then offered another request.  "Lord, find just the right buyer for our van so that we can get the extra funds for the insurance and extra expenses and that it will be a blessing to someone else who really needs it".
David listed the van on Friday night in Facebook marketplace and some other online listings.  Late Saturday afternoon, he got a call from someone who sounded a little weary as if this might be his last "ditch effort" of finding what they were looking for.

He had a family of 14 and they lived in Pennsylvania.  Just last week, their van (almost identical to the one we listed) was hit and totaled.  His wife used it to drive the kids back and forth to school and other errands.  Needless to say, it became very difficult without that van because her husband's SUV only fit 8.  He happened to work for a dealership and was a mechanic.  WOW!

This seemed like it could be an answer to prayer.  They traveled from PA and were in New Jersey looking at vehicles, specifically one that they were excited about.  But when they got there, it wasn't anything like the listing and they were very disheartened and disappointed.  Not having a lot of funds and traveling with 7 of the young children, they were ready to give up and go home when the wife looked on Facebook Marketplace one more time and saw our ad.  She immediately called and ask if they could come and look.  It was night time and dark and we explained that it would be hard to see underneath the van and the issue with rusting but they could come if they wanted.

It wasn't long after they arrived, that the woman asked if they could use the bathroom.  One by one, all 7 kids came out of the SUV and we brought them into the house to use the bathroom and find relief from riding in a car all day.  And they both were so excited because it was very similar to their old van and they were more than able to make the repairs needed.  He had dealer plates with him, we negotiated a fair price which they paid in cash, and they drove back to Pennsylvania very satisfied that their time, effort, and waiting was well worth it for them.