By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director
[img_assist|nid=8183|title=On Mission|desc=Two members of the BCM Ministry Team helps the Bowery Mission in New York City minister with food outside a park.|link=none|align=right|width=480|height=640]NEW YORK CITY – When school ended for the spring semester, Dena Ta Basco could hardly wait for her week-long trip to New York City.
Basco, who had signed up to participate in a missions trip to the city, admitted that while she was looking forward to hands-on ministry there, she was even more excited about seeing the sights the Big Apple had to offer.
But by the time the week of ministry ended recently, the senior at LSU-Alexandria had a different outlook on her purpose there.
“While there God worked in me and showed me that I really do have a heart for missions and helping those around me, no matter what they ask,” Basco said. “And yes, I have a heart for the city and was saddened to leave. What I learned on this mission trip was to be thankful for all of the little things and to not take anything for granted.”
Basco was one of 21 students from Baptist Collegiate Ministries at LSU-Alexandria, LSU-Shreveport and Southeastern Louisiana University – along with two campus ministers, Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Southeastern BCM assistant to the director, and her husband Colin, and two youth ministers – who ministered at the Bowery Mission. Located in the inner city section of New York City, the Bowery Mission serves the area homeless through various faith-based programs.
Throughout the week the team performed a variety of tasks.
These ministry efforts included helping cook and serve more than 600 meals daily, delivering food and supplies to needy individuals at parks in Brooklyn and Manhattan, picking up donations from stores and restaurants, painting inside the Bowery Mission building, distributing clothing to men and sharing music and testimonies at three daily chapel services.
Jonathan Clark, a BCM minister at Southeastern Louisiana University, called the experience one of the most rewarding ministries in which he has ever participated.
He said he especially enjoyed ministering to the men who participated in a recovery program at the center.
“The presence and restoration of God in those men was a testimony to the Holy Spirit’s work in those who submit their lives to His authority and Word,” Clark said. “We were truly humbled and brought to a sweet place of gratitude.”
This was the second consecutive year that Chad McClurg, campus minister at LSU-Alexandria, has participated in a BCM-sponsored trip to Bowery Mission.
McClurg said he was so impressed with the way the Bowery Mission staff operate the gospel-centered recovery program that he felt led to return there this year.
Through hands-on ministry opportunities the students were able to gain a new perspective on the homeless population, McClurg said.
By serving in the homeless community for a week, the students realized the homeless there were no different than their family and friends back in Louisiana, the BCM director added.
“The students were able to see the change that can happen in the lives of broken men through the gospel of Christ,” McClurg said of the men in the recovery program. “Our students heard many stories from the men of the Bowery about how they were on the street, struggling with addiction, with no sense of hope.
“The message of Christ they heard at the Bowery changed everything in these men’s lives,” McClurg added.