I was part of the 18 people to be on the New York Mission trip to serve the Relief Bus. I knew from the moment this trip appeared in the flyer, I was suppose to go on the trip. I expected to go and serve the homeless and needy, grow closer to God, and have fun w/ the team. The entire trip was amazing, but I had no idea it would change me forever! The part of the trip that stood out the most was the night outreach "Search & Rescue" mission!
I had no anxiety about going out on the bus, feeding, helping and caring for people in need...I was excited about it! But a night mission, going out on their "turf"...was a little intimidating for me. My small group of 3 walked all around Penn station, bag in hand...ready to hand out flyers and socks to someone in need. People with bags and earphones busily brushed past us. We couldn't find anyone. Finally, Jeff, the leader of our mission, stopped and said, "let's pray about this." So we all stopped and began to pray. Pray for God to allow US the opportunity to bless someone...Pray for someone to appear to us that needed a meal and needed to hear about Jesus' love. After the prayer, I felt different...I can't explain how so...just different.
So we began to walk down another long corridor of Penn station. Then about 1 minute later a man approaches us, puts his hand on our shoulder and says "God bless you guys." Tingles rushed down my spine. I'm sorry, but if thats not an answer to a prayer, I'm not sure what is!! We asked him what's going on? He proceeded to tell us he was an immigrant from Haiti and he needed work and food. We took Jo to pizza and talked, prayed, told him all about the Relief Bus, and gave him some socks, as he didn't have any. I can't tell you how honored I felt in that moment...all I could think of was the verse Matthew 25:35, and got goosebumps.
Other amazing aspects of the trip were meeting these people's needs...basic needs I take for granted. Socks. I will never look at them the same. I look at the huge drawer of socks in my closet and think about how those people would knock each other down in line for a fresh pair of socks and a prayer from a perfect stranger. I was really humbled. I am so blessed to have been a part of this experience w/ my fellow Hope fellowship men and women. The people I served alongside are some truly God fearing people that inspired me! - Sarah