"Heaven will know what you did today!"
"Heaven will know what you did today!" So Pastor Diane Dunne of the Hope for the Future Ministry located on the streets of New York City summed up the work completed by the youth group at the Community Presbyterian Church of Deer Park, N.Y.
October 29th was a cold, snowy, windy day in New York City. The rain started at 8:00 AM and by 10:00 AM turned to large flakes of wet snow. The youth had made a commitment to serve the homeless in New York City and our group did.
Homeless people of all ages, once they realized we were actually coming, appeared. One man stood shivering in the snow/sleet weather that only had intensified as the afternoon wore on. He stood, waiting for his hot meal with a light jacket, no gloves, flip flops and no socks. One of our young people, 13 year old Anthony, and I dressed him in warm, dry socks and gloves, a task that took almost ten minutes because he was unable to move his bitterly cold fingers as we struggled to put his gloves on and his feet were initially frozen to his flip flops. When we were done he thanked us with the blessing, "Thank you. God be with you".
Two hours into the three hours we spent at this outdoor soup kitchen, I began to feel the pain these people would spent the night with. As cold and as wet as those wet snowflakes were it was still warmer than the drenched gloves I had brought with me. We continued to stay as more and more homeless heard of our mission efforts. We started handing out dry sleeping bags to those who came as night approached. One lady even asked for a plastic garbage bag to keep the snow/sleet off of her already wet clothes.
When I was about to climb back into our car, unable to feel my toes, Pastor Diane called me over. "Remember the warm bed you will sleep in tonight". I did and never appreciated it more, five hours later, when we returned home.
Are you interested in mission activities you can do within your meetings to expose youth to the needs of the world? See chapter nine of "Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings". It is entitled Mission (Game of Life) and will take your youth on a trip to El Salvador and/or Uganda in your own church.
Please click here:Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)