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.
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!
This morning we talked about what it means to be a servant leader and did some team building. At noon took the train up to Hunts Point in the Bronx to serve with Real Life Church. We were met by Clay, the youth pastor from the church and we spent over an hour on the plaza, handing out invitations to the church and praying with people who were passing by. We then stopped by the Point community center to see were Real Life meets, then we went to their storage unit which we emptied, organized, and repacked. We got back to Brooklyn about 5:30pm and had dinner. At 8pm we made up 60 bags with water bottles, the sandwiches we made Sunday night, and a bag of chips and headed to Manhattan where we gave them to homeless people all around the Penn Station area. It was awesome and the students did a great job! We then walked up to Times Square, hung out, and got some ice cream before heading back to Brooklyn. We arrived back at the church at 11:15pm.
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.
Today was day 1 of our Jr. High Mission trip to New York City. Our team lead worship for the church service at Living Waters Fellowship, the church that is hosting us, and I preached. After lunch we had time to unpack and settle in. After dinner we had an orientation, Natalia shared a devotional, we took down the chairs in the sanctuary, then went to dinner. This evening we made approximately 60 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which we will be distributing to the homeless. Before heading up to our rooms for bed we had some ice cream, sharing, worship, and prayer. Excited for a great week of serving Jesus!
Last week I had the great joy and privilege of speaking at a Group Mission Trips Workcamp in Pocahontas, Virginia. It was a blast being able to share and see students out serving. There were 216 campers from 14 churches and 8 different states. They served on 37 different work crews at 25 different homes and completed all of their projects. They served a total of 6,480 hours and also donated 2,050 cans of food to bless the community. So proud of them!
From 4/6/16: Kerri Ann is a resident at West Haven home for the developmentally disabled in Jamaica. She just exides Jesus! Mission Discovery knows her well from their years of visits. She told us she wanted a Bible, and yesterday Hannah told her she would give her her Bible! Today she delivered it and you should have seen the smile on her face. She has also been asking to be baptized for quite some time. Unfortunately her church would not baptize her because of their insistence that it must be by immersion, which is impossible for this young lady. Jen and Scott approached the director and asked if we might be able to baptize her today, and he agreed! We asked her if she wanted to be baptized today, and she lit up. When we gave her the news that she could, she had no words and simply covered her mouth and cried tears of joy. Nathan from MD drove up, and we all gathered under the shade of a tree where she professed her love for Jesus, and Jen, Nathan, and I had the tremendous joy of pouring a bottle of water over her head to baptize her. It was one of the most sacred thigs I have ever witnessed or been a part of!
Today Annie and Tyler led us in team devos then we headed off to our ministry sights. One group went to an orphanage called Blosson Garden and started 3 murals in the children’s rooms and hallway. After lunch we held babies and played with the children. (No pictures were allowed of the children (sad face).) The other group went to the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf. They worked on constructing cabinets, transported gravel for the cement work we will be doing, dug a hole for an outhouse, and spent time interacting with the kids. It is hot and sweaty, and other than a couple of kids temporarily dealing with the heat, everyone is well. We have been having some amazing worship, sharing, and discussion times. Tonight Hannah and Olga shared their devos and did so great. Thanks for your prayers and support.