By: Vanessa Galdamez
Since our ministry focus during this Summer is on one specific neighborhood in the South Bronx and we’re there several times a week, my teammates and I have been trying to think of different methods that we can reach out to the community. One idea that Jaime had was that we set up a free eyeglasses repair station. Back in Ecuador, this is what he did as a profession for many years. So he thought that maybe if he brought some of his equipment, he could do simple repairs for people’s eyeglasses and sunglasses while Hallie, Helen and I also explained to them what we were doing (praying for the community and seeing what the needs there are). We all agreed it was a good idea, and gave it a shot for the first time yesterday.
Although Hallie and I were a bit late due to some complications with the trains, we still had a long while that we were going to be there. While Hallie and Helen went and made flyers so we could distribute to people so they would know what we were doing, I stayed with Jaime at the station. Right away people started stopping by. The first question that was always asked was, “is this really free?” and we would always tell them “yes.” While Jaime fixed their glasses, they would always asked why we were doing this. I would then explained to them we were student interns here in Bronx for the summer and we were just praying over the community, trying to help in any way that we could, and also trying to teach people about Christ. Many liked this and would write down a prayer on the cardboard.
Perhaps one of my favorite moments from that day was when a man stopped by to get his glasses fixed and the same as everyone else asked what and why we were doing this. Jaime and I then explained (he only spoke Spanish) and he then began talking to us for a few minutes. He said he was trying to start a church here in the Bronx, but is struggling financially and the home that he is currently staying at, the owner told him to get out and as of this moment does not know where he is going to go. Jaime asked if he wanted us to pray with him and he said “yes.” Jaime led the prayer and the first thing I noticed after the prayer was the man was crying. This really got me. I guessed he was just really moved and had begun to cry. He wished us luck on what we were doing, shook our hands and then left. I knew at that moment that he had really needed someone to pray with him and give him a bit of hope and encouragement and I’m glad we were there to help with just one simple task: Pray. I really do believe in the power of prayer and whenever we get the chance, I’m glad we can pray with people over a need they may have.