Team New York City/Washington, DC

by Focus International

The New York/Washington, DC team partnered with many organizations conducting. In New York City, they visited Little Sisters of the Assumption in East Harlem and spoke with Sister Judy Garson about her context for ministry, what keeps her serving, and with whom she serves. They also went to Edwin Gould Services for Children and learned about the Incarcerated Mothers Program, Steps to End Family Violence, and Stepping Stones to Success with Sister K. Kanet. Later they served with SAY Yes Youth Development in Harlem.

After their busy week of service, the team to take a day for solo time in Central Park where they prayed, reflected on their experiences as a group and as individuals, and prepared for the ministry of the next few days. The team also helped assemble meals at Help House Love Kitchen, a feeding program for the poor and homeless in the Bronx operated by Jewell Jone.

"A highlight of our time in New York was volunteering at Ground Zero through the WTC/Salvation Army Command Center," said co-team leader Tim Hooten. "Many of our team members were deeply impacted by our service at this hallowed place, especially since it was the last week of the recovery effort and many who had devoted their lives for months were processing what life would be like in the aftermath of the recovery."

"A major inspiration was seeing the heart of people who are motivated to serve in such a difficult setting for ministry. We certainly experienced God at work in these cities," said co-team leader Gina Donnelly.

In Washington, DC, the team stayed a few miles from Capitol Hill. They served at the renowned Third Street CHOG Prayer Breakfast; enjoyed a tour of Capitol Hill and dialogue session with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence on the floor of the House of Representatives; visited the office of the Chaplain of the Senate to discuss the role of the chaplain; and served at DC Kitchen, a community kitchen that teaches homeless people culinary skills for gainful employment.