Friday, May 1, 2020

What's in Your Hands? COVID 19 REALITY

The reality for us here in NYC is there is no end in sight presently. The restrictions continue and change daily (some making it harder to serve) and we are doing the best we can with masks and spacing to serve the vulnerable in New York City.   Our mayor’s edict to spy and call on anyone who they believe are not adhering to the “guidelines” require the police having to go to each place to see if it is a viable issue or complaint. We have found favor with the police in these instances as they see the growing need for food. How can we not help in this time of crisis?

Watch this 3 minute video!         

Personally, for Street LIFE Ministries, it means all our mission teams have canceled for March and April and potentially through all of the summer.  Even yesterday, one of the teams officially canceled instead of rescheduling. We were poised to have our best year in 5 years for teams and volunteers. and as you may or may not know, most of our yearly revenue is generated through the teams that come and serve. Our spring fundraiser in Ohio, along with a church service and FMCI conference is now canceled as well.

We are asking for your prayers, not only to continue but to increase. We need to see a release of $50,000, to see us through summer into fall.  We have applied for additional funding for the Federal PPP loan and grants for food and other supplies to enable us to continue to feed all the men and their families that we have been in these past weeks. We are all aware this is the most difficult time as many are out of work and jobs are few. You may be one of them who has suffered severe loss.  Our hearts and prayers go out to you.  We too have seen both loss of friends as well as a financial loss with our staff, personal and general support for SLM. We have also seen God's supernatural provision to make it through these past two months with every bill paid and on time. HE IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE to all of us!

That’s why we pray and press into God and HIS unlimited resources. IF we pray and obey whatever He says, and give according to revelation, I BELIEVE EVERY NEED SHALL BE MET IN FULL, yours and ours collectively!

When you seek to be blessed to be a blessing, God will surely BLESS!

It’s times like this we get to see what GOD can do with our loaves and fishes, our last oil and meal, or two mites.  When we release them to Him to bless others, there will always be MORE THAN ENOUGH!

God may give you a witty way to help raise awareness and funds for Street LIFE Ministries, as we saw a friend just raised $1,000 on her birthday for a ministry that she liked. Maybe you could do the same? Or some other means, please PRAY and ask. We have seen in the last two months a range of gifts, whether it be $5 or $5,000, and we are grateful.  All that matters is our heart and obedience to God’s voice and leading.

What’s in your hands…. in time, talents, resources? We need volunteers, prayer, and finances. Only when we release from our hands, then God anoints and blesses and opens His hands to meet the needs in full, and often with plenty leftover! We have proved this is true for more than 30 years now, in the most expensive city in America. AMEN!

God's Love for our Beautiful One's During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, our usual Beautiful One outreach has been suspended.  All of the massage parlors are shut down right now which has cut off most of our ability to connect with the ladies.  However, some of the women shared their contact information with us before so we thought we could reach out and see if they had any needs. 

One lady wrote back and shared with us that she is very afraid of the epidemic and has not left her home since March 6.  Therefore she has had no income which has made it difficult for her to afford food.  Recently we received a large donation of boxes of food from Anabaptist COVID-19 Response  (Hands of Hope) and offered her a box.  She also requested several other items that we put together for her along with a Jesus DVD and the Gospel of John in Chinese. 

After leaving the box on her doorstep, she was extremely grateful.  “I can’t believe that there are such kind people.  After the epidemic, I want to meet you and thank you for being there.”  She was amazed at the amount of food and supplies and took pictures of them.  “I took pictures as a commemoration.  After many years, I will not forget that you helped me in the most difficult times.”

Feeding the Multitudes in COVID 19

Long Lines are everywhere we GO. This is at TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK in Manhattan.
We pray that God is making Himself known and more real to you than ever during this season, of “Coronavirus”.  Although there have been many forced changes and in many ways some very good ones, we are wise if we recognize this “reset”.   For those of us at Street LIFE Ministries, these changes have not been the new norm as we are serving day and night, 6 days a week (though as the Beatles sang, it feels like 8 days a week). God has blessed us to be, once again, in the right place at the right time, “for such a time as this”.

