The end justifies the means…

“People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.”

~ Albert Einstein

For the last nine months Rebecca, Noah and I have been working toward getting ready for Judah to join our family.  Rebecca has done the hardest work, of course, but Noah and I have been finding and cleaning old baby equipment, furniture and clothes; taking Rebecca to doctor appointments and having long talks about what life is going to be like with a newfam baby in the house.  We set up a room for him and spent hours contemplating names.  We prayed for his health and development every single night and wanted nothing more than for him to come to us happy and healthy. If you asked me how I was doing any time over the last three weeks I would have told you, “Good.  We are ready for this baby to be born.”  In short, we did the work and I would like to see the results now.

We seem to live in a culture where results are all that matter.  All I cared about in college were my grades.  I’d rather work out really hard for a short period of time so that I can get in shape quicker, than simply enjoy exercising. (It is possible, don’t judge me.) I have even reached the point where waiting the 42 seconds for my Keurig to brew me a cup of coffee seems like it requires patience.  I just want to get to the “good part”.  I want to push through the means to reach the end because for some reason I have accepted this belief that the end is the only part that’s good.

When I first started to work on myself spiritually I stood at the very beginning of a never ending road.  I was dishonest, prideful, impatient, you name it.  It seemed like each step I took was an agonizing sacrifice to reach a point that was simply too far out of reach for me to grasp.  I remember complaining to my first mentor about this and he provided me with this analogy that has helped me ever since.

“If you travel that same path every day to work.  You hit the same pothole; sit at the same unbelievably long red light; and have to make the same impossible left turn it is likely that you will really “suffer” through them each day.  However, if you take that same path on your way to a vacation that pothole doesn’t seem as deep, the light is half the length and that left turn isn’t quite to difficult; because you are excited about where you are going. “

This no longer really applies to me, because I love my job but that is besides the point.  The idea is that the end seems to dramatically effect the means.  This is how it should be.  I will go so far as to say the end justifies the means.

Before you start thinking of a thousand and one examples of where that just isn’t true, let me explain in the easiest way I know how, with my current situation.  My wife, children bills-to-payand I are missionaries.  We pay our bills and put food on the table by the support of other people who believe in what we have given our lives to.  That means that I regularly have to not only ask for money (which I hate) but I have to find a way to communicate to people what it is that we do and why it is so important.  On a lot of days this kind of feels like I’m tooting my own horn and exploiting my friends on the street.

 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before others to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matt 6:1

I genuinely want nothing more than to be a part of what God is doing in this world.  I don’t need to be a “great”. There was one, his name was Jesus.  In my line of work, however, this requires that people not only believe in God’s heart for what we are doing, but that He colagewill do it through my family.  In the world of social media this means pictures and blog posts and newsletters and emails.  All of which detail two things, the amazing stuff God is doing through our willingness to follow Him and our families need for more support.  I thought I was going to be a preacher.  I love to see things, put them in context of this awesome God and share them with other people to hopefully motivate them to act on behalf of others.  So it seems strange to me that I would be so uncomfortable doing that in an electronic format.

After much prayer and reflection, I have realized why it makes me so uncomfortable.  I am a human being which means that by my very nature (see Real Value) I want to perform.  I want to be valuable because of what I have done, my results.  So no matter how many times God reveals to me that I am valuable because He values me, and regardless of how pacardmuch humility (right sized relationship with God) He allots me there will always be a part of me that wants to be important, whether that is because of my small part in His mission or some other thing.  In those moments when my importance becomes the “end”, the means are left on their own to either flourish or fail because the only thing justifying them is my importance. (Which means they aren’t justified at all.)  And what’s even worse, the weight of maintaining them is on my shoulders.  You see, God is the only end, if He’s not, than the means just became the end.

So as I sit here with my Rebecca, Noah and Judah in the next room watching Paw Patrol and drinking hot chocolate I am reminded of the One who allotted me such great wealth.  And I cannot help but want to spend everything I have to do the only things He has ever asked of me, “Love Him with all my heart and my neighbor as myself.”  Which means that God is the only end in my life.  So every picture, blog post and request for  support are simply the means that move me one step closer to Him,  and I’m okay with that.

What’s your end?

