Tag Archives: team

iServe Video (check it out!)

This is the iServe video I made for General Conference.  It will also soon be on the new NewYorkIsCalling.com website.


It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty proud of it.  Video editing is like digital scrapbooking, beautiful, but time consuming.  Wordpress will charge me $60 if I upload a video to this site (rip off), so instead, I’m sending you to youtube.  So please, click on the link and see what I’ve been doing while the teams are here.


la cucaracha x2 (na na na na na na na)

Team three got in last night.  This one’s staying with me in Queens, while team two is still out a Brooklyn.  There both nice groups.  Today, we were out canvassing for children’s programs and English classes in Jackson Heights, Queens, which was great because we had a lot of people, covered a lot of ground, and last time I did this we only got the word out about the English classes.  I think the kids understood how what they were doing opened a lot of doors for long term ministry in the community too, which is great.  After work we went to F.O. Schwartz, which you might recognize if you’re a Tom Hanks fan (think Big)

Giant Toy Store


Recognize this seen? Guess what store has it...in addition to things like a $25,000 Barbie foosball tables

I really enjoy showing teams around, but it is exhausting.  Tiredness is exacerbated by lack of sleep too, so that’s been hard.  On another note, and for your sake, I’ll skip the details. I never want to see another cockroach (dead or alive) in my life.

Crunch Time

Now that the team is gone, it’s back to work on materials for general conference.  I have 4gb of photos and video to sort through, PR displays to assemble, a loose ends to find.  It’s time to dig up my high school iMovie skills and hope that I can still make something that looks good.  Jeff is giving me all the written information I need, but I’m in charge of the visual displays.  It’s also important to keep in mind a lot of the materials I’ll be using will also be used for the next year or two, so I’m needing to think ahead to what I don’t need now, but soon will.

And…there are only 3 days before the next team arrives.  And after that one leaves, another comes right away.  This is great.  It just means I’m not going to be getting much sleep.  (you wouldn’t either with a dozen or so giggling girls outside your bedroom door!)

Sunny, Silent, then Sleepless (but the good kind)

The first three weeks moved at pace that was completely set by me, which had its advantages, but also some significant challenges, like the absence of people.  I was completely in control of my own life, but only because I preparing work to reach out to people.  I just wasn’t doing it yet.  -Well, that’s changed.  It’s no longer just about preparing, which I am so excited for.

A group of teens at Swan Creek Community Church just headed back on their bus to Delta, Ohio.  I was able to write about a few of my experiences with them while they were here, but just know that so much more happened.  The first 48 hours felt more like a week, but in a bad way.  We just accomplished a lot.

On Sunday morning the team headed out to a Haitian Missionary Church in Long Island and we all experienced our first service in Creole.  After service, Swan Creek put on a children’s program for the kids, which I hear went really well.  I didn’t have a part in their little production, so ducked out with Swan Creek’s youth pastor, Josh, to hang out with the teens.  I have to say that was definitely one of the highlights of the week for me.  Josh asked a couple opening questions without much of a response.  He walked the group through a devotional, still without much interaction.

Afterward though, God broke through.  One girl started talking, I commented with a question, and the group got going.  The formerly totally silent crew started sharing their thoughts about their church and community.  It was really cool for me because I’ve led groups like this before, and sometimes I’ve gotten to a point like that, but it usually doesn’t happen in one meeting.  I also observed the importance and value of tag teaming.  I wasn’t leading the discussion or anything, Josh was, but before people really started talking I jumped in once or twice, which I think helped break the ice.  It was nothing major, but I’ve been spending a lot of time studying the interactions between churches, culture, and how ministry is done.  Our meeting with the teens just really felt significant.

Heather with several of the girls

Sunday night Swan Creek put on the same program at a Brazilian Church in the Bronx.  This time, we swapped the Creole for Portuguese, but I know the team still really enjoyed the worship.  I don’t any of us had ever line danced to worship music before, but that’s what they did, so we joined in.

The guys praying before leading games with the kids

On Monday, the team took part 2 of the prayer walk.  We stopped a major symbols in the city and took the time to pray on location.  Monday’s stops included Bryant Park (culture), Grand Central Station (people in the city), Pfizer World Headquarters (health), the UN (world peace), Trump International Tower (money and greed), and St. Patrick’s Cathedral (closing location/personal reflection and prayer).

All in all, a great trip.  Lots of positive experience.  Learned lots about how to do it next time too (which is good because 2 more teams are coming in the next week!)

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And I thought I was young…

First team from Swan Creek Community Church in Delta, Ohio arrived yesterday.  In the 24 hour period they’ve been here we’ve done a lot, including meeting up with some folks with Urban Impact.  We worked at a South Asian Community Center and advertised for their English Language Classes.  That was an experience.

Normally, something like passing out flyers to strangers wouldn’t phase me at all, but having been in the city for a couple weeks, it actually did.  I knew that the information we were handing out was really needed and would be well accepted, but since I’ve been here, people have constantly been trying to shove stuff in my hands.  I was afraid of being blown-off.  That couldn’t have been further from what actually happened.

Sure, people on the street won’t take paper from a stranger, but the small restaurants and stores did, eagerly.  Many people in the community we were working in do not speak English.  It is predominantly Muslim and has many immigrants.  Free English classes aren’t just a pastime.  The ability to speak English opens huge opportunities, allowing individuals to better provide for themselves and their families.

One group knocked on the door of a law office.  The lawyer came out and took our flyer.  He circled the phone number and the address and said that he would be getting the information to lots of people who would be contacting us.  The man also asked us why we were doing what we were doing, and like lots of people, asked how we were able to help people out for free.

It was only a couple of hours, but the man from Urban Impact said that he expects 80 new people to show up on Monday because of what we did.  Jeff said he anticipated us having a positive experience, but even he was a little overwhelmed with how well everything went.

The afternoon was jam-packed with cross city walking and part 1 of our prayer walk.  I’d been to Ground Zero before, but being at St. Paul’s, where all the rescue workers rested after 9/11 was unbelievable.  There’s something amazing about how the whole space was used, looking at the pew George Washington sat in and reading on the plaque behind it how in a time of need, even this great piece of American history was used to provide for rescue workers.

Reconstruction at Ground Zero

inside St. Paul's

We had dinner in China town, and I had my first try at haggling.  After that, I ran the group through Central Park, and we sat down for a devotional time.

Even though it takes the few extra minutes I have, I’ve made a point of talking to the girls on the team every time I can.  I figure the work we are doing is great, but the relationships, among ourselves and those we are serving is how God’s going to be working.  The point of everything that we are doing is to build those relationships.

I’m young and energetic, but after a day like yesterday, today, and what’s coming tomorrow and Monday, whew let’s just say it’s a lot of work.  Good work though.

A Lesser woman would faint…

No A/C.  Feels like 96?  High of 97?  Live on the 4th floor?

It’s not so bad, as long as I keep a fan about six inches from where I’m working.  At night, I bring both of them into my room and place them right by my bed.  Besides, a team (yea my first team!) is arriving tomorrow night, and when they arrive, I’ll turn the A/C on.  It will be fun to have them here and to tag along on some of their adventures during the day.  I must say I am especially looking forward to joining the group on their  prayer walk and going to see Phantom of the Opera.