Over Canadian Thanksgiving break, Praxis students travelled to New York City for a week of hands-on ministry. They shared the love of Christ by assisting with the ministry of the NYC Relief Bus in Harlem, hosting a Columbus Day barbeque for the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, and leading chapel services at Bowery Mission and Teen Challenge. At night they took food out to the homeless. The group also had an outreach event with drama and music in Union Square.
A big part of the Praxis ministry in New York City involved students praying for and with people on the street. Throughout the week, the Holy Spirit not only worked through the Praxis group, but He also challenged them to see the Father’s heart for the hurting, for those who need a personal relationship with the Saviour.
“God stretched my heart and deepened my love for people who are lost and searching for something life-giving,” said Sarah Lamos. “Our Father knows the heart of every single person wandering around Times Square and searching for identity. He comes to where each one is and He invades that space.”
“God revealed to me just how adaptable He is,” said Philip White. “For example, a few of us were playing some music in a subway car. The atmosphere was not very welcoming, but God emboldened me in my spirit to push through anyway. Later, people began opening up to us and talking about their faith. This was an experience that God used to show His power over an everyday atmosphere like a subway car. Who breaks the power of sin and darkness? The king of Glory, the King above all kings!”
“God taught me how to love all people as He does,” said Sydney McGannon. “This is perhaps an easy concept, but to act this out is uncomfortable and sometimes difficult.”
“One day we did a ministry in Union Square Park, a place where everyone’s opinions and beliefs seem to be showcased,” continued McGannon. “There are artistic expressions happening, different religion groups playing their music, and even homeless people living in the park and calling it home. Some people had signs that said, Jesus Is Love, while someone with a sign right next to it had written, Praise Odin, Hail Satan! This is about as abrupt and polar as it can get.”
“To be nothing but love, joy, patience, kindness, and peace to the people around us in Union Square Park was truly my best possible expression of how to walk and love like Jesus does in the middle of a very secularized culture,” concluded McGannon.