God Bless,

Jeff

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Just do it…

When I was a kid there were only two reason for missing school: either you were throwing up, or you had a triple-digit fever.  If you started an activity (sport, club, etc…) you didn’t show up when you felt like it, you showed up every time.  When I used to work as a swooshpersonal trainer I always tried to impress on people that the most important difference between people who are in shape and people who aren’t is the decision to work out anyway, regardless of how you feel.  When I went back to college and then grad school I learned that if you just show up to class and do the work it is really not that difficult to succeed.  The bottom line is that I have learned over the course of my life that the most powerful thing I can do in most situations is show up.

I spent the first three days of this past week sick with the flu.  To this day, missing work is hard for me.  (This is why married men live longer.) Either way, when I got back out on the  harlemstreet Friday I felt like I needed to really make something happen, as if it is ever because of me.  It was a pretty decent day in Harlem.  We fed, clothed, connected and loved on a few hundred people.  I also had the privilege of connecting a man with one of my coworkers who, about a year before, had been the hand that pulled him off the ledge and gave him a new start.  Awesome!! That’s the kind of stuff that gets me through the day when I’m tired and cold and wondering when my baby is going to be born. (Still wondering that as I write.) Either way, that’s the payoff for us; but it is a strong personal and organizational value that we show up, no matter what.  If it is 12 degrees or 100 degrees; if it is  raining or snowing; if the bus starts or it doesn’t; we show up.  That was yesterday for me. Just show up.

I woke up feeling worn out.  Got to work to find a couple technical issues with the buses actual footthat needed to be taken care of.  I drove through the fog while having windshield wiper problems to arrive in the Bronx to a really empty outreach.  It was rainy and windy and  there were probably half the amount of people there that we normally see.  There were points in the outreach when, due to the wind, I literally had to just stand on the edge of one of the tent legs to keep it from flying up.  To sum it all up in a really honest moment, I didn’t see the point.  I felt like I was just going through the motions because we show up.

About 20 minutes before it was time to clean up a guy came up to me and asked for some bags to put on his feet.  His shoes were paper thin and his feet were soaked.  Sidenote: I have learned that if someone ever asks me for something, (money, bags, socks, food, etc…), to always respond with, “What’s your name?”  This has led to some really awesome encounters in my life.  Back to the story, I asked him his name, which is Julio, and of course I got him the bags.  I asked what his situation was and if there was anything else I could help him with.  He told me he didn’t have anywhere to sleep so we went into “the office” (which is what we call the front section of the bus) to sit down and see what we could do for him.  As we continued to talk something broke loose in Julio.  He began to share, very honestly, with me about why he was currently without a roof.  He had just been released from jail for an armed robbery that he had committed.  For whatever reason, his charges had been dismissed and he was released.  He just happened to walk by the bus and figured he’d stop and see what was going on.  We spent the next 20 minutes sharing with each other some of the things that we have done in our lives that we are not all that proud of.  I have the gift of God’s forgiveness and change, which makes sharing this stuff less painful for me, but as Julio shared with me his life story and his complete astonishment that he was not spending the next 15 years to life in prison I watched him get hit with the same realization that rocks my world every time I have it, “I didn’t get what I deserved.” The pain and remorse in his eyes actually choked me up and as we continued to talk the conversation turned more to the why of it all.  And then it happened, he realized that it gracewas God that did that for him.  That despite all his best efforts God still loved him and wanted the best for him. He had the moment that happens when he decided that he didn’t deserve the favor God showed him and that he wanted to live his life in gratitude for that favor, that he wanted to give his life to God. I was able to give him a bible and a few pairs of socks, connect him with some shelter, show him what locations I would be at and give him my card.  He then helped us clean up and prayed with us (I always like to pray for a neighborhood before I leave it) and went on his way.  It honestly wasn’t even until I was on my way home that I realized what happened.  I spent the first 8 hours of my  day “just showing up” and somehow found myself in a bus on Brooke Avenue in the South Bronx weeping and praying with a four-time felon who was guilty of double-murder at the age of thirteen and had woken up that morning in jail for an armed robbery he had committed at the moment he decided to give his life to Christ. Because I just showed up.

If you would like to be a part of what we do please contact me at jeff@newyorkcityrelief.org or click here to join our monthly financial support team and designate your pledge “Relief Bus Cooks”.

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What would you do?

Check it out:

What would you do?

I would love to hear your feedback as I have never done this kind of thing before, so  be nice, but don’t be shy.

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What’s MY part? (by Rebecca)

Recently, God has really been impressing on my heart this crazy but simple reality.

