This last week the Lord brought a wonderful group of volunteers from a church in Springfield, Missouri into our ministry. They were on a mission trip to NYC and were working with a man who’s one of the pastor’s of a “sister church” in the area. The pastor knew of our ministry and asked if he could bring the group over to volunteer for an afternoon in the food pantry. I really enjoyed having them participate in ministry with us.
Today, my friend Shadrach returned to school after spending about two weeks with us, here in Manhattan. He’s originally from Uganda and is a sophomore, studying Bible, in Greenville, SC. We had many wonderful memories while he was here during Christmas break. Probably the most random of the memories was when Shad and I were driving to Trader Joe’s on the Saturday night, December 28th, “Midnight” food pickup. We were driving down 14th street, approaching Union Square, before stopping at a traffic light at University Place, one intersection before Broadway. As we sat at the light, a little old lady began to cross the street. She was walking with a severe limp, with her shoulders hunched forwards. In both of her arms were heavy bags that she was carrying. I couldn’t tell, but it looked like groceries, or something. As we sat there watching her for a moment, the thought went across my mind “There’s no way she will make it across the street before the light changes” – Now, it might have been 11:20 pm, but traffic was still heavy, as it always is, on 14th street – one of the main streets that runs both east and west, across Manhattan. I turned to Shad, who was sitting in the passenger seat, and said “You should help her across the street” and as I was saying it, Shad’s door was already opening, and he was on his way out. I sat there watching for a moment, from the driver’s seat. Just as they got through the east-bound, right hand lane of traffic, the light changed. I sat there a moment longer, before being forced to pull ahead with the van, rather than blocking traffic. I drove on ahead and went the 3 blocks forward to Trader Joe’s and texted Shadrach, telling him where Trader’s was. I couldn’t help but chuckle, thinking of poor Shadrach, being abandoned in the middle of the intersection on 14th street, at midnight, while helping a little old lady carry her bags across the street, and getting a text with directions to walk to a grocery store that he’s never been to, after only being in Manhattan for about 6 hours.
My journey into Trader Joe’s wasn’t quite so heroic, but when I pulled open the doors to the back room, I found that a box of eggs had just fallen over, and there were 6 dozen eggs broken on the ground. The poor lady who was processing the donations looked clearly frustrated, as she explained that it was her first time doing “spoils.” I tried to comfort her by pointing out that at least it wasn’t a pallet of blueberries!
Eventually we got the eggs cleaned up and Shad made it to Trader Joe’s without suffering any harm, and we live to tell the tale of “another day in paradise” as I affectionately call this place.
On a more serious note, while I don’t typically give much thought to the idea of satanic attacks, the “lions” “roar” has been almost audible for me this last week. One person who made themselves known as an enemy of this ministry several months ago, surfaced again, making a somewhat “prophetic” prediction against me personally. I’m continually reminded, more and more, that this is spiritual warfare. I wonder if we’re on the verge of a breakthrough, in seeing the Spirit of God save a number of people, because the Adversary seems to be working overtime to bring distraction and discouragement. Last fall when I experienced a similar series of events that all came in a row, I took things harder and was more discouraged in the particularly difficult season, a few months ago. This time around, I have a methodology in place that makes it much easier to wade through the mire of the slough of despond and quench the fiery darts of the one who seeks to destroy.
When you’re struggling through a hard time, be quick to let others minister grace to your heart. It is when you try to bear your burdens alone that it becomes easy to sink into a place of despair. The Christian was never intended to live out this life alone. That’s why God made the church to build up one-another and encourage those within this covenant community. If you feel all alone in this Christian life, look for another believer that’s farther along in their spiritual journey, and ask them to help you. “Finally brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
One quick request: Cherie Jones would really like to go to camp this summer, at a camp up in New Hampshire. She’s 12, going to be 13, and works along side of us, going on food pickups, loading and unloading the van, sorting and processing food, as well as helping in many other areas of the ministry here. The problem again is that funds are extremely tight, and she doesn’t have any sort of income to speak of. I thought that maybe some of our readers would be interested in providing sponsorship for her to go to The Wilds of New England this summer. Registration costs a little over $300. If you’re interested in helping out with this, you can send a check in the mail addressed to “New York Gospel Mission” PO Box 123, New York, NY, 10009. Put “Cherie’s summer camp” in the subject line. You can also give online through the paypal feature at the top of our sermonaudio page.
Brothers, pray for us,
Andy, on behalf of all at NYGM.
Andy Woodard completed Bachelors and Masters degrees at Bob Jones University before moving to New York City to serve as Director of Ministry Development at New...
While I was in a diner on 23rd street I saw Pastor and Mrs. Jones talking with a homeless man that approached them at the light.
Good evening, This last week has been filled with special blessings. We’ve had a number of guests and visitors at the mission. Even now as I write on this Sunday evening, one of my guests is packing his bags in preparation to head home...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The resolutions of Jonathan Edwards have been something that I have found both challenging and encouraging since I first became aware of them four or five years ago. One of the more poignant methods of bringing his resolutions to bear in my life...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Merry Christmas! Holiday festivities are in full swing here in the city, and we’ve taken advantage of some of the opportunities to enjoy Christmastime in the city. We went ice-skating in Bryant Park on Saturday night and really had a...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Good evening! Bradley and I just got “home” from the midnight food pickup, and I remembered that I hadn’t written the blog post yet. I tried doing a video update, but when I had the camera going I couldn’t think of...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Good evening, We loved having the NYGM board in town for a couple days this last week. They were a great encouragement to me and the other staff. They bring such energy to this place! As mentioned in last week’s blog post, we did a baptism...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Happy Post-Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Merry Winter, etc, etc. Thanksgiving at ‘The Mission’ turned out to be almost everything that it was advertised to be. The only thing lacking was the all-nighter. Galen, Brad,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
This week came and went and brought with it some unique blessings as well as challenges. Thanksgiving is approaching, and with the change in seasons brings the well-documented change in weather (No snow yet though). To accompany these changes also...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Last Wednesday Galen and I went to a pastor’s luncheon and were able to meet several pastors from the Midtown/Chelsea area. After the meeting was over Galen and I ended up talking to different people and eventually made our way to the door...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Tonight, Monday, November 10th, 2014, I write from the my room in the basement of the Manor Chapel. I’m very comfortably seated on a couch that the Lord provided for me. I also have a nice space heater blowing warm air in my direction, and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]