Grace is a journey, not an event... So come walk with me...

Grace is a journey, not an event... So come walk with me through this story...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don't Walk By...

In addition to our regular outreach here at The Relief Bus, our organization has joined a revolutionary partnership with multiple missions organizations in the city for "Don't Walk By" or DWB.  DWB is a project that mobilizes hundreds of volunteers every Saturday night in the month of January and the first Saturday of February.  What we've done is break up Manhattan into five different sections for the five Saturdays: upper west side, mid-town, lower, upper east side, and Harlem.  In those sections we have zones where we send teams and search every single block in the entire island looking for homeless.  If someone is interested we bring them back to the "host church" and provide a hot meal, free medical attention, and a bed for the night.  And for those that are willing to take the necessary steps, they have the option to get into a program.  My job is to drive men and women from the streets back to the host church.  Although these past few Saturdays have been long and exhausting, its been amazing to see the results of what God is doing through these organizations.  These have been the numbers for the first two weeks:

January 8th, the Upper West Side-

Homeless Engaged on Street: 99
Served at Church: 55
Transported to Beds: 12
Transported to Hospital: 2
Transported to Detox: 1
Cared for by Medical Team: 11

January 15th, Mid-Town-
Homeless Engaged on Street: 285
Served at Church: 172
Transported to Beds: 21
Transported to Detox: 2
Cared for by Medical Team: 14

Please pray that God would continue to help us bring men and women off the streets of NYC for the remainder of DWB.  And please pray for those who we do bring back to the host churches, that they would be willing to take the steps they need to receive healing. Grace & Peace...

          Men and women talking to counselors about possible next steps.


                           My driving partner, Pastor Doug from Queens and I.

Photos taken by Caitlin Stiefel

Friday, January 21, 2011


Greetings from the frozen tundra of the New York City metro area! The Master has decided to bless us with an abundance of snow this year and the blessings just keep coming! (truth be told I am quite done with the snow) However, three weeks ago (coincidentally during a snow storm) I was leading a team in midtown Manhattan.  Although I was expecting a low turnout due to the weather, the opposite was true!  In addition to our kitchen being busy, our outreach office was just as flooded with inquiries about jobs, shelters, and clothing.  It was during this craziness that I met Christian.  Christian shared with me that he had arrived in the City from LA the previous night! He had traveled across country for the sole reason of finding a job.  He shared with me that he felt God was leading him to NYC.  As we spoke I saw the genuine desire in his attitude to find employment and get on his feet.  The only problem was that Christian had no place to stay during his job search.  Fortunately I had been searching for shelters with openings most of the morning and knew that New York City Rescue Mission had some beds available. After writing a referral I bought Christian a metro-card to get to the mission.  The next week I saw Christian and he shared with me that he had been staying at the mission, but still looking for work.  The next day we were able to extend his stay at a shelter while he continues to look for employment.  Please pray for Christian as he gets on his feet and please pray that The Relief Bus will be able to continue helping him as he gets settled in his new home.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My friend Jeremiah...

It's amazing the things that we often take for granted.  About a month ago a gentleman named Jeremiah came to one of our sites in the Bronx seeking help in finding employment and possible housing.  At the time him and his wife were living in a shelter.  As I sat with Jeremiah looking at places where he could apply I asked him if he had an email so he could send his resume to potential employers.  He didn't.  So I did the simple task of setting one up for him.  So grateful for what we had done, he began to share his story with me.  He told me about his days as a drug addict and dealer.  The Master has since rescued him from drug addition and Jeremiah is currently part of an organization based out of Harlem called 'ARC' or "Addicts Rehabilitation Center Gospel Choir".  After setting him up with an email and getting him information on a few different resources we prayed that God would pour out his grace, mercy, love, and provision on Jeremiah.  Just today I saw Jeremiah wearing a LARGE smile and telling me that he and his wife were leaving the shelter and are going to sign a lease on an apartment today! He told me that since we had talked a few weeks ago he has been praying and seeking God everyday!  Although he is still looking for a job, both Jeremiah and I have faith it WILL happen.  We continued to search for different places today.  Please pray that God will continue to bless Jeremiah and his wife.  His goal is to eventually talk to young adults, encouraging them to stay away from drugs.

Here is a link to the choir that Jeremiah is a part of...