It started a few weeks ago when someone who has a real genuine need for help was sharing with me her experience of going to a Christian organization she had been involved with for many years to ask for help for her family (against everything she’s been programmed to do). The response she got was, “sorry, we can’t help you, but I’m sure God will come through for you.” As I listened to this story, I found myself getting really angry. I don’t know about you, whether you’ve ever been in a situation where you feel stuck. You can have all the faith in God and His promises, and all the belief that He will come through for you…but that doesn’t put food in your kids’ stomachs, or gas in the car, or pay the rent. Faith is just that-a belief in the impossibility that somehow, someway God is going to reach down and meet this need you have, even when it doesn’t seem physically possible. Faith is hard…really, really hard.
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Recently, there was a story in the news about a boy who was an orphan. No one had ever chosen him, and he wanted a family so badly, that he got up enough nerve, borrowed a suit, and went to a church service. He stood up in front of the entire congregation, and basically begged for someone to adopt him, to want him. He was so starved for family and belonging that he was willing to swallow his pride and plead for someone to love him…wow.
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Being in a missionary family, we have the awesome privilege of trusting God to meet our needs. We also have a special connection with others who do the same. I have to say, some of the best people I have met are missionaries. They give up their ideas and dreams of what a nice secure life looks like to instead follow an unmistakable call God has put on their life. And trust me, if God puts that call on your life, there’s no mistaking it, and no getting out of it. You can’t be happy doing anything else. Missionary living means trusting that God is going to provide for you-spiritually, emotionally, and physically. You are literally dependent on God to pay your bills, choosing instead to focus that attention on leading people into relationship with God. I have yet to meet a missionary who is living completely comfortable, without worry that next month their bills will be all paid. I also have not yet met a missionary who isn’t giving out of their little to support other missionaries. It’s really something special to see.
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This is in no way a post to debate God’s provision.

For the last couple weeks, with these specific situations weighing heavily on my heart, it’s sometimes hard to understand. There are people out in this world who love God, trust God, serve God, and have faith in God, yet they go without, they’re  in need, and they feel hopeless because they can’t see a way out of the situation that they’re in. They pray, they trust God, and when all else fails, they turn to other believers to try to find some kind of answer or solution. More often than not, the response that is received is, “wow, that’s tough, I’ll pray for you.” Prayer is awesome, but after hearing about some of these really tough situations, God reminded me of something:

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” (James 2:14-17, 19, 20 NLT)

This idea of seeing our fellow Christian in need and doing nothing to practically help them is termed in the message version as “outrageous nonsense,” and it is!  See, a lot of times as a Christian, I see a need, and my first instinct is to pray for that person that has that need- “wow, I better pray for that person that God will provide for them.” After thinking through this, with a whole lot of God conviction, I felt like God was asking a question, “and HOW do you think I’ll provide for them?” Good question, God. How will you provide for them? I’ve heard these crazy stories about miracles, like food trucks breaking down outside orphanages sitting down to dinner without food, or how a missionary in Africa reported that unexplainably there was only enough food for twenty people, but somehow hundreds of people ate their fill-supernatural miracles, and those are so cool. Amazing, mind blowing stuff.

But more often than that, I hear of other types of miracles like a family who is about to be homeless being taken in by someone who knew they needed help, or an orphan who was destined to die without a family, but then someone chose them, and now they’re thriving, or an unexpected check arriving in the mail at just the right time…things some of us call “ordinary miracles”. Nothing is ordinary about the miracle-the receiver has the same result, whatever way the miracle arrived, so what makes it ordinary? The fact that the route the miracle took to get to the person was through another ordinary person, who chose to listen to God, and be a part of someone else’s extraordinary outcome.
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A lot of us, myself included, hear God’s question, “How do you think I’ll provide for them?” And our genuine, honest answer is, “You’ll probably use someone else.” We might not SAY that, but we hope that God will put that specific person and their specific need on someone’s heart who can actually help-someone who has more space in their house, or more love to offer, or more money to give. I am as guilty of this as anyone, but a lot of times, we don’t stop to consider,

God might actually want to use me to meet this need.

