Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mexico Adventures (Day 2)

Adventure #3
QUEST FOR PEACE
(morning view - cup of coffee in hand, still in PJ's - nowhere to rush)
(afternoon view - speaks for itself - still nowhere to rush)

Adventure #4
QUEST FOR SIMPLE FUN

Time to kick off shoes

go look for sea shells

and play in the sand




Adventure #5
QUEST FOR NATURAL BEAUTY
One of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.

Mexico Adventures (Day 1)


Adventure #1

QUEST FOR JAVA

Of course we brought coffee with us but we felt like exploring. So we're off to scavenge the land for a good coffee shop.

There is no Starbucks in Puerto Penasco but smart locals have come up with a substitute coffee shop called Santana's Coffee (check out their logo). The logo looks just like Starbucks from far away and draws the tourists in.

Our choice of the day however was a small place called Max's - located away from the busy tourist area.


Max's Cafe boasts free Wi-Fi and a full espresso bar.

(Milky Way Latte - yummy goodness of espresso, caramel, chocolate and milk)

(We ended up having lunch @ Max's and here's the photo of my Nachos Supreme
- doesn't look too exciting but it was oh so yummy)



Adventure #2

QUEST FOR ICE-CREAM
So... we like ice-cream... a lot... And how can you experience the culture without trying what you like?

(aren't these ice-cream bars so super cute??? - they were yummy too)

... to be continued ...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

...in search of all things beautiful...

One of my facebook friends once had a profile status: [name] is in search of all things beautiful.

What is beautiful to you? Where do you see beauty?

In a majestic tapestry of fall colors? In steady breath of a sleeping child? In a hand of your wife firmly planted in yours as you pray over your meal? In undefeated strength of the Alps? In the hand of Michelangelo?

I saw beauty this week.

On Monday Metro Ministries with the generous financial support of Kraupner Pharmacy hosted our annual event called "Night of 100 Stars". The event is organized by a man who used to be a transvestite prostitute and drug addict. After Christ set him free from this lifestyle, his heart was broken for people just like him who are “looking for love in all the wrong places” and wouldn’t come to Christ because most churches are afraid to reach out to them. So he decided to create a night that shows these women God’s true love in a way they never have experienced before. The ladies are picked up from local drug rehabs and shelters and treated to a grand day out. It starts with a makeover. They have their hair and nails done, and receive a gown that they get to keep after the event. Then they are escorted into a banquet in their honor and are announced by name as honored guests as they enter. After dinner the gospel message is presented with a powerful drama. Many women come to the altar and allow Jesus to set them free.

They were so beautiful. I wish I could post many pictures but I am choosing not to (to protect the ladies' privacy). Even more than having you look at the pictures - I wish you could have been there. I wish you could have seen all that inner beauty and strength burst out from under the layers of toughness and the toil that the substance abuse would take on your life. There was joy in their eyes now. I would look at them and couldn't help but say "You look fabulous" and their teary-eyed response made me see how it was so worth it.

At the banquet I sat at one of the tables with the ladies. It was a blessing to see all 5 of them respond to the altar call. My prayer today is that they will be able to stand strong through the testing of their decision to follow Christ and come to church on Sunday and get rooted in the Word of God.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Washington, D.C.

Last Monday our team went on a road trip to Washington DC. It was amazing for all of us foreigners to visit the capital of the nation that we serve in ministry. A few of us have been here before but it was great to be reminded once again of the freedom that this country offers to those who come here.






Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What have we been up to...

Wow - there's a lot going on here in NYC and we have been very busy. Soon we'll find a time to do a good update on this blog but for now we hope you enjoy the condensed version ;)

Fall is beautiful here. For years I was more of a spring fan but this year the majestic colors and the fresh crisp air captured my heart. Bryan & I took a lovely walk in Prospect Park on Monday and I am now officially in love with fall.

Fall is also the busiest time in ministry. Somehow people are more open to the gospel during holiday season. It is getting colder outside but we still do our best to reach as many kids and adults for Christ as possible every day.




The church has also done (and continues to do) many different events. 2 weeks ago we held a beautiful event called "All Nations" (Bryan will write an update on it soon). Last Sunday there was a private screening for "To Save A Life" - an amazing movie that raises a lot of questions about hurting high school teens but also provides answers. The movie will be out in January. This coming Sunday is a couple's meeting. And of course for the past couple of weeks we've also been wrapping Christmas gifts for our Christmas outreach. Needless to say we've been busy busy busy.
Please keep praying for us to stay close to the heart of God and minister His love to those who are hurting.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bounce House Praise Report

Just wanted to share our joy - in less than a week all the money needed for the bounce house was raised... Yay!!! It'll be coming soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bounce House

Hey!