These men are so grateful, not just for themselves but for their families too, and each time they say so. This is our honor, to help minister to their physical needs but also the spiritual too, as every bag has a Gospel of John and a JESUS Movie DVD.

We are meeting and serving more poor and needy and homeless people than ever before at 3 different locations:

150 men and women  - Each Tuesday & Thursday
feeding & distributing clothing, hygiene kits, socks and face masks.

100-120 men - Each Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday
we distribute food bags along with masks and hygiene care kits (as available) on Northern Blvd in Flushing.

15-20 Families Once Each Week
We make home deliveries in Flushing after we receive a truckload of food donation boxes (Hands of Hope) from Pastor Mark Perri of Immanuel Community Church in conjunction with Anabaptist COVID-19 Response.

We are so thankful for volunteers that have come out on to help us on Tuesdays and Thursdays!
 Some are from Abounding Grace Ministries and longtime friend Pastor Ricky DelRio

We want to give a BIG Shout OUT of thanks to, The United Way of NYC, Bombas Socks, CRU of NYC, Samaritans Purse and Tom Nolan, Pastor Mark Perri of ICC, The Anabaptist COVID-19 Response (Hands of Hope), Pastor Greg Woo, Faith Bible Hope Center, as we are all working together to bless NYC with compassion, love, and resources such as food, clothing, and hygiene Kits. We are also grateful to our Network, (FMCI- Federation of Ministers and Churches) and some of our local supporting churches for extra financial gifts and prayers as well. Bethany Church of NJ has and continues to donate tons of clothing and most recently, gave an appeal on their streaming service last Sunday for additional participation! We give God the praise for all these ministries and churches as well as individuals who are joining with one heart and mind, and purpose for God’s Kingdom!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Loving Drive-By's COVID 19

At Tompkins Square Park

Lockdown in NYC can be challenging as it is everywhere.  There are a lot of homeless people who are finding it difficult to find food as many of the soup kitchens have shut down.  Street LIFE Ministries has increased our times out so we can serve some hot food and drink.  We also bring some food for them to carry away.....all at a proper distance to keep us safe.  So many are grateful.  Here's a link that shares a story of God's divine leading in the life of one woman at Tompkins Square Park recently.

In Flushing (Queens), there are a lot of day workers who are mostly Hispanic.  They stand on different corners of Northern Blvd each day in hopes of being hired for the day or two.  The grocery store shelves have been quite empty, especially for paper and cleaning products.  Since we have been blessed with some extra funding through the United Way of NYC, we are able to bring some food out through a mobile loving drive-by.  We simply load the car with food items as well as some hygiene kits that have been donated by Samaritan's Purse.  As we drive by some of the street corners, we then stop and hand out the supplies.  There are so many needs but we are grateful to do our part.  Click the link below to hear about one of the times we had gone out. 

We are thankful to God for some extra funding that has come in this past month, As you can imagine, all of our March and April teams had to cancel, and that meant less help but also a major loss of revenue as well. So your prayers and support are needed more than ever right now,  especially as we are GOING out 5 days a week, as the needs are so great, with so many out of work, and far less places to receive help. Street LIFE Ministries is one of the few who are BLESSED TO GO AND SERVE to the least and lost and homeless of NYC! We are so grateful for United Way who helped with an emergency gift for food which we have used and receiving 1 more shipment of goods this week through Driscoll Foods. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Perfect Timing

Recently I learned about an older woman in desperate need during this COVID-19 crisis.  Her living conditions are terrible.  The people she rents a room from make it difficult for her.  Also, she is in very poor health so she is one who is susceptible to the coronavirus. 

She reached out to us for help with groceries and cleaning supplies because she didn’t have the funds for it.  It just so happened when she called that I was standing in the middle of a grocery store.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  After listing off items that she needed, we were able to pick up many of those things. 