Me-with my less than ideal amount of space, or not as much as the other person’s capacity of love to give, or my lack of money-God just might want to use ordinary me to accomplish something extraordinary. “Truth is, God could reach down and unlock all the chains Himself, chains of poverty, illness, addiction, loneliness, suffering. He could do all the work because He is the only answer, the only way out. But He loves us so much that He chooses to let us join in the redemption of others. He requires this of us because He knows that in laying our lives down, we are rescued…It should feel like a no-brainer. All the while, He waves us over to the gutter, where He waits. That is the size of His love, that He would invite imperfect, broken us out into the world with Him. He asks us to share in His story for another broken human knowing we all walk away healed.” (Flowerpatchfarmgirl.blogspot.com)

God has kind of shaken up my world with this, and I hope He does yours too. Not all of us are called to meet every need for everyone in the kingdom of God. However, I know for certain that God has chosen YOU to meet a specific need in His kingdom. Maybe it’s helping out a family struggling to make ends meet, maybe it’s foster care or adopting an orphan, maybe it’s supporting a missionary…I don’t know what your thing is, but God does, and chances are if you ask Him, you’ll find He’s already trying to tell you.

“The Chinese have a proverb: “If two men feed a horse, it will lose weight; if two men keep a boat, it will soon leak.” What is everybody’s job is nobody’s job.”(J. Herbert Kane)

I’m tired of seeing needs go unmet in God’s kingdom because I look at everything as something He will put on someone else’s heart to do.

I’m taking ownership of my part from here on out, will you join me?

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If you want to help out with supporting the family mentioned above, please contact me for more information.

If supporting a missionary is what God puts on your heart, we’d love to have you join our support team: https://donate.reliefbus.org/ (Designate it “Relief Bus Cooks”)

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Real Value

Truth be told, more often than not, I feel like a fraud. I get to do this really amazing thing 3d man tied with text 'fraud' after committing crime.with my life; and through that, I get to see God do really incredible things for people. For some reason, maybe it is the culture we live in, people sometimes act like this has anything to do with me. I assure you, it does not. And I don’t mean that in that false humility kind of way in which the “right” thing to do is to shift the focus onto God. I really mean it has NOTHING to do with me. The reality of the situation is that I am a lost, confused and broken human being; no more and no less. I have been fortunate enough to accomplish a couple of things in my life. I got a couple degrees, helped a couple of folks and had some really cool experiences; but that was only because I found people who had what I wanted and did what they did to get what they got. It’s not rocket science. (Although I bet rocket science works the same way.)

I am not trying to say that I have not worked hard at attaining my goals in life, because I humble yourselfhave. What I am trying to say is that it is not because I am in some way special, it is because I was able to get humble, take direction and persevere. A strange thing happens when you live in a humble state, you tend to achieve things. As a result, people start to think well of you, and if your experience is anything like mine, they are kind enough to tell you. The drawback with that is that it feels good. Sure, in the moment, it is probably uncomfortable and I will find a way to make some joke at my own expense to cut the tension, but at the end of the day it feels good when people recognize the outcome of the things I have worked for. It is a relief from the self-doubt and isolation that I often experience. The only problem is that the outcome never belonged to me.

I have felt alone, rejected and unworthy my entire life. Of course, it was much worse before my relationship with God, but part of my basic human nature is to feel isolated and less than. If you want to be theological, look at Adam and Eve. The moment they realized they were naked they sewed fig leaves to cover their shame and hid from God as soon as they heard Him coming. If you want to be psychological, as we mature we develop what are referred to as “ego boundaries” that essentially define who we are. As a result, however, we exist in a state of psychological isolation. That’s why it feels so good to “fall in love” or be accepted into a new group. And it is why “belonging” is one of five essential areas of need described on Maslow’s hierarchy. (just Google “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”) The bottom line is that ultimately human beings, by their very nature, long to be loved and accepted because it provides us temporary relief from the pain and discomfort of life. In his book, “The Beatitudes” Simon Tugwell put it this way:

We either fled our own reality or manufactured a false self which is mostly admirable, mildly prepossessing and superficially happy. We hide what we know or feel ourselves to be (which we assume to be unacceptable and unlovable) behind some kind of appearance which we hope will be more pleasing.

*This is evidenced by the amount of time I spent picking out the font for this quote.

The simple truth is that we all wish we were a taller, smaller, smarter, funnier, kinder, better looking, wealthier, happier, fill-in-the-blank versions of ourselves. We wish we dovewere more valuable; whatever that word means to us. What I have discovered, however, is that it has nothing to do with what that word means to us. Because if I am defining what makes me valuable, I will never be satisfied. When I was 16 big muscles made me valuable; when I was 23 the ability to get and keep a good job made me valuable; when I was 30 marrying a woman like Rebecca made me valuable. Why would it be any different just because serving God and helping others is what I think makes me valuable now? You could argue that it is different now because those are things that God values so they must be important. And I am not going to imply that they aren’t, but here’s the big secret:

the value doesn’t lie in the actions, it rests in the one who’s valuing them.

