Buffalo, NY is a beautiful city with loads of art deco and Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. There are parks everywhere. It is a city of diversity, hospitality, grit and resilience. What makes Buffalo great is its people, and many of those great people are part of the CCHF family. So this past week, as I watched Buffalo endure the worst winter storm in a generation, my thoughts and prayers for Buffalo were driven by a mind full of images of friends and co-laborers in our cause. I know many of you feel the same way, and I want to give you a quick update.
I spoke with Dr. Myron Glick last night, and the good news is that he and the staff of Jericho Road are okay. It has been a tough week, for sure. Many of the JRCHC staff have been without power for days, but progress is being made and power is being restored. And there are many stories that testify to the grace of God that has been with them.
Only a few hours into the storm, Vive lost power. For those who don’t know, Vive is a ministry of JRCHC that provides temporary housing and services to asylum-seekers. Most of the guests at Vive come from countries they had to flee for fear of being arrested or killed by oppressive political leaders. Vive is located in a huge old building that serves as home for 120+ people who may live there for anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year as they await the next step in their traumatic journey. The old building is already difficult to heat and cool, and they plan to move into a new place in 2023. Losing power in the old building as temperatures plummeted was scary for the residents, and a deep concern for JR staff. But a friend of the ministry braved the storm, traveled to a small town outside of Buffalo, and commandeered a front-end loader and generator. He drove the front-end loader for over 4 hours in sub-zero temps back to Vive, and hooked up the generator so the residents could get heat and light.
A pregnant patient who had gone into labor called Myron in the middle of the storm.Too far away to reach her Myron was afraid that he would have to talk her through the delivery by phone, but remembered that a couple of Jericho Road docs lived nearby. He called the docs, who braved the storm to get to the lady in time to deliver the baby in her home, an hour before the national guard services were able to get there. Mother and baby are fine. Myron said that there are many stories like this one.
Jericho Road is not the only clinic that has faced challenges this week. On the other side of the state in New York City, Beacon Christian Health Center on Staten Island continues to stretch their small staff to care for the incoming immigrants that are being bused and flown to New York by border states in the south. Their burden continues to increase as policy changes lead to greater numbers of immigrants who are moved to places like NYC. If you are not on David and Janet Kim’s e-mail list, I encourage you to subscribe. They are doing fantastic work living out the gospel as they welcome strangers in compassionate, non-political, Christ-centered ways. The best way to keep up with their work is by subscribing to their list. They only send occasional updates, but they are real, informative, and a good guide to pray for them. Here is a link: https://www.beaconcchc.com/news-events.
The past week has been tough for a lot of us – frozen pipes, closed clinics, reverting to tele-health again, power outages, having to boil water. But God has been faithful to be with us, to care for us, and to allow us to share his love with our families and communities. I am honored to be part of this community with you.
In Christ’s love,
Steve Noblett, CEO