The team from Connection Christian Church, York, Pennsylvania, brought 46 people for the weekend. Fifteen were adults with the rest being students. The group was under the leadership of Cody Ray.
See pictures on the CE National Facebook Page.
After orientation the group prepared food and were trained in homeless ministry. They then gave out clothes, food and prayed one-on-one with homeless people. They also sang with the people on Kensington Street near the church. The group heard testimonies of people whose lives have been changed.
On Saturday, after personal time with God, they were trained in how to go from building friendships with people to personal stories of their lives and sharing Jesus with others.
At noon the group began sorting out the many foods that had been given from various places including the food bank and grocery stores. What a huge way to help people. The team went door-to-door offering free groceries, praying with people, giving out Daily Bread devotionals, and materials from the church.
The team gave leftover food to people on the streets and to people in cars as they stopped at stop signs. It was a fun time for people to receive fresh milk, potatoes, coffee, and more.
On Saturday the group walked a mile to catch a train to the 30th Street Station. While there the group formed teams and did scavenger hunts with the people. The goal was to start up conversations with people wherever they were. The desire was for people to use God-talk and develop spiritual conversations. God worked.
That evening the group had a time of personal sharing, communion, and prepared for bed.
On Sunday morning before church, the team was given a challenge from Ed Lewis on how to take this weekend back to their own place of living. The goal of the ministry is not just to love the people in Philly but to love people in their own schools, places of employment, and share Christ using words as well as actions.
The team stayed for church and ate lunch with the church people as well. What a wonderful weekend! God blessed the local church, the people in the city, and the team. God is seen in the lives of people.
Comments were numerous but here are a few…
- God opened my eyes to see that I cannot handle fear on my own, but I must learn to love people as they are and let God protect and use me.
- I was drifting away from God this year and this weekend at Urban Hope brought me closer to Him. And I want to feel more comfortable talking with people about Jesus.
- People are willing to talk about their lives if we are willing to ask and listen to their stories and interject hope into their lives. That hope comes from Christ.
- I have tried to see people not from man’s eyes but with God’s eyes. That has really helped me.
- I thought we would just walk around the city and give out food but I got to know people’s stories. And for the first time I was able to pray out loud with a guy named Bobby who has asthma.
- Before I came here my relationship with God was very weak. I had not been coming to God when I needed Him. I felt angry a lot and alone. But as soon as I was in a godly environment I felt God nudging me. I actually prayed for three people on this trip… and I felt my connection with God grow once again. I am so thankful for it!
- This changed my life! I always knew to do this and wanted to but never did. Now I feel I have the confidence to talk with people I do not know!
To find out how you can take a group to Urban Hope Philadelphia or Urban Hope Los Angeles, visit urbanhope.net.
See what else CE National does to encourage, coach, and empower students.
Work Team from Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, Helps at Urban Hope Philadelphia