It is not uncommon in spiritual circles to hear people express the notion that we are responsible for the foot work and God is responsible for the outcome. It is no different when it comes to what makes us valuable. Yes, that actions matter. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself, trust me, you won’t be sorry. But don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking that is why you are valuable. It is because of the one who values you. He is the one who takes away the inherent discomfort of life in this world.

I have come to trust that if I spend my days being responsible to be the best version of myself that I honestly am, God will not only provide for my needs, He will value me. That is better than anything I could have ever hoped for.

Personal Note:

A lot of people who read this blog know that I am married to an amazing woman and have duckfacethe coolest almost 4 year old ever. We recently discovered that our family will be growing by 1 in late January. We are incredibly excited but living as missionaries means that God meets our basic needs, and those needs are about to change. Rebecca and I count ourselves more than blessed to live the life we live and have a lot of amazing people who support us each month to make what we do possible. But here’s the deal. Because all staff raise their own support, New York City Relief is able to pour its organizational resources into the people we are trying to reach. Additionally, any illusion that we (my family and myself) are operating under our own strength is completely illuminated. However, I am forced to step outside my comfort zone and ask for help. We do not have enough support coming in each month to cover our expenses, especially if you add an additional child. So I am straight asking if you would please consider joining our monthly support team. I promise you won’t regret it. If you are already on our support team (THANK YOU) do you know anyone that you could get to join. Please feel free to either click here and designate your support “Relief Bus Cooks” or email me at jeff@newyorkcityrelief.org with any questions, comments or ideas.

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What’s your calling, really?

 

I think that seminary gets a bad rep now-a-days. A lot of people argue that it is a place where head knowledge is attained and potential ministers loose touch with the heart beat atsof ministry and the desires of God. I had the complete opposite experience. Yes, I learned a ton of intellectual stuff in my three years at ATS, (I will not even get into the value in that) but there can be no question that I did not truly understand myself as a minister or my calling into God’s service before I went. I knew that God wanted me to go to seminary and I knew that I was going to spend my life serving Him in some way, I just didn’t know how. I remember one of my first classes the Professor asked everyone to stand up, introduce themselves and share where they currently served in ministry and what God was calling them to. Most everyone in the class was already serving as an elder or a pastor or associate pastor at some church and they knew that they were called to be a youth pastor or a senior pastor or a worship pastor etc…I stood up, announces that I worked security for the kids program at my church and that I know I was meant to be there but had no idea where I was meant to go. To be honest, I was embarrassed that I seemed so far behind everyone else. It wasn’t until my final year that I realized I was actually better off than most.

Since I didn’t grow up in the church there are a lot of cultural things in Christianity that have no impact on me. I simply see them from a fresh perspective here and now. There have been many times I have read a passage in the Bible and decided to preach on it only to find out from Rebecca that everyone has preached on that passage. I guess things become cliché for a reason. Regardless, the one good decision I have consistently made for a long time now is to follow God anyway. It was that good decision that helped me really understand what it is to be called in ministry. This may sound a little outside the box for some, but bare with me.

During my third year in seminary I took a class called Spiritual Formation Capstone. It preachingwas the final course in a three year spiritual formation progression that every MDiv student was required to take in order to graduate. (Thank you ATS) The purpose of this particular course was to discern, based on all we had learned over the last three years, what God was calling us to. At the beginning of the semester I was pretty sure that God was calling me to be a Spiritual Formation Pastor. Everything that He had done in me and the strengths and gifts He had given me all seemed to point in that direction. I had been set free from a life of complete captivity, I had been redeemed in spite of my consistent track record of bad decisions, and I had been loved through each and every moment of my life where I was, by all earthly standards, unlovable. As a result, God had instilled in me the ability to love people no matter where they are at, to see the person God originally designed them to be and a strange ability to connect with people so that they knew that when I told them there was freedom available, they believed me. I had spent time looking at all of the different pastor jobs and it seemed like this would be the best fit. So I decided that I was called to be a Spiritual Formation Pastor. I even went so far as to figure out what population I would be most effective in, hence our intended move to Western Australia. (See Here We Go) I had considered this from every angle, so imagine my surprise when I found out I that no one is called to be a Spiritual Formation Pastor. For that matter, no is called to be a pastor period. Now if the reaction of my class has anything to say about it, you might feel a little threatened by that statement, but please stick with me.

