Archive for November, 2010


It’s a Wonderful Urban Missionary Life!

One of my all time favorite movies, next to Star Wars, is It’s A Wonderful Life. At the end of the movie, George Bailey realizes the impact his life has made on the community and how much worse their lives would have been without his help.

Many of you have given generously to make a difference in the lives of the poor and homeless by giving to support Tracy and I in our work with The Relief Bus. Lives have been changed because of you and we appreciate you so much. Please see the 2010 Video Retrospective below to get an idea of all that has happened.

After talking and praying together with Juan, Lakota
decided to give up alcohol and get off the streets. His
family is welcoming him back home to Minnesota.

After talking and praying together with Juan, Lakota decided to give up alcohol and get off the streets. His family is welcoming him back home to Minnesota.

I know many people like to give to charity at the end of the year. It’s a great time to celebrate by giving. This giving makes a big impact in our family’s lives as it makes up for what we were short of during the rest of the year.

Please consider making a year-end special donation to help us be George Baileys in the communities being devastated by poverty, addiction and homelessness. Together we make a great team.

Give online at Click on DONATE and then write “Juan & Tracy” in the designation field. You can even sign up to give monthly. Use the enclosed envelope if you would like to give via check or credit card. THANKS!

These Things We Do…That Others May Live,

Juan Galloway
Executive Director

The Relief Bus 295 Walnut Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07201 1-800-736-2773

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Relief Bus in the Bronx

I arrived at 7:30am to prepare for a day of outreach on The Relief Bus. Fresh
soup was cooked and fresh bread was picked up from the bakery. We worshipped
and prayed on our ride into the city, for those in bondage to be set free. It
was another amazing day of light shining in the darkness. I’m so glad I get
to do this.

Volunteers pray for Bonnie, who just lost her husband two weeks earlier.
Relief Bus staff have been trying to help Bonnie literally bury her husband
because she had no money to afford a burial. They have also been working
to get her housing.

Johnny is a guy who works full-time, but because he makes $8 an hour he can’t
afford housing and currently lives in a shelter. We prayed for each other and
exchanged cell phone numbers to stay in touch.

Bob Karson is a long-time New York City Relief board member and Managing
Director at U.S. Trust. He came out on The Relief Bus to share some love and hope
with people on the streets.

Austin Bonds, Director of Outreach meets in The Relief Bus office with Luis.
Luis is homeless and is looking for shelter. Regular volunteer, Anna, is
translating Spanish to English.

Prayer is always appreciated on the streets and many are grateful for the
volunteers who come out to extend love and faith for breakthrough.

Aris Pavlides (back row) is Chairman of the Board for New York City Relief.
He came out with his wife Denise to feed the hungry in the Bronx and serve
“the least of these”. Andre (right) is a new volunteer. I prayed with him to
rededicate his life to Christ on the sidewalk this very same day. He is committed
to getting his life headed in the right direction.

Raphiella comes regularly twice a week to The Relief Bus. She described to
me how dangerous her neighborhood is with bullets flying sometimes. She
is probably the nicest and happiest person I have ever met. She gets food
from The Relief Bus to help feed her family of five. Her husband is on
disability due to diabetes. We prayed for his healing.

Miranda (right) is nineteen-years-old. She came out to serve the poor with
a group from the Walter Hoving Home, a Christian rehab and discipleship
program. Having been set free from an addiction to heroin and meth, she is
now reaching out to help bring freedom to others.

Warren and I talked for a long time together. He showed me a photo of his
beautiful six-year-old son he lost due to his alcoholism. His wife is in a
mental hospital. They are working to get their son back and restore their
family. I gave Warren some job information. He is trained in security.

Posted under Relief Bus Street Action

The Relief Bus presents: STREET Magazine


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Chip The Homeless Glass Blower


Austin Bonds, Relief Bus Director of Outreach bought a hand blown glass necklace from Chip who lives in his car. He was selling hand blown glass on the sidewalk just down the street. It was really artistically well done stuff.

Posted under Relief Bus Street Action

Brice and Legend


Brice and Legend are both homeless and sleep in the park. Brice’s stuff all got stolen. I got them some job info which made them really happy because they want to get off th streets. We prayed together and they took some of the comic book tracts with them that I wrote. Brice is going to hit me up on facebook later.

