First of all, I got to serve with some awesome people from my church, Hope Fellowship. You really don’t get to know people until you spend a few days living and serving alongside them. Each and every person that went was so loving and caring. Like myself, there were a few people that this was their first mission trip. As well, there were others that have been on several trips stateside and overseas.
We supported an awesome organization called the New York City Relief. They have an outreach called the Relief Bus. They use 2 buses daily to reach homeless where they’re at. They provide a meal, some clothes, and connections to much needed resources. Most of all, they provide dignity to these people. It was incredible what a handshake and a listening ear did for them.
The Water Stop of Life
Running in races for the last few years has allowed me to experience water stations or aid stations. These water stations help aid runners in finishing their race with water, Gatorade, and encouragement. We pretty much did the same for the homeless, we fueled them up with soup, bread, lemonade, & iced tea. As well, we provided encouragement and love.
Even if I don’t use a water station in a race, I feed off of their excitement and encouragement. It’s with that same vigor that we loved on these people. We couldn’t all understand the place that they were in their life, but it wasn’t for us to judge. It was for us to be used by God to love on His children and provide them something that they don’t get everyday… a non-judgmental friend. That was a total God thing as it’s not a normal thing. Normally, we are quick to judge and condemn. I can honestly say for those hours serving, I just wanted to be there for them and help however I could.
As in races, not everyone needs water stations… some just power through on their own. Some don’t use other’s help even if they need it. When the Relief Bus arrives on a location, it’s usually made up of 80% regulars and 20% are new people. The Relief Bus provides a safe haven for these runners in life. In a future post, I’ll share about a friend that I made. To the right is a picture of Darryl and I.
Sometimes runners need to bow out or take an extended break during the race due to injury or exhaustion. It’s the same with the homeless, they might get caught up in drugs or alcohol. The Relief Bus has great connections and are able to quickly get them aid through detox programs. It was so cool to see those moments happen. It’s so cool to see people want to make a breakthrough and get back on track in their race.
The runner still has to run and finish the race themselves. On their own power and at their own pace. However, at times, they do need help. If you ever get asked to serve at a Water Stop of Life, just do it! You won’t regret it! It stretched me and I’m looking forward to future trips to NYC or other places to serve.
Let us run perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1