NYC Youth Mission Update #2
Tuesday, June 26
Good morning from the Bowery Mission! We are right between finishing breakfast clean-up and lunch preparation, and we’re sipping on Powerade and coffee to keep moving. We’re starting to feel the weight of early mornings; some of our team will now be starting their day at 5:15am for donation pick-ups around the city with a Bowery employee named Will (that schedule started this morning).
Yesterday’s blog left off at preparation for lunch outreach at a nearby park, and the rest of the team staying behind to help with some projects at the Mission. I was on the lunch outreach team, and what an adventure it was! The Bowery sets this up at least three times a week, and they can have between 120-150 people show up each day for various kinds of bread, salad, sandwiches, hot soup, baked goods, and water. After setting up each food station, the team went around to greet and shake people’s hands who were in line. This made serving them more intentional, because we could continue conversations with them during and after serving food. Some of the people were inpatient and rushed the line, or starting grabbing things out of the crates without it being handed to them. That element of the outreach was a bit hectic, but not as surprising as some of the people who came through the food line. Many of these people would not seem like the kind of people you might assume would need meals from a Mission or soup kitchen…yet they were starving and thankful for what we gave them. I’ll come back to this aspect later.
The team that remained at the mission did a number of things, from cleaning the pantry and kitchen to moving and helping install new air conditioner units. My team returned from outreach, and we finished up some work assignments before resting for a little while. After the rain let up, I went and explored some interesting spots for the team in Chinatown on recommendations from Trinity members and Bowery employees. We took the students to Chinatown that night for dinner and shopping, and we walked halfway across the Manhattan Bridge to overlook the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan. We finished the evening back on the roof pondering our continuing expectations and fears for the week, along with people we meet and are praying for daily.
This morning, those who did not help with pick-ups were downstairs for breakfast preparation at 5:45 and serving at 7:00 for the residents and 7:30 for the community. Since that point, our team has been spread out in groups around the mission helping arrange, clean, or move items into storage. Our lunch outreach is heading out soon, and the rest of the morning/early afternoon awaits us! Please continue to pray for the health and well-bring of the students, and for their focus to be on serving and meeting those who have yet to place their faith in Christ. Thank you for those prayers…we need them!
Jeff and the NYC Youth Mission Team