The opportunity to go to New York came unexpectedly after Darryl returned from there with the invitation from Samaritan's Purse for the Counseling and Stephen Ministry to go and give whatever assistance God might use. As the plans developed, it was decided to send two groups before year end to work through the Billy Graham Association and Samaritan's Purse who provide volunteers to other ministries working throughout metropolitan New York City. As the year winds down many of these ministries will wrap up their monumental work as the hope of stabilization and a small sense of normal returns to the country and to New York.
The first group will depart on December 9th and return on December 15th, and the second group will leave the following morning (the 16th) and return on the 22nd.
In the weeks since the opportunity presented itself, SBC has had the teams approved by the Graham Association, and given both an orientation and mini-seminar on working with those who have suffered from great trauma. Since this effort is beyond the time limit for effective official debriefings (usually completed within 72 hours of the critical incident), it will be more of a listening ministry, and offering the cup of the cool waters of hope and Christ's love where desired. As the Lord has instructed us: "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence", please pray for those believing workers in NYC who desire this opportunity.
We've been advised to come with no agenda of our own, no expectations and to be available and accept whatever assignment we receive each day, as the needs are many, and the workers few for the needed tasks.
If you are led to do so, please support this effort with prayer and aid. The work there is really just begun, and the recovery effort for the fire department, police, National Guard, and construction workers will not be completed before Spring. The need will continue, and perhaps grow as the stress of this recovery effort drags on, and until the economy perks up for those who have lost their homes, their jobs and for some their hope. Mark any donations you want directed to this effort to "New York Counseling".
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