We are grateful to God that brought an amazing team to NYC back in 2015 for a citywide outreach of 24/7 worship, prayer, and evangelism. Steven Uggen, Jed Lindstrom, Olga Calvo, Curtis Clements, and countless others from other cities came here and partnered with God’s heart to lead worship, prayer, and missions that week. They taught, modeled, and activated NYC believers to labor in the harvest fields filled with a burning heart of love for the lost. Read the story from Steven and Teresa as it all unfolded for His glory.
Steven Uggen, Minneapolis, MN
15 years ago in Minneapolis, I had such a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit that all I have wanted to do from that day forward was to help others to experience and know God personally. I started to share my faith with anyone who would listen and God began to teach me how to partner with Him to invite others into the Kingdom of God. A couple of years into the journey, the Lord challenged me to grow in boldness in sharing my faith and I felt led to join an evangelist named Jed Lindstrom who was leading a short-term mission trip into New York City. It was on this trip that God really poured out on me His burning heart for the lost and began breaking off layers of fear in my life. Not everyone is called to be a street evangelist, but street ministry provides a context for all believers to encounter God’s love and truth in action and to get free from fear so that they can actually reach out to their family, neighbors and coworkers relationally. If we can get them comfortable walking up to a complete stranger and sharing their testimony or the gospel after a few minutes of connecting, then it gets much easier to invite a coworker to coffee and turn the subject to Jesus and the Kingdom. Once they realize that God wants to break into our culture and encounter people, everything changes. Mission impossible becomes quite possible. I remember being in New York and realizing that I was there for the express purpose of sharing the gospel. Something shifted in my heart and I just started to see the people all around me in a different way. God would highlight people and I would just walk up and talk to them. For an entire week, I didn’t stop sharing the gospel with anyone God would put in front of me. I was amazed at how open people were to the things of God even in New York City where they have seen it all. So many people got to encounter God’s love and truth.
And then suddenly it struck me, “Why would I ever stop living this way?” That trip changed me forever. We want other believers to experience the transformation of engaging in the Great Commandments (to love God and love people) and the Great Commission (to preach the gospel and make disciples). The Firebase Movement is about awakening the church to a different way of living – a lifestyle of daily intimacy and mission.
Teresa Ashkinazi, NY
There are times in your life when you know something has just happened that will impact and mark your life forever.
In October 2015, The Firebase Movement came to New York City and our church was fully engaged. I remember when it had ended I said, “Lord this can not stop.” I soon discovered that many New Yorkers who had participated in this citywide outreach felt the same way. It moved me so much; to see people from all over the U.S. come to my city, sacrifice their time, and give of their finances to help us reach New York City with the gospel. During that week, close to 11,000 people had been engaged. What joy filled my heart! Seeds were sown, watered and many harvested. Over the next two years, with a heart filled with appreciation and a fresh vision for this kind of ministry to reach the lost in our nation, I participated in four short-term mission trips to other U.S. cities through The Firebase Movement. I saw the church happening outside the four walls. In Dairy Queen, CVS, parks, college campuses; Jesus was showing up everywhere through us and people were responding.
My husband and I have been in full time ministry for over 30 years. We have served as pastors in Louisiana, New York City, and as missionaries for Jews for Jesus. But something was different about this ministry. No longer was the work just for street evangelists and the young generation. It was the church fulfilling the Great Commission. Businessmen, housewives in their 50’s, young teens, even the shyest people were being awakened to love and were compelled to share their faith with total strangers. Today in 2022, I thank God that here in NYC, it has not stopped and by His grace it never will. I am surrounded by a Love New York team that lives the lifestyle of intimacy and mission. Our joy is not only witnessing souls saved and set free, but seeing believers who were once bound by fear boldly preach the gospel and make disciples. Through Love New York, our hearts have been gripped for the millions who are perishing. We no longer wait for an outreach to happen. We are the outreach everyday – we are messengers of the gospel.