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The Bronx

Children’s ministry, peeling potatoes, youth group, women’s bible study, hanging out in the nursing home, evangelizing in the park, and many church services. That’s only a fraction of the ministries we got to work with at Ciudad Refugio in Colombia. I loved working with this ministry. They are so intentional in the way they help their city – down to the layout and planning of their building. They reach the lives of so many people and see real change happen.

The Bronx, a neighborhood in Medellin, is a hot spot for drug use, homelessness, and prostitution. The streets are overwhelmed, day and night, with those struggling with addiction. Every Wednesday night and Thursday morning, employees and volunteers from Ciudad Refugio bring a hot drink, bread, and the hope of Jesus to those living there. This month we got to join them. It was one of my favorite ministries we worked with this month.

Our last Wednesday there, we got to join the employees and volunteers one last time to go to the Bronx. It felt different his time than it had the previous times. I felt the Holy Spirit moving and working. In a place that seemed hopeless, all I saw was a place where hope and grace abound more.

As my teammates and I were walking around, we stopped and prayed for a person, then turned around and someone else was standing there asking if we could pray for them, and then walked a few steps and prayed for someone else. Close to the end of our time that night, we were gathered in a circle when a woman came and stood beside me. I put my arm around her as we sang, and she rested her head on my chest. She wrapped her arms around me, and I was just happy to give her a few minutes of rest, where she didn’t have to worry.



Drug Dealers 


These are the labels given to them. But they are so much more than what the world tells them. They are fully known and fully loved by Jesus. In a world where people pass them by without a second glance, it was a privilege to look them in the eye, hold their hands, listen to them talk, and offer a hug.


Here are some pictures of one of the nights at the Bronx. All pictures are taken by my very talented friend and teammate, Claudia Gruett.


One of the volunteers giving out a hot drink and a piece of bread.


The worship team sang where the people lined up to get a hot drink and piece of bread.



One of our host, Rebecca, ministering to a man.


The line to receive a drink and bread.


Talk to you soon! 


-Anna Stewart 


  1. I love that you shared this story. The Lord was moving for sure!! I loved that place and I love your heart for people that was so clearly on display there 🙂

  2. I’m sure the pictures don’t even begin to convey the desperation of humans living on those streets. They don’t transmit the smell, the sounds, the behaviors….And it is here that Jesus comes to the lost, the least and the last. And Squad L And Ciudad Refugio are His hands and feet.

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