The following is from the October 2021 Newsletter written by Dr. Tom Grassano
Many saw the effects of hurricane Ida in New York City. Videos of flooded streets and subways were seen on national news. We were in Bible study at The Harvest Center when the storm hit. We dismissed the people and, by God’s grace, made it to our apartment following the hazard lights on the car in front of us. The basement apartment where we stay in the home of a sister in Christ flooded with a couple inches of water, but that was nothing in comparison to what happened at The Harvest Center.
Over three feet of sewage came into our offices, conference room and library. We lost everything – desk systems, cabinets, a computer, an array of office supplies, curriculum, chairs, and even a refrigerator that chose to go swimming in the sewage. Our floors were damaged. Sheetrock, molding and electrical outlets must be repaired.
Our greatest concerns were important files (certificate of occupancy, permits and more) and photographs that chronicle the early years of the ministry. Angel, Lidia and some ladies from the Bronx worked diligently for days separating soaked paperwork and pictures and attempting to dry them out. This is where the blessings came!
The ladies who helped were women whose lives have been transformed by God’s grace. What would have been a dirty, smelly, tedious job became one filled with joy as these ladies shared their stories of where God had brought them from and all that He is doing in their lives now. We shared about the early years of the work and they rejoiced as they heard the vision once again of reaching the community outside our doors. We also reconnected with former drug dealers and rejoiced to see the fruit God is producing in their lives. God continues changing lives in the South Bronx, and we are so thankful!
Angel Grassano shared a beautiful testimony about her worship experience the following Sunday: “I was standing in the back row next to three people whose lives God has transformed. As we sang the song ‘This is Amazing Grace,’ these three people began to sing so loud: ‘This is Amazing Grace, this is unfailing love, that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross. You laid down Your life that I would be set free. Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.’
“After that last line, they began to shout and praise God with all their hearts. It reminded me of the woman in Luke 7 who wept at Jesus feet. He said those who have been forgiven much, love much. That is what I saw firsthand – people completely changed by Jesus crying out to Him with grateful hearts full of praise! I began to weep as I continued to listen to them sing ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, worthy is the King who conquered the grave!’ It felt like a taste of worship in heaven from Revelation 5:11-14!”