In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul reminds his readers that the only thing asked of him and Barnabas by fellow elders and leaders was “to remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). Everything else in Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles, at least at this point, stemmed from this one command: Remember the poor.
Some believe this directive was specifically about serving those Christians in Judea who were hungry and desperate because of a famine (Acts 11:27-30). Of course, any ministry tied to meeting someone in need like this would have been influenced by the teaching of Jesus Christ himself. In the gospel of Matthew, after speaking about being given food when he was hungry, drink when thirsty, and more, Christ says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it for one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). Christians need not look only to the New Testament for a heart to care for “the least of these” as the prophet Isaiah reminds all of God’s people that it is our responsibility to “share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him” (Isaiah 58:7).
It is these scriptures and more that are at the heart of the 10 Zip Codes Project, a 10-year initiative that seeks to support, celebrate, and resource the Church’s transformational and loving impact in ten of the most vulnerable zip codes across the Metro New York area. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been fortunate to see this transformational and loving impact firsthand in East New York.

In the early morning of Saturday September 26, a semi-truck pulled into the parking lot of Christian Cultural Center’s Brooklyn campus. Inside the trailer were pallets and pallets of food and drink, all of which were quickly unloaded and organized onto several tables in the lot. “There was a common, exuberant joy and purpose felt by every person unpacking the 18-wheeler and stocking each table with food and resources for distribution,” Mark Atkinson, 10 Zip Codes Project Community Liaison for East New York, says. “I especially noticed this joy and deep fulfillment in myself, as we labored to make the lives of others around us better.”


By 10am, volunteers wrapped up the unpacking and sorting and gathered in a circle to pray for the rest of the day. “On this early Saturday morning there was a tangible feeling in the air,” Mark adds. “The church was taking its part in fulfilling one of its most sacred calling, to provide justice and care for our communities and those who deserve to feel and see the practical love of Jesus.”
A few days later, on October 1 and 2, a similar truck arrived at Beraca Baptist Church, about a mile from CCC Brooklyn. Pastor Mullery Jean Pierre and his flock worked together to unload 25 pallets of food and drinks that would help feed their community.
“It was so inspiring seeing the church truly serve and love their neighbor as themselves,” Zach Lembke, consultant for the 10 Zip Codes Project, remarks. “When the body of Christ comes together to serve their community, the work they do is truly transformative.”
Thank you to all of the volunteers and churches involved in making these multiple days of food distribution possible. Thanks to their tireless and selfless efforts—along with the life-transforming work of Compassion International and Convoy of Hope—the life-changing grace of God became a reality for hundreds and hundreds of families in East New York.
To learn more about partnering with the 10 Zip Codes Project and supporting its efforts, click here.

Chuck Armstrong
Director, Decadal Plan