After a long 8½ hour trip we finally made it to the Harvest House! We are thankful for all of your prayers, and we are praising God for answering them; we had smooth travels with no traffic and no incidents.
As soon as we arrived we unpacked and the students made themselves right at home, calling shots on who has what couch and going straight to playing basketball, air hockey, and pool. After dinner, the leaders from the Buffalo Dream Center greeted us and went through the process of orientation. Orientation was an eye opener, as we learner that Buffalo is the 4th poorest city in America, where approximately 28% of the population lives in poverty (higher than that of Harlem!). We also learned that Buffalo is very multicultural hosting people from 70 different countries and speaking more than 40 different languages. Pastor Eric, Dezmond, and Emilie, the leaders, informed us of the great need in the city and encouraged us to ask the Lord to change our hearts’ set from saying “here we are” to “here you are.” This slogan reminds us to be enthusiastic and focused on the people and not ourselves as we go out to serve “the least of these” for the glory of God.
Tomorrow morning we will dive right in with a full day as will be serving at the Dream Center’s Niagara Falls Outreach. This outreach was started as a ministry to prostitutes by a member of the Dream Center’s church, and now it includes “Kidz Club” (after school program), free community meals, a food pantry and “Project Prevention” (a ministry to at-risk families and refugees that does house visits, and cleaning projects at homes).
We ask that you keep us in prayers. Pray for boldness as some of the kids were startled by the reality of poverty, crime, and spiritual need in Buffalo and please pray for great heart attitudes, as we have had a long day and most likely will be tired tomorrow morning.