Love Long Island 2015: Day 1

IMG_1901_2Today we took 50 Shelter Rock Church students out for day 1 of 2 of serving our community over Spring Break for our 3rd Annual Love Long Island!

Team 1 served at Shelter Rock Church‘s food pantry in Manhasset. They helped clean and painted a room.

Team 2 served at Guardian Angel, a ministry in Sea Cliff which ministers to women and their children in crisis. They cleaned the garage and basement and sorted and cleaned donated toys for children, and organized clothes for their boutique.

Team 3 served a family in King’s Park. The wife has cerebral palsy and is also recovering from shoulder surgery. The husband has just finished battling bladder cancer. We rejoice that he is currently cancer-free, and we are praying for that to be a permanent diagnosis! Our team did some much-needed spring cleaning for the family.

Team 4 also served in King’s Park. They did spring cleaning for my long-time friend, and former volunteer youth worker, the legendary 93-year old Granny Franny (She said she’s 93, but she was apparently 90 when I met her about 8 years ago, lol!). Granny lives alone and except for the senior citizen bus which comes once a week to take her shopping, and Meals-On-Wheels, she doesn’t have many visitors. She was so excited to have our team there, and she gave them her Granny-pep-talk and showed them her Kwanza room.

Tomorrow we are doing 4 more service projects to show God’s love in our community, which I can’t wait to share with you.
IMG_1906_2 IMG_1908_2 IMG_1910_2 IMG_1961 IMG_1962_2 IMG_1973_2 IMG_1947 IMG_1953_2 IMG_1946_2 IMG_1950_2 IMG_1954_2 IMG_1952_2 IMG_1975 IMG_1932 IMG_1933_2 IMG_1934_2 IMG_1976_2 IMG_1919 IMG_1921 IMG_1971_2 IMG_1923

Jr. High NYC Mission Day 4

This morning we had breakfast at 7:30am. Christina led our group devotions. After cleaning up, we headed to the subway at 8:30am bound for lower Manhattan during rush hour. e were packed in like sardines! We arrived at the Bowery Mission at 9:30am and were given a tour of this incredible ministry which is 135 years old. We then got to work sorting donated food items and stocking the food room, breaking down cardboard boxes, and sweeping and mopping. We had a short break to eat lunch which doubled as a training on how to serve our guests when they arrived for lunch. We then settled into

our positions and served lunch to 150 people – many of them homeless. It was a great joy to honor these people as guests of the Bowery mission and serve them in the name of Jesus with kindness and smiles. After cleaning up we said goodbye about 2:30pm and headed off for our fun time. We went to Little Italy and Chinatown to buy souvenirs, then we went uptown to Rockefeller Center where we went to the Top of the Rock and enjoyed a crystal clear view of the city from 70 stories high. We took the train back to Living Waters, arriving about 8pm, and had dinner. It has been a really great trip! We look forward to our final night together, and then packing up and heading home tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers.

IMG_0669 IMG_0648 IMG_0649 IMG_0656 IMG_0664 IMG_0665 IMG_0666 IMG_0674 IMG_0676

IMG_0636IMG_0687 IMG_0689 IMG_0696 IMG_0706

Jr. High NYC Mission Day 3

This morning after breakfast Griffyn led us in devotions, sharing several Proverbs with us that talk about caring for those in need. We then got to work here around Living Waters. Our team was able to accomplish a lot of things that needed to get done around the church. We mopped the entire basement, four flights of stairs, fixed about 40 chairs in the sanctuary, washed 4 refrigerators, cleaned the stove, fixed some lights, stocked toilet paper and paper towels, and vacuumed the dormitories.

After some quiet time to do devotions, journal, and reflect, we had a brief time to relax, then at 5:30pm we jumped on the train and headed down to Brooklyn Tabernacle for their Tuesday night prayer service. Thanks to one of my friends who is a pastor at BT and were able to sit down in 6th row. It was a service in which probably 2,000 people were gathered to pray and worship, and it was a great experience for our team to not only observe another church, but to participate in praying for the needs of people all around the world.

After the service we took the A train down to the Brooklyn Bridge and had pizza at the world famous Grimaldi’s. Over dinner we talked about things students should be looking for in a church when they are older and need to make such a decision. We also debriefed our day, and Kristen led us in a devotional. It was another fruitful day for our team.

Why I Was At A Strip Club Last Week (It’s Not What You Think. Watch Before You Judge) …

My hunt to find where people are praying big, ridiculous, audacious prayers led me to a point in the Bronx, NY last week. Hunts Point, to be specific. Even more specifically, I found myself standing outside a strip club talking to my friend Reggie Stutzman, pastor of Real Life Church. You won’t believe what he’s daring to ask God for! Watch our interview.

We Did It!

Thanks to everyone who supported my first-ever half-marathon run. Yesterday I completed the race with an official time of 2:17:02. That was a bit slower than I was hoping for, but I pulled my hamstring at the 10-mile marker when I decided to stretch. Bad idea. The last 3 miles were tough, but I persevered and finished. Most importantly, I exceeded my goal of raising $1,310 for World Vision! Thanks to my friends and family, so far $1,430 has come in, and I have commitments for even more, which should bring the total to about $1,600! The team from our churchraised over $58,000! Wow! What a privilege to be a part of a community of faith that show their solidarity with others around the world.

IMG_1477

IMG_1484 IMG_1488 IMG_1492 IMG_1495 IMG_1497 IMG_1506 IMG_1509 IMG_1512

IMG_1539

Dying for Christ vs. Living for Christ

“It’s easy to die for Christ. (My Insert: And, as my friend Duffy Robbins adds, You can only do that once, and it usually occurs right before the end of your life.) It’s hard to live for Him. Dying takes only an hour or two, but to live for Christ means to die daily. Only during the few years of this life are we given the privilege of serving each other and Christ … therefore we must not waste the opportunity.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh