So I’ve made it through my first week of my NYCUP Summer Internship!! So much has happened all ready. God has already drawn me so close to my housemates and has revealed so much of his wisdom to me in this short week.
One major concept of the New York City Urban Project is Feed 500. This idea is based off of Matthew 14:13-21, in which Jesus feeds 5000 men and their families near the Sea of Galilee. What this looks like practically is walking around the city and starting conversations with its homeless population. After listening to the homeless population and getting to know them better, we offer them healthy snacks, such as a piece of fruit or a granola bar. We also offer them maps that show all of the shelters and soup kitchens in the city. At the end of the talk we ask to pray over them and if they don’t want to receive it we say God bless and then walk out of sight and pray for them as a group.
On Tuesday we went to East Harlem for our first Feed 500 of the internship. Two of the other interns and I (holla Anna and Taylor!) started walking around Harlem, searching for people to serve. We weren’t having much luck finding anyone to talk to (which think back was a good thing because it meant all these people had found jobs or were safe in shelter).
We finally walked into a courtyard of an apartment complex. I saw an older woman sitting on one of the benches with her family and the most adorable little dog. I realized in that moment that day was not just for Feed 500 but also to begin making connections and meeting new people in the community. We went up to talk to her and I learned so much. She introduced us to her husband, her granddaughter, and her new puppy, Pebbles. She shared a little about her life with us, how she was born and raised in the city and how the neighborhood had changed since her childhood.
When we asked if we could pray for her, she seemed surprised. She then told us how she has been going through some rough times financially but she continues to pray to God everyday and thank him for all the blessings he has given her. That is what got her up in the morning and that is what gave her peace at the end of the day. Everything happens for a reason.
Laurainne’s words really resonated with me.
I remembered her words as I volunteered at the Nomi Network Gala on Wednesday.
I remembered her words as we watched a scandal episode about how racial reconciliation is so necessary in this country.
I remembered her words as I went to my first day of my internship.
I remembered her words as I tried to attempt to figure out the subway and bus lines.
I remembered her words as my housemates and I took a Sabbath Day and rested.
Laurainne really set up this whole journey for me. I am so grateful to have met her and I can’t wait to be in fellowship with her at her families barbeque that she invited us too!!