Things That Make Me Happy: #58 and #59
Last weekend, the home community that I’m a part of through my church volunteered through an outreach program for the poor and homeless across New York City. It’s called the New York Relief Bus and it travels all around the New York area to help people living in the poorer neighborhoods. They serve soup and bread, provide information on jobs and housing, and they also have a collection of clothes and shoes that they give out for free. On Saturday, we went to Bushwick, in Brooklyn, to serve a community of mostly Latinos. Communication was a challenge. The majority of people spoke little to no English, and so it was difficult to really serve them. It was like being in another world almost and it made me feel very helpless to be around so many people and not have a direct way to be friends with them because of the communication barrier. But it was nice, though, that even though we couldn’t speak to each other that our actions were still helping. One station we had was face painting for the children, and it was nice to see them smile and their parents were appreciative too. I wasn’t particularly good at painting though – I’ve never been much of an artist. Serving the community was such an integral part of Jesus’ ministry that it felt good to be a tiny part of that here in the present day. It was a challenge to overcome the language barrier, but I’m glad we did it. I feel like it made us stronger relying on God that we were doing something to help others even if it was uncomfortable for us.
#59: Out of town visitors
I love having out of town visitors. One of the wonderful things about living in New York City is how many people want to come and visit! The only thing that bums me out is that I live with two girls and so I don’t really have anywhere to house people. But it’s always fun when people are able to come, even for a day, and to show them around our favorite parts of the city – the real New York as I like to call it! It’s always a fun excuse to go around and do the touristy things too, like visit the Statue of Liberty, go to the Empire State Building, or Rockefeller Center. Or even Times Square, which I normally avoid at all costs. Because, um, have you been to Times Square? It’s like Hell, only with even more people. If you’re ever in NYC, let me know. I’d love to take you around.