Sam, Nathanial and I had a fantastic day in the Bronx with kids. Jessie, Phoebe and Lisa were great leaders. Our first sight was outside a school. We had quite a few kids and parents despite the bad weather. Nathanial manned the colouring table while Sam and I handed out prizes. Afterward, we packed up and moved to the next site. Due to the amount of fire trucks, weather and rumor of a gunman in one of the buildings, we decided to do home visits. It was nice for us to have that one-on-one time to pray with the families.
On the third site we had lower numbers, but again it gave us more time for individual attention. Nathanial bonded over colouring with a little girl. Sam made friends with Wilson and Matt, two young who came through the sidewalk program and now meet the truck each week to help out. We felt truly bless to be part of it all.
Chris and I were teamed up for the sidewalk sights and we were placed in Flatbush Brooklyn. It was an amazing experience and so great to be apart of. There was so much happening and we were amazed of the the impact this ministry has on the kids and the relationships that are built through it. We look forward to take what we learned from.
Location: Staten Island
Team: Jayden, Godwin with Suzzy, Kevin, & Esteban
We went to 3 locations and did 2 door to door at the first two locations. Also, at first location we (Kevin & I) stopped at the school to invite them to Yogi Bear (which is what all the kids called Metro/sidewalk Sunday school).
Second location was done at the community center and the ice breaker was for the kids to tell where Jayden and I were from 😀 it was a great time with the kids.
We had a much better turn out at the third location which was held in a church (normally it’s held in the church’s parking lot) and had about 20 kids and 10 teens. Esteban had the opportunity to pray with a family who lost a loved one recently. Afterwards, Kevin had a brief session with kids.
Jenn and I went out with truck #17 to Harlem with team leaders: David, Simon and Sofia.
One of my favourite moments was when a dad asked me to hold up his child to “be higher”. The team was playing Simon Says with the kids, and then David worked into the game “Simon says put the kid down”, in perfect timing. We were so blessed by the team who do this week in and out! It was such a great experience to be apart of.
Nick, Mark and I had the privilege of being with Betsy, Shalexus and James in Brooklyn. Our first site had two Grandmas. One makes sure her granddaughter is there every week and she was very much a part of the program, singing and dancing and yelling out the answers. You can see her in the picture in the back row waving.
A drunk man was making his way down the sidewalk and stopped to join into the program with the kids. He weeped non-stop from start to finish. Everyone needs to hear that Jesus loves them, we love them and there is a place called heaven and you belong there! It’s not just for kids, there are broken people all around. I talked to him at the end and he just cried, said he had recently lost his wife and was so lonely, meanwhile pushing a basket of empty beer cans and just happened to stumble upon us.
Ms. Valerie has been coming for years, her kids and grandkids have all come through the program. She is 83 years old and comes faithfully every week. This is her church. She loved Mark and Nick and can’t wait to see them next week. Church can be anywhere not just inside a building, if you are a Christian Jesus shines through wherever you go!
Then we encountered Josiah who really wrecked us. He was pretty aggressive when he came up to us on the 3rd site. He was kicking Nick in the shins and trying to punch Nick and Mark. Then he disappeared, because his “site” wasn’t until the 4th one across the street. He showed up at the end of the 3rd and Nick gave him a shoulder ride across the street with Mark to the next site.
We played with him for a bit and then I just picked him up and hugged him. His little 9 year old body went limp and soaked it in. I said to Nick and Mark just grab him, hug him and don’t let him go. He fought the first few hugs and tried to be tough and fight them off by biting Mark on the arm, it was legit, Mark had teeth marks to prove it. After the bite Josiah quickly kept asking to play our new made up game “hug sandwich”. He stuck close by and freely hugged us all so gently at the end!! It was hard to get in the truck and drive away from him.
You can see that he is so content in this picture with these two big guys wrapped around him.
Everything makes sense and comes together when you ride the trucks to see what the staff does day in and out for the children in the community. All our hard work in the building, sweat, some blood (not a lot) and maybe a tetanus shot is so worth it!