Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will also supply and increase your store of seed and
will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. (2 Corinthians 9:10)
The compassion of one Nyack College employee birthed an outreach that began with Instant Cup Noodles.
“My calling is to remind people of the Father’s love and His goodness in their lives. I want to remind them that they are not alone and God’s love and care are around them,” says Nyack College Director of Library Services Christy Choi. As she became aware of Nyack students living through the pain of family dysfunction and for some, even the struggle with housing and food insecurity, there were many opportunities to respond to that calling.
“Despite what seemed like a hopeless situation, students were smiling and sharing what God is doing in their lives. They seemed like true disciples—such brave and beautiful saints,” she comments. When it became clear that some library student workers were skipping meals while working and studying, she and her husband looked for some small way to help them. Their solution was to give away cups of ramen noodles. However, when their financial difficulties prevented them from providing this small meal, Christy shared this disappointment with two international student workers. One of them, Lynel Lou Dawn McKeel, responded with a reminder. “As God gave Aaron and others to help Moses, He knows your heart and will place people around you to serve God’s people.”
Lynel shared the story of the Eastman Library outreach to students with the husband and wife she lived with at the time. The couple ultimately shared it with their church, Harvest Church in Paterson, NJ, which happens to operate Harvest Outreach Ministry (HOM) Food Pantry. The following day, Eastman Library received 100 brown bags filled with ramen noodles and snacks. Since 2018, HOM has donated more than 1,400 bags and school supplies to be distributed to Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary students.
The snack packs—available at the Info Commons desk in Eastman Library—include Instant Cup Noodle, Instant Cup Rice, trail mix, juice, hand wipes and a prayer card with scripture. The gratitude of students says it all.
The ministry has blessed me through the snack pack at Eastman Library, Nyack College. Whether it be finding something to eat after being exhausted by classes/work or just after life throws a curveball and I am not able to prepare a meal for myself, it is always good to have the snack pack. Life in the city can be fast-paced and challenging especially for an international student like me. I am very grateful to God for this ministry of help administered by Harvest Church in partnership with Eastman library. Thank you and God bless! – Bright, ATS student
As an international college student who commutes almost every weekday and works two jobs, away from my family and lives in the U.S. on my own, there’d be times when I’m short of money. Therefore, sometimes I couldn’t bring my lunch or buy lunch. I try to take out the snack pack as little as I can so that others who need it can take them, too. Each time I take the snack pack, I feel grateful to have a meal because sometimes I might skip it because I either don’t have the time or the money for a meal. The snack pack really helps me to have just enough to give me energy to go through the day, when I’m not able to bring my lunch to school. – Melani, Nyack student
During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Christy was worried about students still living on the Nyack campus in Rockland County not being able to shop for food. In a conversation with ATS student Kyu Hee Park, she mentioned her concern. Kyu Hee shared this with her church, Harvest Church in Closter, NJ. Because of the generosity of the church, the following weekend Christy was able to deliver rice, instant noodles and water to students in the Rockland dorms and to international students in New York and New Jersey. Despite the increasing spread of the virus, she says, “I felt like I was wearing God’s armor and invisible to COVID. Most of all, I felt honored and grateful to be able to spread the Father’s goodness even during the pandemic.”
The Eastman Library relationship with Harvest Church has resulted in even more provision.
Last week at a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for international students co-hosted by Nyack’s Global Community Development program and the Office of Admissions, it was announced that a Harvest International Student Scholarship has been established for Nyack/ATS students under the auspices of the Closter, NJ church. Five scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded in December.
True to the prophetic words spoken to Christy Choi, God placed people around her to serve His people. Seed has been provided to the sower.
Her humble response to this generous outpouring is, “Each day and each time when we share this little brown bag, I am grateful God’s reminder through the warm-hearted people from these two churches. Please continue to pray for the library team to be used by God as a channel and bridge between His people at Nyack/ATS and with the world.”