Last night was Hope for New York's Spring Benefit and it was awesome. I was so proud of Kristian.
It was held in the very cool Firehouse Museum in SoHo.
Kristian has been working with a team on a new HFNY video for a couple months now and it showed for the first time last night. It was fantastic!! When they put it up on their website I'll try to post it here.
There were a couple testimonies from people influenced by one of HFNY's affiliate programs, Operation Exodus, which is a Christian after-school and Saturday morning mentoring program for youth and their families in Washington Heights.
It was pretty inspiring to first, hear from one of the volunteer mentors who gives up several hours every Saturday morning to be a positive influence in at-risk kid's lives, and second, hear from one of the kids who has been in the program for about 8 years, and his life has been completely changed by Jesus Christ, who was introduced to him through the program.
This kid said that while his friends were trying drugs on the streets of his neighborhood, he was in the safety of Operation Exodus playing games and working on improving his grades, and while they were being initiated into gangs, he was being introduced to Christ. What an awesome story of Christ's healing and saving power, and how wonderful to see His people sacrificing their own time to serve others.
The evening was a great encouragement and reminder to me.
As we often say at church, but easily forget in day-to-day life, we are not here to use the City, but to serve it.
So often we come here to get the most of what it has to offer us... but that is not how Jesus came into this world.
He humbled himself completely.
He came to serve.
It reminded me of something really wise I heard the other day.
I was walking with a lady (actually a lead volunteer for HFNY) and she was talking about her life and career here in the City.
In speaking about upcoming decisions she said,"...but I keep reminding myself this isn't my story, it's His story."
How awesome to live life completely with that perspective... to make decisions based on what fits best into Christ's story on earth.
Anyway, I was so proud of Kristian, not only for the work he put into the event, but for the way he serves.
I really admire him.