Free & Fit NYC - Reflection on Serving with Hillsong Church and City Hope
Free & Fit NYC - Reflection on Serving with Hillsong City Hope - by Tim Cheux
On Wednesday 19th February 2020, I joined up with the Hillsong Church Connect Group team “Street Teams.” As part of a wider New York City Outreach “City Hope” works with other charities such as the Bowery Mission, City Rescue, Don't Walk By and other charitable organizations to help serve the people in crises in New York City. The team is led by the wonderful Monique Cooper and meets every Wednesday to help those who are on the streets of New York City.
Our group was led by our Brother Joe, sister Ann and brother Akhtar. We walked from the Barnes and Noble bookshop towards Washington Square Park where we encountered our first friend on the street. She was somebody we knew who we had met before, on a Wednesday evening service near Washington Square Park, and was familiar to both our group members, and the outreach Street Teams.
This was my first time serving on Street Team since the summer of 2018 before I started my seminary career, it was both exciting and encouraging to get to pray, speak to and encounter our friends on the street. Our leader Monique had prayed over a collection of items which were practical items that had been brought for those who found themselves without shelter on Wednesday evening. The list included hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, hand warmers, wet wipes, toothbrushes, toiletries and other clothing including shoes, trainers and coats and pullovers.
Whilst approaching our friends on the streets we would introduce ourselves verbally, kneel down, make sure we only came within proximity and not in their personal space, offered to shake their hand, asked if they had food or shelter, if they knew about where food providers and shelters were located, if we could pray for anything specific and if any of the items were what they needed right now.
Upon arrival to speaking to our friends everybody was receptive, welcoming, took our items, received prayer and thanked us for our service. We prayed for eight people and one person aloud as we finished our service for the evening. We gathered, shared our stories and testimonies of the events of the evening before we prayed together to close. It was an encouraging and rewarding evening of service. Thank you to Monique, Jay, City Hope and Hillsong Church.
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