Ministry to the Homeless in New York City

by Roberta Schneider

On the weekend of February 15-17 2002, a team of nine people from St. Paul's participated in two days of hands-on training and ministry to the homeless people of New York City. During the weekend, our volunteers were housed, fed and trained at the New York School of Urban Ministry in Queens. This is a school that launches and trains people coming from churches far and wide during the period of November through March. They share in the work of the churches in the City which are, themselves, overwhelmed by the needs of the homeless during the cold winter months.

Sharing in the practical work there at the school, for example making sandwiches, cleaning the kitchen and loading vans with food, blankets and clothing, the team also went out at night with experienced leaders who know where to find the street people, and how to interact with them to bring them the love of God.

So many on the streets welcomed not only the necessities offered to them, but prayer offered for them, and a Bible. Some of those we met were our Christian brothers and sisters. And some encounters unmistakably were Divine Appointments!

It was a life-changing experience for some of our team members, one of whom said that he no longer wanted to do this kind of outreach for just a weekend, but rather, as a lifetime vocation.