Posted under Relief Bus Street Action

William Gets A Helping Hand

William is homeless and collects cans to survive. He got a new coat at The Relief Bus today and was SO happy. I gave him job info as well. He is a trained cook. Before he left we had a chance to pray. New friends on the street- I can’t get enough.

William carries around this big trash bag full of all his worldly belongings. The smaller bag is full of cans for recycling which is one of the few ways homeless people can support themselves.

Posted under Relief Bus Street Action

Asa’s Card


Asa is writing a thank you card to these volunteers and staff for all the food and clothing he received over the years.

Asa wrote in his card, “Thank you to all of the volunteers aboard The Relief Bus, Kiera and Rachel and everyone else to have a blessed Thanksgiving, from Asa.

Posted under Relief Bus Street Action

Jesus and an Angel


Just prayed with Jesus and Angel. Both are homeless. Gave Jesus info on classes to learn English. My broken Spanish came in handy.

Jesus is separated from his wife and kids, so we prayed for healing and restoration. Angel needed a warmer coat, so we got both of the guys some more clothes. They were very appreciate of the help. Both of these guys were really sweet. They weren’t addicts, they were just going through hard times. I gave work info to Angel in English and Jesus in Spanish to help them out.

These men are both believers, trusting God to help them survive on the streets of New York City.

Posted under Relief Bus Street Action

Maximum Horsepower by Juan Galloway

Imagine mounting a horse in the dark in the wee hours of the morning in order to ride hundreds of miles through the country to meet with a tiny congregation waiting for you to arrive, to bring them a message of hope and truth. Then imagine after ministering to the group, getting back on that same horse and pushing on to the next town where yet another group is waiting for you.

Wikipedia describes circuit rider preachers this way:

“They traveled with few possessions, carrying only what could fit in their saddlebags. They traveled through wilderness and villages, they preached every day at any place available (peoples’ cabins, courthouses, fields, meeting houses, later even basements and street corners).

“Many circuits were so large that it would take 5 to 6 weeks to cover them. The ministerial activity of the circuit riders boosted Methodism into the largest Protestant denomination at the time. In 1784, there were 14,986 members and 83 traveling preachers. By 1839, the denomination had grown to 749,216 members served by 3,557 traveling preachers and 5,856 local preachers.”

My great-grandfather, O.L. Galloway (short for Obe Lee) was a circuit rider preacher for some time in the state of Oklahoma where I grew up. My great-great-grandfather, Walter Klopfenstein, was also a circuit riding preacher in Oklahoma. Both of them traveled to minister to rural families who were very poor. The tiny congregations would donate clothing in the “missionary barrel” to help clothe and support these country preachers.

Little did these men know the heritage that they would pass down to their families. Their grandson and my father, Richard Galloway founded The Relief Bus 21 years ago. This missionary organization, where I serve as Executive Director, is a modern-day version of the circuit rider that brings hope and help to wherever it’s needed.

Each week The Relief Bus travels into the poorest neighborhoods in New York City and New Jersey. (10 outreach locations a week!) The buses bring not only food, clothing and resources to the urban wilderness, but spiritual care as well.

We know that people in dire straits don’t just need a handout, they need a friend as well. As homeless people struggle to get back on their feet, they need someone to give them encouragement and inspiration.

The Relief Bus doesn’t have a big cross painted on it, and there is no billboard telling people to turn to Jesus, but make no mistake, it is a spiritual sanctuary. In the month of July, 2010 the staff of The Relief Bus recorded 47 decisions for Christ. The average church in America records three conversions a year.

These buses distributed 189 Bibles and prayed for 903 people that same month. How many churches are able to make that kind of impact in just one month? The truth is, The Relief Bus is just a big metal horse for people to ride into the city and bring a message of hope. It’s a way for church folks to get outside of the four walls and accomplish their mission.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There is a still a need for modern-day circuit riders, mobile outreaches that will travel to those who are in desperate need of life and freedom.

So what are you waiting for? Jump on this horse and hold on tight because it’s a wild ride. Volunteer on The Relief Bus as an individual or come with a group. Just email us at Yeeha!

Posted under Articles