Persevering. That’s the word I would use to describe what we saw in the Bronx. The horns on the street, the constant flow of people and traffic, the variety of faces and languages, foods and cultures you experience will take you (especially those of us from the South) by surprise.
Then, you meet the people. People from all over the world are in this big “little” suburb of New York filling the neighborhoods with diversity and stories. Their stories are their own, but all are filled with hope for a better life and, a lot of the time, are also filled with a tiredness from the seeking and searching for that better life.
Yet in the midst of what would seem to be a dark place in New York, there is a light that shines forth. Josh and Kerri Johnson along with Andrew Mann and their staff from Graffiti 2 Community Ministries have established a place of refuge in the midst of the seeking and the searching where they and their church are able to share the gospel of Christ with those who have never heard.
Graffiti 2 operates as a church body and a ministry to the people of the Bronx. They are a certified Christian Women’s Job Corps site. They employ women artisans who create beautiful products that are sold as fair-trade products through WorldCrafts and their online store. They have received a Haye’s Endowment grant from the WMU Foundation as they have helped women who have come out of human trafficking. They have a children and youth afterschool program where kids can come, be fed, hear about Jesus, be tutored, and play in a safe environment. They minister the community by opening their doors and welcoming people in as they are seeking for that better life. They share Jesus with them.
Hearing the stories of the people who have come to hear about and know Jesus personally through Graffiti 2 was inspiring.
“I was down and it was very hard. Then I was introduced to Graffiti 2 and I came to know Jesus as my salvation. Now, it’s still hard, but I have hope and joy through Christ,” said a lady who now works at Graffiti 2.
What are some ways we can support Graffiti 2 Community Ministries?
- Pray for them. Pray for the people in their community, the missionaries and pastors at Graffiti 2, and their church body as they are conformed into the image of Christ.
- Give to their ministry. The missionaries and staff at Graffiti 2 Community Ministries are fully support-raising. Any gift of any size to their ministry helps the pastors, staff, and missionaries of Graffiti 2 continue to share Christ with the people of the Bronx. You can give now to: Graffiti 2 Community Ministries through their website.
- Write them a letter of encouragement letting them know of your support and prayers. You can write to the missionaries and their church body at PO Box 541559 Bronx, NY 10454.
- Go and serve with them. Seriously, take a group and serve for the weekend or week. They can use people with children’s and youth ministry skills, administration skills, relationship building skills, or any other skills. Whatever your giftings, they can find a place where you can serve.
Thank you to Graffiti 2 (and Kerri) for hosting us this weekend and opening our eyes to another place and ministry where the Lord is at work.