My Experience with the NYSUM Outreach

Picture Credits: Dr. Michael Finch

Written by Jordan Hubbard, News Editor and Social Media Manager

NEW YORK CITY, NY – I have to admit that when I first heard we were going to be serving in the Bronx after dark, I was scared out of my mind. I was looking for any excuse to not go. But I am so glad that Dr. Finch made us go because it was a very eye-opening experience. It allowed me to show the love of Jesus to those who may not see it that much.

On the drive there, I remember staring at the New York City skyline through the windows of the Honda Odyssey. I was taking in the beautiful skyline and trying to calm myself down. Since I had only heard horrible things about the Bronx, I was so scared. I remember talking to Dr. Finch and trying to ease my fears on the drive there. It seemed like the drive went by so fast, and before I knew it, we were in the Bronx.

Driving up to this homeless shelter, I remember seeing people sleeping on the sidewalk in the frigid cold. I could tell that some of these people battled an addiction to drugs and alcohol. This made me even more nervous.

Ronald, our guide and mentor from NYSUM (New York School of Urban Ministry), put Isabelle, Rob, and I in the food truck to serve food and coffee. Dr. Finch, Amanda, and Ronald were outside the food truck handing out blankets, clothes, and pamphlets about Jesus. 

I was assigned to hand food out of the window and mainly interact with the homeless. Even though I was scared, it was honestly such a great experience. I got to have conversations with numerous people and hear their stories. Many of them were so kind and grateful for us giving them free food and treating them like regular people. It opened my eyes to how we can share the love of Jesus to those who may not hear it that often. Several of them asked why we were handing out food and supplies in freezing temperatures and I got to tell them I was just trying to share the love of Jesus. 

Many people had such interesting stories and were from all over the country. Some of them were veterans and some of them just battled with addiction. It was such a surreal experience to hear the testimonies and stories of so many different people. 

My time serving really changed me and how I view some people. It showed me that some people can’t control their circumstances despite their best efforts and others battle a very real disease called addiction. We need to view people the way God sees them and go into things with an open heart and open minds.

Jordan Hubbard is a sophomore communications major and business minor. She is from Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee and likes to read, write, and travel.