A Kingswood University Praxis team ministered at numerous places on their trip to New York City this past October. Team members included Brett Laidlaw, Shaun Miller, Kalton Smith, Tony Horton, Michael Sims, Jessica Ruston, Sydney Windsor, and Shannon Nickerson.
Praxis participated in the following ministries:
- The Bowery Mission, a ministry serving meals to the homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879.
- The Bowery Mission’s Don’t Walk By, a ministry where volunteers walk every street in Manhattan to offer the homeless food, warm clothing, blankets, overnight shelter, and the opportunity to enter a residential recovery program that night.
- Father’s Heart Mission, a ministry offering a variety of social services to take people out of poverty and into prosperity.
- New Hope Bronx Church, a Caribbean church in the Bronx.
- NYC Relief Bus, a ministry where two school buses have been converted into mobile outreach centers that provide a meal, new socks, toiletries, and resources for a way out.
- Harlem Food Bank, a ministry serving the hungry and needy.
- Anchor House Rehab, a faith-based intensive residential treatment program for both men and women
- McMission, a mission to hand out dozens of Mcchickens and bottles of water to the homeless (Praxis’ own ministry).
Here are some highlights of the trip from the following two members:
This was my first trip to NYC. However, since Praxis has already done ministry events elsewhere, I felt prepared for this experience. Our team became a very close-knit family; we learned to rely on each other.
The major highlight for me is that I got to lead two people to Christ in one day. One of them is a retired NYC police officer and military personnel. We chatted for an hour about all the things he has seen and experienced, and then he went forward to receive Christ. I also prayed with someone else to receive Christ. Nothing can top these two experiences.
After one service at Anchor House, I chatted with some ladies. One of the ladies seemed closed off and wasn’t saying a great deal. I said to her, “I just sense that there is more you need prayer for.”
This lady related how she’s here as an alcoholic and how people at the House don’t understand her. Most of the women there come from the streets, whereas she grew up in a good home with loving parents. She felt so alone and that no one could relate to her. She said, “I don’t want to be here anymore. I just want to leave.”
This was so meaningful to me because just the week before the NYC trip, I really struggled with feeling alone and unwanted. I wanted to just head home to the people who care about me.
Speaking out of my own experience, I told this lady how she needs to fight, and it is not worth it if she leaves. I told her, “You’re not doing this alone. You are doing it in God’s strength.” The lady started laughing for joy and relief. God used that to bring us together. God used the pain in my own life to minister to other people.
Photos by Tony Horton