Elderly Street Evangelist Still Committed to NYC

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NEW YORK -- Christians are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Recently, CBN News met an 84-year-old New York woman who's taken that mandate to heart. She's been ministering on the streets of Manhattan for decades.

Times Square is famous for its bright lights and Broadway shows. But beneath the neon glow, you'll find Irma Moraes, who has dedicated her life to pointing people to the true light of the world.

For more than 40 years, she's handed out tracts in the Big Apple and told people about Jesus.

"Why did you decide to do this?" CBN New asked Moraes.

"God told me to do this," she replied.

Although she's been in New York City since 1964, the Brazilian native still struggles with her English. But that hasn't stopped her from returning night after night to pray and witness for Christ.

Times Square might seem like an unlikely place to evangelize with so many people out having fun, taking in the sights, sounds and shows.

But Moraes called Times Square the perfect place to tell people about Jesus.

"The hardest thing is the cold. It makes me feel frozen, then I have to go home," she said.

Both the young and old alike stop to talk to Moraes, who draws people in with her twinkling eyes and gentle spirit.

"So you read the Bible and you believe in Jesus?" Moraes asked one boy.

She always prays for those who ask.

"In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I bring Delores before you," she prayed for one woman.

Moraes said Times Square has changed dramatically since she began her missionary work. Much of the tawdry atmosphere has been replaced by tourist-friendly shops and restaurants.

She credited the power of prayer from believers for helping turn things around.

Although she admitted to being tired sometimes, she said there's much work to be done and many souls still to be won.

"See you in Heaven," Moraes said.

Original broadcast November 4, 2011. 

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