The mission always at the forefront of our hearts is this: How can we bring the hope of Christ?
In the summer of 2020, we began a new emphasis of prayerwalking and evangelism in the Bronx with 40 days of prayer and fasting. Wearing masks and respecting people’s space, we launched this effort and we rejoiced over the results: we encountered more openness and spiritual hunger than ever before! We were moved to initiate another 40 days of prayer and fasting this September. God has opened more doors for the Gospel!
The Betances Housing Projects begin one block from us. They have been a center of outreach for us since we began this ministry. Our first service in the South Bronx was in the courtyard of these projects in May, 1992. When we moved to New York in 1994, we began Urban Harvest in the same place. Though infested with drugs and gangs, we led children’s outreach, played basketball with the drug dealers, and presented the Gospel in outdoor worship rallies. God gave His favor. The drugs and gangs left! Year after year, hundreds of children and adults heard the hope of the Good News.
Betances has 1,088 units and thousands of residents. We were invited to their annual block party in September. As we walked in, a woman began shouting, “Pastor Tom!” I approached her and learned that she was part of Kids Explosion – our children’s ministry – years ago. She introduced us to the Vice-president of Betances who asked if we would meet with the staff and leadership of Betances, and so we did.
The Spirit of the Lord filled that office as we met and prayed together. Staff were in tears as God touched their needs. The leadership then opened the doors for us to do “anything we want” in Betances. We have begun by going door-to-door, offering hope and prayers for each resident. We have provided Bibles in English and Spanish for their office. They have asked us to renew our children’s outreach and outdoor ministry as soon as the weather warms in the Spring. God is doing all of this because He has not forgotten this community. God has not finished His work here. He will be glorified on the streets of the South Bronx.
Leaving the Harvest Center late one night, we walked through Betances to our car. Young men were standing in the doorways, as is their custom. I smiled and nodded as I walked by. One of the young men enthusiastically said, “Hey, Pastor Tom!” I went up to him and recognized him. He and the young men with him used to come to our programs when they were children. We hugged and reunited. I asked the Vice-president of Betances to give these young men my love and greetings when she sees them. She went beyond that, taking Bibles to each one and offering to pray for them.
The road has never been easy in the South Bronx. There has always been opposition. We need your specific prayers. Satan does not want the hope of Christ on the streets of this community, but we are already seeing the beginning of hope being planted anew in the hearts of people.
We ask for you to pray in these ways:
- For continued open doors to share the Gospel.
- For transformation on the streets.
- For Betances to become a place of peace in our community.
- For Lighthouses of Faith and Houses of Prayer to be established on every block.
- For workers for these ripe harvest fields!
Isaiah 62:6-7 (NLT) says, “Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until He completes His work.” Thus shall we pray, and thus shall we labor in these harvest fields!
We need increased support to continue walking through the doors that God has opened.
Please consider sending a gift for Urban Harvest Ministries. This would be a timely and needed blessing to us, to our workers, and to those who are being reached and empowered through this ministry. To send a donation online, go to https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1378941
Every amount that you sow goes directly into reaching and empowering the lost, hurting, and poor. THANK YOU for making the ministry of Urban Harvest possible in the South Bronx, Detroit, Vietnam, and everywhere God opens the door to bring His hope to the hopeless!