3rd Ave & Pike St Seattle Miracle
Last week, the Reach Ministry van arrived at 3rd Ave & Pike St for Wednesday night outreach much like any other week. One car of volunteers was running a bit late and pulled up just as the Seattle outreach team was setting up tables to distribute meals for the homeless.
As they went to join the rest of the group, they suddenly noticed a young man lying on the sidewalk. People walked around him, just going about their day. It wasn’t unusual to see someone passed out or sleeping on the ground in this part of town, but this man didn’t look like he was breathing. They checked for a pulse, but he was dead.
They called 911. As it happens, Bruce, one of the volunteers who’d just arrived was a former EMT and began chest compressions. On the phone, the medics instructed our group to administer NARCAN®, an emergency nose-spray medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. One volunteer ran up the street to find some.
Meanwhile, others found the man’s backpack nearby with his ID, and discovered that his name was Josiah¹. Bruce continued CPR as the group prayed fervently for Josiah’s life, and they waited for the ambulance.
Trina, Bruce’s wife said, “It just kept going through my head, that Jesus raised people from the dead, and he said we would do even greater things. So I was just praying, ‘Lord, bring him back from the dead!’ I also just kept saying his name, ‘Josiah, we are here. Josiah, stay with us.’ I felt like we needed him to know he had an identity.”
A volunteer returned with NARCAN®, which they administered. But Josiah remained unresponsive. By the time the medics arrived, he’d been dead for four minutes. The medics gave him a second dose of NARCAN® and at last, his pulse jumped, and he started to breathe.
The timing was truly miraculous. According to HHS, permanent brain damage occurs in 4 to 5 minutes without oxygen. Not only did they bring Josiah back, but just in time, moments before his mind would’ve been seriously impaired. CPR also bought time for the ambulance to arrive…an ambulance that no one else in the vicinity had bothered to call.
“He stood up and was talking to us. It’s wild how ok he suddenly was,” said Trina. Rather than getting into the ambulance right away, Josiah remained there, talking to the team. They shared the gospel with him and invited him to church. He kept apologizing, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry – I never do this.” He told them he’d just had a bad day and bought something strong. He’d only taken one hit, but it had been enough to stop his heart.
Josiah was not homeless or living in addiction. But like many who are, he was a normal guy who hit a low point and got in over his head. Josiah got a second chance at life last week. But many others like him are locked in such physical and mental pain, that they’re self-medicating with drugs containing the same lethal additives.
The fentanyl crisis is in full-swing in Seattle, as dealers increasingly mix it with other hard drugs to cut costs. But many people don’t realize what they’re taking contains fentanyl, or how much it increases their chance of overdose. Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than morphine². So for others, the temptation to numb outranks the risk.
People are looking for hope. As Proverbs 4:19 talks about, people are stumbling through such thick darkness without God that they don’t even know what’s making them fall. But while human eyes might be prone to judge, our King still sees his lost sheep.
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” Matthew 9:36-38
It may not always look like bringing someone back from the dead, but Reach Ministry witnesses miracles every week, on and off the streets. Each week, 600+ unhoused individuals are being fed, and countless others are hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and having strongholds broken through prayer. If you know someone who has served with our Seattle outreach, ask them next time you see them, about miracles they’ve seen while ministering on the streets!
¹Name has been changed to protect the individual’s privacy
Become a Partner of Hope
To support the work Reach is doing and help us cover operation costs and supplies, click the button below:
Join The Team
If you’re interested in volunteering with Reach Ministry, whether on the streets or behind the scenes, we would love to have you! Click below to learn more.
Reach Invites You To The Journey
Hope Is Alive
Follow Us On Social Media
About a year ago when I was doing Seattle outreach, a gentleman was going through our food line and asked me a direct question. “Do you have better food?” While he was asking the question, I thought to myself, “we have some pretty good food options.” So, at first, I was a little confused....