I am deeply grateful for the privilege to know the 6 women of God serving NYC Relief, Nomi Network and Restore NYC this summer. They are committing 50 days to loving their neighbors and hearing from God.
Alison Lashower has roots in Westchester but grew up in South Carolina and goes to University of South Carolina. Anna Smith is a New Yorker! She graduated from Adelphi in May and is headed to Fordham U in the fall to focus on social work. Brianna Copeland is a rising senior at James Madison University, grew up in Manassas, and is super skilled with a camera. Catherine Fowler calls upstate NY home and is in her last year at SUNY-Old Westbury looking to see Jesus move with power at NYCUP. Kaitlyn Levis is also from James Madison University, tidewater is home and I'm not so secretly hoping she heads up to NYC after graduation! Last but certainly not least, the budding lawyer in our midst is Taylor Maurer from the University of Delaware whose roots are outside Philadelphia.
Taylor is our solo intern at Restore NYC this year and Nomi Network fields Anna Smith, Brianna Copeland, and Catherine Fowler. Alison Lashower and Kaitlyn Levis are serving alongside NYC Relief.
Here they are in their own words:
From Catherine, "My prayer going into this program was to become more emotionally available to people and to have more compassion for those who are marginalized and vulnerable to exploitation. I did not know what that would mean and what process God would take me through for that to become a reality. Click here to read the whole post!
From Brianna, "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... meet Laurianne here!
From Anna, "There are things that happen in this world which we do not understand, but God's light and grace are so much brighter than the darkness. I am bothered and burdened by the things that I hear and see and yet I have hope that God can restore and bring life to these things that otherwise would seem dead. I am getting better at "emotional volleyball"-hearing the difficult things around me and then remembering to give it back to God. It is hard to sum up the week I have had in a few words but one thing I can say without a fraction of a doubt is that God is faithful! I hope that you can say that too!"
From Allison, "we got to pray for man named Carlos who was from Puerto Rico and suffering with several skin afflictions. Randomly, we ended up in church in Manhattan during the nightly prayer meeting. It was beautiful-but what came next was completely unexpected. Right after we left, we saw a man sitting on the steps of the church. His name was Tony and he was so awesome! He was filled with so much joy and shared several stories with us. We were able to share some food with him and pray for his knee and his friend's arm who came by. Before leaving, he offered to pray for us and recited the Serenity Prayer! Such an awesome encounter."
From Kaitlyn, "As the train came to the next stop, I saw that there was an older man sitting on the bench. The doors opened and the crowds at the doors switched cars. The man I saw had matted hair, dirty clothes on with a lot of holes, and a bag of his belongings. He was homeless. I realized that the smell was coming from him. When I noticed him sitting there, I was faced with a choice. I could get off the train and move to a car I would be more comfortable in or I could stay. I could run away or move closer. With hesitation, I moved closer. I asked the man if I could sit down next to him. He looked up at me, smiled, and said yes. As I sat down, I noticed that his white sneakers and jeans..." Read more here!
From Taylor, "The most exciting part of the week, however, was my involvement in a crisis response situation with a new client. We needed to switch her to a new hotel for safety reasons, so my co-worker Gabrielle and I traveled across Manhattan to help her move her stuff, get checked in, and get something to eat. Although I was not expecting to meet a trafficking survivor so soon, I was grateful for the opportunity to assist her and speak with her. She was very spunky, very friendly, and very ready to move on from her old life. I am happy that we were able to relocate her safely, and I hope that I am lucky enough to meet more inspirational women like her."
It is a privilege of mine to do this work and I am grateful for your prayerful support. Please continue to pray for us as we serve and all of those we will meet. So, how can you be a part of this? Visit Let's Talk Avodah!
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