If you spend some time looking through the Bible there is really only one thing we are ever called by God to be, children of God. Anything else is an expression of that calling. Some actually call is a “secondary calling”. That is where the confusion can come in. It is easy to over-spiritualize a vocation. God may full well intend for us to be in a certain role with a certain organization at a certain time, I certainly know that is the case with me, but my calling is not now, never has been, and never will be my vocation.

Jesus, as usual, was a great example. Was He called to be a Prophet? a Healer? a Teacher? He makes it pretty clear in Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man came to seek and to luke19save the lost.” It was His purpose, the item He came here to accomplish that was His calling. Everything that Jesus did throughout His entire ministry, every role He filled, was geared toward that one purpose. That was His calling. For me, the expression of my calling as a child of God, or my “secondary calling” is to love relentlessly, proclaim freedom, and connect others to God, period. It is my purpose and always will be. Everything God directs me to do, both vocationally and otherwise, is for the fulfillment of that purpose, that calling. I was so blessed to realize this because if I hadn’t, I would probably be in Western Australia right now trying to figure out why something just didn’t seem right. Instead, I spent 20 minutes on Cortland Ave in the South Bronx on a Thursday morning in July and knew exactly where God had me. The reason I struggled so long trying to figure out what God wanted me to do was because I was looking in all the wrong places. The moment I identified what my real calling was discerning what God was directing me to do was simple and clear.

I serve with an organization whose primary purpose is to love relentlessly, proclaim freedom to captives and connect others to God. If my focus was on the logistics of it all, I mightout the buswhave missed His plan for my life. Don’t be confused by logistics and practicalities. This is why we always say that we are simply the physical extension of the folks who are on our monthly financial support team. Right now, as I sit here writing this, there are 31 people who have the same calling I do, the only difference is in how we accomplish it. If you think this might be your calling too, please feel free to email me at jeff@newyorkcityrelief.org or just click here and designate your support “Relief Bus Cooks”. I promise you won’t regret it.

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A Family Affair

 

duckfaceEveryone who has ever served in any form of ministry knows that it is impossible for it not to involve your entire family. I used to worry about this fact. I realized that any sacrifice I make to serve God will also be made by Rebecca and Noah. At first this was a hard pill to swallow. But the more time I spend with New York City Relief, the more I am thankful for the inclusive nature of ministry. About a month ago I had the chance to bring Rebecca and Noah to the South Bronx with me. The second we got off the bus Noah was delighted! It didn’t take long before he was layingrunning back and forth with the kids from the neighborhood smiling ear to ear. I realized, while watching him, that kids don’t think about whether or not other kids have money, a home or a job. They just engage with whoever is right in front of them. Noah even spent time engaging with some of the volunteers. One young lady in particular that was serving with us from YWAM Norway had a new best friend. I cannot even tell you how much fun it was to see my little boy become a part of one of the neighborhoods God has allowed me to care for!

BeckyonthestreetAs if seeing my son so at home wasn’t enough, Rebecca absolutely came to life. In a lot of situations in our life nowadays, people tend to talk about what I have been through and what I do to love others but my wife is a true gift from God. Not only to Noah and I, but to anyone fortunate enough to come into contact with her. Watching her completely at home in a situation that I have seen many pastors need some time to get comfortable with was a joy.
I may blog about my experience a lot because that is what I collage1know best, but please do not ever be confused, their are THREE missionaries in this family. As a family, we have made it our life’s focus to Love God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And for us, our neighborhood includes Chelsea, Harlem, the Bronx and Newark (and any one else we happen to cross paths with.) I cannot imagine doing this thing any other way.
Our God is amazing and continues to make a way for us to do this. We are eternally grateful for all of you who support us, but truth be told, we have been operating at 60% of our budget for the last three months and it is just not sustainable. It is my greatest desire to spend as long as God would have us serving the homeless and the urban poor in the NYC area so I am making a plea here. If you already support us, THANK YOU and do you know anyone else with a heart for this kind of ministry that you could connect us with? and if you are not currently a part of our team, would you be willing to have a conversation with me about that? I can say with absolute confidence and certainty that everyone I know who has sacrificed to support the work being done by New York City Relief has been blessed beyond measure. So please consider supporting us (or supporting us further) in this way. If you would like to chat please feel free to email me at jeff@newyorkcityrelief.org or call me at (973)668-0534. If you don’t need to chat, you just know that this is something you want to be a part of just click here and designate your monthly support to “The Relief Bus Cooks”. I am certain you won’t regret it.

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