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The idea of starting the mission to help the afflicted was born on the street of New York City.
Walking on Brighton Beach board walk in Brooklyn with a friend, Pastor Jan Berkmans saw a drunk, disoriented man, dressed in rags sitting in the dust. To pastor Jan’s astonishment, the man proved to be the friend’s ex-primary doctor.
Moved by compassion, Pastor Jan wanted to do something to help the man. Interacting with the him, Pastor Jan found out that the man was not only one.
Many others who had come to New York city from various countries or different parts of the US, could not cope with the difficulties of relocation and adapt to the lifestyle in New York city they ended up to the street.
These homeless people needed shelter, they needed food, they needed clothes, they needed love. Pastor Jan could not turn his back on those afflicted people. In order to help them to restore hope and dignity, Pastor Jan started advocating for them in the local community and organized food and clothe drives. He helped those who were sick to get medical assistance, driving them and helping them to be admitted to the local hospitals and visiting them. He also organized a way to receive them upon their discharge and raised money to pay for a temporarily shelter which could be as low as $15 per night a person.
Helping and bringing love and healing to afflicted ones remains at the heart of who we are.