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Before COVID-19: Manhattan Vertical Church, a Resonate church plant partner in New York City, worships together. The pandemic hit this church plant hard, but a Resonate grant helped keep ministry going.

New York City was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic early on, and Manhattan Vertical Church felt the effects. A Resonate Global Mission COVID-19 relief grant helped keep ministry thriving.

Manhattan Vertical Church launched in partnership with Resonate in the spring of 2019. With worship services and discipleship opportunities in Korean, the church plant has become a home for Koreans in the area, especially young families and college students.

“It is a small church, but members are coming from many places like New Jersey, Queens, and Manhattan,” said Kwon Do Lee, your church planter.

COVID-19 all but shut down New York City and surrounding neighborhoods. A once-bustling metropolis, streets and sidewalks emptied as businesses closed and public transportation halted. Many members of the church plant lost their jobs. Some of the church’s college students returned to South Korea to continue school online. Students who remained struggled to afford rent and food.

With many members facing financial uncertainties, the church plant faced a financial crisis of its own. Launching only a year ago, finances were tight—and Kwon also worried if the new community could stay together.

A grant from Resonate that you made possible helped to provide some relief and keep the community connected.

“The COVID-19 engagement funds were so helpful to us,” said Kwon. “We spent it where we really needed it.”

In addition to covering rent and other administrative costs, Manhattan Vertical Church’s leadership team also distributed funds to help members. They gave money to college students for groceries and rent; they bought a rice cooker for a member who had lost her job; they also gave one member a gift card to a grocery store so she could afford food.

“I think the difficulty in the coronavirus period is that each person loses the sense of community for the church,” said Kwon. “So I wanted to help each other and let us know that we are a spiritual family.”

Thank you for supporting church plants like Manhattan Vertical Church during this difficult and uncertain time. 

“I believe all the members may have felt that God is with us through practical help,” said Kwon.

Prayer Points

  • Give thanks for God's faithfulness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Give thanks that members of Manhattan Vertical Church have remained a strong, supportive community despite the challenges facing the church plant. 
  • Please pray for Kwon Do Lee, your church planter, as he ministers to his community during this difficult time. Ask the Holy Spirit for encouragement and times of rest.
  • Pray for members of Manhattan Vertical Church who are facing challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic. Please pray for God to continue to provide money for food, rent, and other essentials. Pray that members of this community will continue to grow stronger in faith.
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Manhattan Vertical Church