Reshaping the Church

Street LIFE Ministries: Mission work at home

Posted March 06, 2024

by Jordan Moseley

Photo by Colton Duke for Unsplash

Located in New York City, Street LIFE Ministries actively serves the community and works to expand God's kingdom through its outreach programs. Street LIFE Ministries is an outreach organization with a mission to not only bring Christ to the people but also to leave them in a more spiritually fortified.

Street LIFE Ministries is committed to the belief that God is for all people as stated in Mark 16:15. Serving and supporting one another is at the very core of what it means to be the body of Christ. They strive to represent Christ in the world by coming alongside those who bear His image. And they strive to bring peace, joy and hope to those in need through service, Christian education and spiritual formation, according to their website.

They also aim to equip and empower individuals and communities with the necessary resources to aid those suffering from poverty and homelessness, according to their website. They seek to be a voice for the voiceless and a servant unto those considered the least, like Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3-8.

They have many outreach programs, such as The King’s Fellowship, a bi-monthly opportunity to break bread and find fellowship, and Beautiful One, a ministry designed to provide sexual abuse victims with sanction and resources. They also have Prayer Stations, Compassion Ministry and so much more, according to their website.

They have also offered their services for those facing the aftereffects of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy by gathering resources and lending space for prayer, the organization stated.

These programs deliver the gospel to everyone, both to those they are serving directly and others watching who bear witness to their mission, Street LIFE Ministries affirms through their impact. They have also taken missions trips abroad, reaching communities like Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Ukraine.

This mission emerged as a light at the end of a dark tunnel. In 1980, Street LIFE Ministries’ co-founder David Van Fleet came to the light of Jesus in the midst of his struggle with substance abuse, he wrote.

Within that same year, David Van Fleet enrolled in a five-month discipleship program with Youth With A Mission in Concord, N.H. This organization believes in equipping citizens of God’s kingdom with faith and knowledge in order to build it, founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham wrote.

David Van Fleet now moved through the world with God in his heart and married his wife Robin Van Fleet. Now moved by the fire under her husband’s feet, she went on to participate in the same program.

In 1984, the Van Fleets relocated to Manchester, New Hampshire, after completing another program. There, they began local, regional and global outreach through their church at the time.

Tragically, a truck accident at David Van Fleet's job caused him to sustain permanent back and neck injuries, halting his physical mobilization of his mission, he wrote. Although the accident slowed him down, his faith held strong as he prayed for further direction.

Years later, the Van Fleets, newly a family of five, entered another five-month program through Youth With A Mission in Salem, Oregon. This program led them to join Youth With A Mission Metro New York in 1990, based in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which they served at until 1997.

David Van Fleet oversaw the Urban Outreach department, where he exchanged experiences with strangers, stationed at prayer tables and put on performances throughout the city, according to Street LIFE Ministries. Little did he know this experience would prepare him for what God had in store.

Photo by Marianna for Pexels

These outreach events fueled the family’s mission to make connections not only with their job but also their purpose, according to Street LIFE Ministries.

The Van Fleet family learned through experience that serving the Kingdom of God, though not a straight path, was one they were willing to walk to advance it. They were finally ready to chart a new path and help people reach God after enduring their painful beginnings.

Officially launching in 1998, their first venture was their Mobile Resource Center Program, now called Street LIFE Ministries Compassion Ministry. The ministry started with a 1979 step-van that was donated to them a year prior.

The van became a supply center for the homeless. They offered food, clothing, hygiene kits, referrals for housing and employment and rehab programs — tending to the physical needs of the community they served.

Photo by Joel Muniz for Unsplash

Now, Street LIFE Ministries serves weekly at Tompkins Square Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, and has done so for over 20 years. It's a popular gathering spot for people of all backgrounds, and the Street LIFE Ministries team provides food, clothing and other essential items to those in need. They also distribute literature and information to help those in need access other resources.

Another one of their impactful initiatives includes a service providing prayer and worship multiple times a week while focusing on issues like human trafficking. Overall, Street LIFE Ministries has been an invaluable source of prayer and service for those in need in New York City and beyond.

For close to 30 years, Street Life Ministries has been a vital source of hope and support to the New York City community. Through their unwavering compassion, Street LIFE Ministries has helped countless individuals find strength and courage in difficult times.

Street LIFE Ministries's commitment to providing hope and support has been unwavering, and their efforts have paid off in the form of countless lives changed for the better and turned to Christ.

If readers would like to help further their mission, they can donate here. Or, if readers are located in or around New York City and would like to go deeper, Street LIFE Ministries has volunteer opportunities here.

From Central Pennsylvania, Jordan grew up with Christ and has her heart set on His mission. Jordan is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Film & Media Arts at Messiah University. She aspires to truthful and compassionate storytelling through her work.