On the same day, we received donations from World Vision, including some toilet paper.  Robin suggested I add a few rolls to her bag even though it wasn't on her list. 

I made arrangements to drop off the groceries and the lady was happy to receive them. 

A few minutes later she called…

“I don’t know how you knew, and I didn’t even think to ask, but I really needed the toilet paper.  I’ve been wadding up toilet paper from public bathrooms to bring home with me.” 

She thanked me for the other items that couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Friends of Street LIFE Ministries,

We pray during this current global crisis that 3 John 1:2 encourages you all: ”Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” That’s God’s heart and desire always or Holy Spirit would not have inspired John to write it.

This is a time like none other to seek Him.  Spend time in His Presence, in worship, prayer, and the Word.  Build yourselves up in the Holy Spirit, declaring His greatness and faithfulness to you and others around you! HE HAS NOT CHANGED, NOR HAS HIS WORD AND PROMISES!  Ps 91, Ps 46, Ps 20, Isa 41:10 Pray these, decree these, each are TRUE and will minister to you and to others surrounding you!

Let’s all of us redeem the time and look for ways and means to love, serve and provide.  Pray for your family, neighbors, and all those within your sphere of influence.

We at Street LIFE Ministries are doing all the above and still going to the streets and massage parlors, with much prayer and use of all basic, wisdom-filled, precautions as shared locally and federally. We will continue to press on, unless absolutely forbidden; then we will pray for further guidance and strategy.  The poor, hurting, and homeless still are poor, hurting, and homeless.  They are in even greater need of love and compassion, as well as the practical items we bring weekly. Over 60,000 are in shelters, 10-20,000 are on the streets throughout the boroughs of New York City.  All are in dire need and it’s worsening by the day! 

As always, we trust God for everything and will always do so.  His grace is always sufficient no matter the circumstances we face.  Like so many others around the world, we face the fear and shaking of all areas, spiritually, economically, socially, and governmentally.  WE MUST BIND OURSELVES TOGETHER IN HIS LOVE! Fight this fight with FAITH and obedience!

The needs here are increasing.  With the loss of all of March teams, and potentially April’s too, SLM is down $15,000 already.  Teams are a major source of revenue to sustain the ongoing work of SLM. Would you pray and consider sending a sacrificial offering to bless SLM and help enable us to continue to be a blessing to all those we serve?  If you are unable, we fully understand.  Please PRAY, which we all can do.  We are believing for an outpouring of grace and favor.  The harvest, that we and so many others have been praying for, is HERE.  It’s ready and ripe for Jesus and His Kingdom, a Kingdom that will not be shaken!

Please also send us ANY PRAYER REQUESTS YOU MAY HAVE.  We fast and pray every Wednesday and Friday and would count it all joy to lift you up before the Throne of Grace in these times of need. Heb 4:16

Rom 8:31-39 THE MESSAGE
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us — who was raised to life for us! — is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.  I'm absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow,  high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”


For the King and His Kingdom,

David Van Fleet
Executive Director

God Sees the Heroin Addict

As we were serving out on the streets during this COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed a young man who seemed distraught.  There was a look of anxiety and depression on his face. The Holy Spirit prompted me to go and strike up a conversation with him. I asked him how he was doing and the first words that came out of his mouth were “I’m a heroin addict”. He has been addicted to the drug for three years, has lost everything and is now living on the streets. He used to be a Christian, but this drug got a hold of him. As he spoke to me, he cried at times.  He hated what had happened to him; he had lost so much. 

I asked if I could pray with him and he very willingly said yes. I commanded the addiction to leave him, that he would be restored to the Lord, that God would pour out His love on Him, make His voice clear to him, and draw him back unto Himself, as well as for his health. He was grateful for the prayer, for the food, and a good jacket he received from us. He wasn’t ready to re-commit to the Lord at this time but was thankful to be cared for and loved on.

In my bible next to Psalm 91 I have his name written down as a reminder to pray for him every day, will you join me in praying for him too?
Jim is having a conversation with someone (not the man from the story)