I am happy to announce that I am now a part of the Compassion International speaking team. What this means is that I will advocating for children around the world who are stuck in poverty by inviting people to become child sponsors at my speaking engagements as I have opportunity to do so. Children like Leonardo, the 6 year old little boy from Mexico that our family sponsors. For just $38/month Leonardo is able to receive life-changing opportunities such as:
an opportunity to attend or stay in school
medical care, which often saves lives
mentoring and a safe environment through a local evangelical church
and most important, opportunities to hear the gospel.
If you would like to support a child today, please contact me or visit the Compassion website to begin today.
This morning Peter led our team in devotions during breakfast, then we headed out and caught the train over to The Legacy Center in Brooklyn. We helped sweep and clean the sidewalks around the building then worked in the warehouse sorting and organizing donations of school supplies. When we finished working, Diana, one of the LC staff members asked the students about their hopes and dreams, then shared about how the LC works to help people and how our contributions were helping them to be able to minister to their friends in the community. We then gathered around the LC staff and the students prayed over their ministry. We left at 2pm and took the train back to Living Waters. We had lunch, prepared 75 bag lunches, had a little downtime, then the team went to Manhattan and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn where they had pizza at the famous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. While the team had dinner I went to Manhattan where I had the joy of reuniting with my youth pastors from when I was growing up. They were in town from Florida, and we were able to have dinner together. It was the first time we had seen each other in some 23-24 years! What a privilege! They were a major influence on my life as a teenager, and a big reason why I went into youth ministry. It was so great being able to have dinner with them while two of my former students, Rebekah and Peter, now on staff with me, were leading my current students. They are an extension of the legacy that was passed on to me by Bill and Carla Clark. After dinner we all met back up at Living Waters. At 9pm we prayed over the 75 bag lunches we had prepared, and for the people who would be receiving them, then we headed down to the park and gave them out to people. Within about 30 minutes we had given them all away with a smile and in the name of Jesus. We came back to the church and had a good time of debriefing and sharing.
This morning after breakfast Jordan led us in team devotions. We then had a time for personal devotions. Today we focussed on doing some discipleship and leadership training. Peter did a teaching on Colossians 3 then the team did some team-building activities. After lunch we learned about prayer walking and did a prayer walk around the neighborhood. We came back and shared what we heard, saw, and learned from God as we were praying. We then got ready and headed to Times Square where we had a bite to eat then attended the Hillsong Young and Free worship concert. It was really awesome! We got to see several of our SRC friends including the Pauluses and the Kendzierskis. Afterward we hung out in Times Square and did a little shopping and got some food. Got back to Living Waters at midnight.
This morning our team left Shelter Rock Church and drove to The Legacy Center in Brooklyn where we helped prepare food, then we drove to Maria Hernandez Park where we served lunch to folks, some of them homeless, some working poor, and others were just passing by and accepted the gift of a free meal. We then unloaded the shuttle and got settled in at our host church, Living Waters Fellowship, which was just a couple of blocks from the park. After lunch and a brief chat we took the subway over to Manhattan and went to the New York City Rescue Mission, the oldest rescue mission in the country, and the second oldest in the world. It opened in 1872! We helped serve dinner to 308 guests. The team did an awesome job in each of their roles! After cleaning up we walked over to Little Italy and enjoyed dinner and some gelato. We then took the train back to Brooklyn. The team is now in orientation and taking some time to debrief the day together.
Today our three teams 1) did yard work for a lady who has a physically handicap, 2) put together shelves, sorted and organized food and clothing donations at the Shelter Rock Church food pantry which serves our community, and 3) did some organization and cleaned toys for our kids ministry in preparation for Easter.
Today we headed out for our 5th Annual Love Long Island, two days of serving our community during spring break. We sent one team to Guardian Angel in Sea Cliff, a ministry that helps women and children. We helped organize their thrift shop and storage, cleaned, and did some gardenig. The second team went to Horseability in Old Westbury, a program that utilizes horses to help rehabilitate and improve the lives people with special needs, the elderly, and veterans. Our team did yard work and then cleaned out a paddock, a very important job to keep the horses healthy so they can help the riders they serve.
Yesterday I posted the powerful poem called “Two Mothers.” In searching for a picture to go on the post, I found the one you see below. I wanted to share the full story behind the picture. It was from a Ted Talk by two mothers connected through the tragedy of 9/11 who found forgiveness and friendship in the most unlikely way.
Want to help end human trafficking and poverty? None of us can do it alone, but together we can make it happen! On October 1, 2016 Natalia Mahaffy & I will be riding with Cycling4Change to raise awareness and money to bring justice and healing to people around the world, and we want to invite you to join us! You can register to ride 5, 20 or 60 miles, or, even if you can’t ride, you can donate to this great cause started by our good friends Santhosh and Rajdeep Paulus! Small things done with great love make a BIG difference! Let’s give hope, because hope changes everything!
This morning we partnered with the Legacy Center in Brooklyn where we helped work in their warehouse. We unloaded a truck, sorted food and donated items, and packaged household goods for distribution. We returned to Living Waters for lunch and team debriefing then packed, cleaned, and are enjoying a little free time before heading back to Shelter Rock. It’s been a wonderful mission trip! Excited to see our families tonight!
Today our team went to the Bowery Mission in lower Manhattan to serve. The Bowery Mission is the third oldest mission in the United States. It has been serving the homeless and needy since 1879. We sorted donated food, cleaned, prepared and served lunch to 270 people. It was a wonderful experience and the team did a great job. Afterward we took the kids to Chinatown to do a little shopping, and then had dinner in Little Italy. This evening we had a time of debriefing our day, worship, and prayer. There are two other teams staying here at Living Waters with us, and the team from Canada returned from their out reach while we were in worship, and it was awesome to see them jump in with us. We had a wonderful time singing together.