It has been nearly 25 years since we launched out by faith to the South Bronx. Our hearts were broken as we saw the children, youth and adults in that community living without hope and peace. The Spirit of the Lord compelled us to bring His hope to them, to love them with His unconditional love, and to offer them a pathway to healing and life in Jesus.
Pastor David Wilkerson became a friend, prayer warrior and ministry partner as we began our work. In one of my meetings with him during our first year in the Bronx, Pastor Dave said, “Tom, you are not establishing a traditional church in this community. You are establishing a spiritual hospital. Many will come through your doors and will begin a new life there. You will lose count of them, but you will see the results of that work in heaven.”
I am amazed by Anthony’s testimony, who used to shoot heroin on Brook Avenue. He watched us ministering to children our first years in the Bronx. Now he worships God faithfully at The Harvest Center with his wife Maritza, and they are bringing teenagers to church. I am amazed at Willie’s testimony, who came to our children’s outreaches our first years in the Bronx. He was 10 and 11 years old then. Now, more than 20 years later, he has come to Christ and is raising his children in church. I am amazed at Danny’s testimony. Danny was a part of our first youth group in the Bronx. I had not heard from him in years until he contacted me a few months ago. He is not only serving God faithfully with his wife and new family, but he is planting a church and works in a Christian school. He says the foundation for it all was sown at The Harvest Center in the Bronx.
God called us to the South Bronx, the poorest and most violent community in our nation. Then He called us to Detroit, the poorest and one of the most violent cities in our nation. He called us to reach Anthony and Maritza and the teens that they bring to learn about God. He called us to reach Willie to lead his family in the ways of the Lord. He called us to reach Danny and sow seeds in his life that he can now multiply.
And He called us to empower others to do the same.