So... we have a slight issue in our Preschool Class... the bounce house we use is not too bouncy any more... [sniff sniff]... that means we need a new one...
Isn't it beautiful?

Beautiful - yes! and more durable.

But expensive too. We only have $100 to buy it and the price is $599.

We would like to get one. If you'd like to help us out and donate towards this purchase - please shoot me a quick email and I'll let you know how you can do that.

This is why...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to the Army!!!

Here we are - a new semester of Sidewalk Sunday School started today. I would like for you to meet my team this semester
Janelle from Canada (my "old" staff), Bryan & I, Susi from Germany (my new staff - yay!!!), Jessica from Germany, Zanita from USA and in the front - Stephan from Holland
Watch out - they are the ones that are making it happen this semester ;)
We kicked off with a great day today. It was cold and windy in Queens but we had a great time teaching the kids how they are soldiers in God's army and what that means for them.

Please pray for us this semester.

Fight on for God” (1 Timothy 6:12a)

Friday, September 18, 2009

What Am I Laboring For?

"Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." (Psalm 127:1)

I am not laboring for acceptance or promotion, recognition or reward.
I am laboring to see His fruit in my life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our trip to Belarus

Bryan and I returned from our trip to Belarus on Friday. Bryan will write more about his observations later but for now I just wanted to share a quick slide show from the trip with you.

I found Chester!!!

Looks like Chester is doing really well these days...



if you're like... WHAT??? - then watch the post below ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Chester"

So... this is Jeremiah - my brother-in-law... I think this video is hilarious...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fun Zone 2009

(by Helen)

We have just finished 2 weeks of Summer Day Camp here in New York. It is difficult for me to find proper words to express to you what a wonderful time this had been. So I put together a small video instead.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our First Anniversary

(by Helen)

Bryan & I have been married for a year already.

Even with all the gifts we've been getting from family and friends and all the facebook wishes I don't think it fully hit us until this morning. But when it did - it hit us with an overwhelming gratitude to God for giving us each other, for giving us this year together, for sustaining us on our journey.

our anniversary breakfast in an undisclosed location in Brooklyn


our anniversary date - New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
(we found this little forgotten airplane and I couldn't resist climbing it)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Diner With The Best View

(by Helen)

Yesterday we had a party for my friend Lydia. Lydia was an intern on my team in Fall 2006 and later came back on staff to do Sidewalk Sunday School in Harlem. After 2.5 years on staff Lydia is moving on & going to Bible School in California. I'll miss her but I am excited about the things that God has in store for her.

(Lydia & I in Preschool Class)
We went to the beach for a little bit and then we discovered (ok, I know Christfried found it like a year ago but that was my first time being there) this beautiful little diner. We had to wait quite a bit for our food but the food was yummy... and let me share the view.



Independence Day 2009








Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Green Card Update

(by Helen)

Just so everyone knows - I got my permanent resident card in the mail last week.

Yay!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Close enough to Jesus

(by Helen)

This past Saturday Bryan & I were at Celebrate America held annually at Eisenhower Park in Long Island. Part of the program was the world class fireworks show. I've never considered myself big fan of fireworks. They were pretty all right but hardly so wonderful as to bother being stuck in a crowd fighting for a decent view of a few colorful splashes. So I never really cared much about fireworks.

This Saturday I changed my mind. Bryan & I were sitting on top of a small hill only a few yards away from the fireworks, the entire show unveiling right in front of our eyes. I was mesmerized by beautiful colors of the fireworks staged perfectly to the music. I discovered that I love watching fireworks!!!

As I traveled home I thought how that could apply to my life with God. I know that miracles and wonders will follow those who believe. I know that our God is great in splendor and majestic in glory... and yet... I don't always see that... I get distracted... stressed... disappointed... and consequently lose joy and love for God, people around me and what I do in ministry...

... could it be that I am not close enough???

See, I fell in love with fireworks when I got close enough to see them in all their beauty. I've learned this weekend that if I only get close enough to the heart of God all the petty things will cease to matter and my eyes will be fastened on Him in all His glory.

"...let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us..." Psalm 90:17

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Am Grateful...

(by Helen)

As I look back at the past four months of Spring Semester 2009 here at Metro Ministries - I am oh so grateful.

