Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to Download Susquehanna Xpress


Some of you have asked how to download Susquehanna Xpress webisodes for use in your churches. If you follow the hyperlink below to my page on susumc.org site, you will find the most recent video embedded. Below it you will see a blue link that says .mp4 downloadable video. Click on that to download the video. The list of archived videos is under 'View More' on the left.

Click here: Susquehanna Xpress Downloads

Or, if you have Mozilla Firefox you may use the YouTube download plug-in, to download the video directly from YouTube.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions please e-mail me at bspriggle@susumc.org

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Just Me and Jesus"- Inner-city Missions

Pat Nissel and Jesus are on the streets every night, showing love to the homeless and prostitutes.

If you would like to donate to her missions you may e-mail her at revloolu@aol.com.

Monday, August 8, 2011

"I see you well now, for you are my brother"

The next webisode of Susquehanna Xpress is about a street ministry in Harrisburg. Pat Nissel goes out on the streets from about 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. every night to reach out and show love-without conditions. She is such a brave Christian soldier putting herself in danger to serve others. Yet, why do I look at her as this beautiful anomaly?

If we look down at that WWJD bracelet so many of us wear, shouldn't that prompt us into the same kind of action? Wouldn't her work be exactly What Jesus Would have Done? So many times as Christians we find ourself in this odd predicament. We know that Jesus would go and spend time with those on the margins of society, no matter how much it risked his life or hurt his reputation. Yet sometimes, going out into innercities may just sound stupid and illogical. We recognize the need, so we send money. Sometimes though, it is not the money, but rather the human touch and the human caring that really makes the difference.

I admit, I am a scaredy-cat too. However, I'm making tiny steps (which is all Pat suggests) toward removing my eyes and replacing them with Christ's. No, not just changing my eyecolor from green to his MiddleEastern brown. But rather SEEING in a way that only tribal cultures seem to understand. Many tribes' word for 'to know deeply' translates into 'to see.' Such was the case in the documentary I watched recently about the Waodani people who have come to Christ by the continuous love of the wives of the missionaries whom the Waodani people killed. They now say that they can "see you well because you are my brothers."

It was laid heavy on my heart that I should not divert my eyes from a homeless man I had passed in the city, but I should reach out to him. Therefore, one day I bought lunch and was determined to share it. I went to the bridge where he normally sat, and he was not there. I walked below the bridge to the river and he was not there. I prayed "Lord, you placed this on my heart, if it is to be, please show me where to find him." Sure enough after I climbed the stairs back up to the path I saw him.

 However, this time he was sleeping. So...I sat down at the picnic table beside him. I rustled my bag, hoping this would wake him. It did not. I was bound and determined I was supposed to make contact with this man though. So I gently spoke " Excuse me, my name is Brittany, what's your name" He rolled over and gestured to shoo me away. Wow this is harder than I thought. I tried again. "I'm sorry to wake you but I have some extra lunch and I would like to share it with you." This time he opened his eyes. "Can't you see I'm sleeping?!" He said with frustration. "Ok, I'm sorry. I'll just be over here then." I sat down a little dejected. I had stepped out of comfort zone, and was rejected. Yet as I looked over at his bony hips protruding from his pants, and his sock-less ankles sticking out of his shoes I could not be angry. The other day I saw him holding a sign that read "Homeless please help."

 I       walked        by.

 Yet today I tried to be righteous because today it was convenient for me. Of course I had not gained his trust. Today he was not asking for my pity, he was asking to be left alone to sleep under the shade of a large tree...in peace.

Yet I still continued to sit near him. I closed my eyes and began to pray for him as well as myself.  I prayed that I would not think that I could simply mend my sin of negligence by doing a random act of kindness on one convenient day. I prayed that God would give me the courage to continue to sit and talk with homeless and not just keep power-walking past them. I prayed that the man would still be able to feel God's love, despite the fact that I rudely awakened him. I sat and prayed until my lunch break was over. I left a drink and sandwich there for him on the picnic table and didn't say another word.

He never woke up. He never gave me eye contact. He never said thank you. 

But that's okay. 

I walked away feeling that his reaction probably taught me more than if I had shared a lunch and talked with him. Giving isn't easy. If we are made in the likeness of God, we must still continue to do it. God continues to give to me, even when I am not thankful and would rather continue sleeping.

As I walked, contemplating these thoughts, two young men dressed in white shirts and black slacks came up to me. "Hello, may I give you this card," one said. 

"Sure," I replied. On it was the picture of a church building with times that I could attend their services. I turned around to watch them as they neared the man on the bench, and 

they     walked      by.

Perhaps they did not want to wake him because he was sleeping....perhaps. But I felt as though it was not fair that they deemed my soul worth saving and not his. I felt frustrated, that all I learned that day, was negated by the fact that they just walked by him. They did not stop to pray for him. They did not leave a card by his bench. They just continued on. Charging straight ahead.

By no means, am I condemning them, because as I said I did it too. But it frustrated me that it takes us so long to try to love as Christ would love. In our churches we talk about clothing the needy, and feeding the hungry. We all nod. But when we see people begging on the street, often we charge straight ahead averting our eyes.

I did not forget about him. I continued to pray for the man on the bench. I wondered where he took shelter during the terrible storm that tore trees out of the ground. I wondered where he quenched his thirst on hot summer days. Weeks later I  again went in search for him, but this time I did not find him. I left a cool bottle of water at the tree near his bench. Whether he found it, I don't know. Whether someone else drank it, I don't know. But the experience has made me more aware of the rest of humanity. 

I hope that listening to Pat's story inspires you.