The Yellow Trucks

Where to start, where to start.  Well I guess we’ll start at breakfast.  Gary showed up with donuts for us again, one last time before we leave and he surprised Lincoln and gave him a Yankees ball cap. Gary is so kind, I can’t even put into words the relationship we have with him.  Because we were leaving for sidewalk for the whole day so we had to say goodbye to him this morning, hugs all around and final farewells.
We then attended Metro’s staff meeting/service.  It was great to see how all the different departments fit together.  I greeted Metro on behalf of our church, gave them a word of encouragement and then of course had to make fun of all the American’s who can’t read “wet paint” paint signs and got it on them several times.  Ask anyone of us who painted the doors….or was a scene that kept happening over and over again.  Cheryl has a way of connecting very quickly to some of the staff/interns at Metro.  She has a great story about Shaun in the picture if you get a chance to ask her.
After staff meeting we had an early lunch and then met for 12:15 to head out with our trucks.  The staff/interns here put in a lot of hours, and today we got to experience it along with them.  We started at 12:30 and didn’t return until between til 8-9pm.  So yes, that’s not eating supper until well after we returned from doing 3-4 sidewalk sites.
Lincoln and I went to 4 sites.  The first stop was at a daycare with 42 children.  They are reaching these kids before they even get to the streets, so aweesome!  Little Zahir was crying so Lincoln took him and then he was glued to him for the rest of the program.  These kids are getting the gospel poured into them every week with scripture, bible stories and prayer.  At the end all these little kids 3-4 years old cane up to us just to be hugged!
Some of the teams got to do visitation before their sidewalk sites.  Visitation is going into the buildings where the kids live and inviting them to Sunday school.  It was definitely an eye opener for Lincoln to see some of the living/building  conditions.  Having to step over pee in the stairwells so we didn’t slip and smelling smells he’s never encountered before brings a whole new interpretation of where people come from compared to what he’s use to.
The picture of the yellow trucks is what our team did all over Brooklyn all day long.   Half of the team would wait outside the nearby school for dismissal while the other half was setting up the truck.   We would talk to the kids/parents and invite them out to “yogi” which is sidewalk Sunday school. Then the program would begin after the kids arrived.
This was the team Nick and Kayla went out with!  They hit up the Coney Island area!
Our last site was special.  This sweet little girl is Winter!  She kept grabbing my hands to wrap them around her and sat on my lap for the whole program.  At the end she kept hugging me and wanted to kiss me goodbye.  They said she is usually a handful on the mat but she was an angel tonight just getting held and loved on.  Her older brother Ika brings her and helped hold signs up tonight.
Lincoln is a dancing machine and was a hit with the boys instantly.  It was one of two things, they loved his very American sounding name or his knowledge of all the Fortnight dances.
At the end of our 4th site they had a youth connection for the older kids, there were 13 of them.   They talk about their week and then did a lesson.  Then they ask if anyone has any questions or wants prayer for anything.  It was so real and just easy talking with the youth about their everyday life that week.  These kids don’t go to church, their only church is the “yogi” they’ve had growing up in their neighborhood.  When Bruno (the leader of this site) asked who wanted to pray, one of the boys volunteered to.  His prayer was so simple yet so real.  He prayed “Lord sometimes when we are having a hard time or going through something rough, it is better not to focus on ourselves but pray for someone elses’ needs, so I pray for those in the hospital that are sick and need you to help them, Amen!  I mean I could have burst into tears right there, yet at the same time I was so proud of the work metro has done for the past 20+ years in this neighbourhood.  I talked to the boy after and encouraged him that he was special and his prayer was so true and to keep praying!  It just made me think of how so many youth who are christians struggle sometimes to pray out loud and then you have youth that maybe haven’t made a decision yet, but are eager to pray. I asked for a picture so I could remember them, and said they need to stick together, help each other and keep coming to yogi!  One girl said that’s right we are a community and we help each other!  Whether it is in Brooklyn or Nova Scotia, our church is our community and we are stronger together and are there to help each other.
Tomorrow we have another long day riding the buses and doing indoor Sunday school. We look forward to coming home but are soaking up our last days, moments here with the kids and Metro!
Marni and GoTeam Brooklyn 2018

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