1) I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who has given me hope and encouragement and strength without measure (and I needed lots this semester).

2) I am grateful for my husband Bryan who loved me every day... and still does :)

3) I am grateful for my teammate Janelle who carried a double load this semester with great attitude.

4) I am grateful for my interns: Danielle, Emily, Tobias who determined to do whatever it takes to reach kids in Queens and tried their hardest to do their best.

5) I am grateful for the leadership of Metro and pastor Bill Wilson who gave me an opportunity and covering to preach the gospel on the streets of New York City.

6) I am grateful for sunny days on Sidewalk ;)

7) I am grateful for all my friends - here in NYC and all over the world (yes, that means YOU)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Barbershop & Nail Parlor Week @ Sunday School

(by Helen)

We had a good week in Sunday School as we turned our Sidewalk Sunday School truck into a barbershop and nail parlor.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bounce House Fun


(by Helen)

Today we had a chance to take a bounce house with us on site. Kids had a lot of fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Amazing Race Divisional Outing

(by Helen)

This Sunday our Sidewalk Sunday School team got together with another team from Queens. We decided to send them on a race through the city. Enjoy a little video I put together ;)

for all of you from Division 13 who did not come - y'all missed out

Monday, May 4, 2009

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
(1 Corinthians 4:2)



(by Helen)


Yesterday our church hosted our annual Viva Mexico outreach. It was exciting to see that many people did come out and stayed for the event despite heavy rain. The party migrated inside. It was really packed but still about 75 people came up for an altar call at the end.

Instead of retelling you all the things that happened at Viva Mexico, I would like to introduce you to one child. His name is Jy'Len. I met Jy'Len and his family when I was doing Sidewalk Sunday School in Harlem. They were wonderful people. I was trying hard to get them to church and they did come for a while and then stopped again.

It was frustrating for me to see that despite many efforts Jy'Len's family was no longer in church. Time came for me to move on and take over my current team in Queens. I said good-bye to Harlem but as much as it depended on me I tried to keep in touch with Jy'Len's family.

Several weeks ago I walked into a church service and could not believe my eyes: I saw Jy'Len's grandmother with Jy'Len. They started coming to church and so far I've seen them every week. I am so grateful that I have been here in the ministry long enough to see the fruit of my effort. Sometimes it's easy to want to quit because as we pour into the lives of the children here in the ghettos of NYC we often see little change. But this month as I reconnected with their family I was reminded once again that if I stay faithful I may be able to see more fruit.




Jy'Len & I at Viva Mexico

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rain Rain Go AWAY (and do NOT come back)

(by Bryan)

They say no weather will keep postal workers from their appointed rounds. Well, the same is true of Sidewalk Sunday School teachers. We have had quite a few rainy days on our site, but that doesn't stop us from preaching the Word of God. Below is a video of me teaching a story in pouring down rain. As you can see, children are hungry for the love of God and they can't be kept away by a few rain showers either.


Monday, April 27, 2009

M&M's dance

(by Helen)

This week past we had an M&M's Madness week in our Sidewalk Sunday School.

Enjoy the M&M's dance!!

(starring Emily as Red & Danielle as Yellow)

Cardboard testimonies

Bumped into this through a friend's blog... so powerful... reposting
Watch it here.

Princess Tea Party 2009

- Do you really think I'm royalty?
(Meg Ryan as Anastasia in "Anastasia")
(by Helen)
This year I had an incredible opportunity to bring 18 girls from the areas we minister to Princess Tea Party - a special event sponsored by Women of Excellence Foundation. The girls loved getting dressed in pretty outfits, learning the princess wave, meeting Disney princesses, eating food, and taking pictures. They had an amazing time. I was trying to think of words to explain how much it meant to them - but I thought I'd rather let the girls speak for themselves (see video)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Helen's Big Sidewalk Birthday Bash

(by Helen)





This week I have celebrated my birthday with my Sunday School kids. Bryan & I baked hundreds of cupcakes and twisted dozens of animal balloons. Kids brought their self-made birthday cards (they were not allowed to buy one). It's amazing how creative they were. Please enjoy some photos from that day.
(our lesson was on how giving into offense can rob them of the power of God working in their lives)

(kids enjoyed animal balloons)

(Deanna made a very pretty birthday card with a pop-up of my name)

(more animal balloons)


(with some of my faithful girls)

It was a wonderful week with 225 kids showing up for "Helen's Birthday Bash" on my site on Friday. I am looking forward to next week.




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