I can’t believe New York is over!
This past week was full of challenges and lessons that God used to grow me spiritually. It all started at the lovely hour of 5am, with two buses, and over 100 people. After 10 hours of napping and bonding on the bus, we could finally see the skyline of the city! Our first day we went over a few details, and had some free time to get dinner in the city.
We were staying in Queens, and there were 8 people per room, so there was plenty of time to get to know the girls I was staying with!
During our time in New York we were given training on how to witness to the unreached people groups in NYC. God commands us to go and make disciples of the nations (Matthew 28:19-20), and the nations have come to us in NYC! It is an amazing hub of cultural diversity that gives missionaries the ability to reach the nations without leaving the country!
One of the things we learned in our discipleship training was the three circles method of sharing the gospel (see image below). When we look at the world around us we see brokenness: bad relationships, abuse, drugs, war, cancer… etc. This was not God’s design. His design was perfect, but something happened that took us out of His perfect design: sin. Sin is anything that disobeys God. When humans sinned, they were pulled from God’s design into a world of brokenness. But! God was merciful! He had created a way to bring us from our broken world back into His design. He came in the form of Jesus to sacrifice himself for our sins so that we could come back into God’s perfect design.
We were able to use this method of explaining the gospel several times while we were in New York.
In the afternoons, when we finished training, we would go get lunch with our Evangelism Teams before going to our assigned neighborhoods. Our Evangelism Team was assigned to Sunnyside and Astoria. During our time in the neighborhoods we prayer-walked, read scripture, did surveys (which were used to help share the gospel), and prayed over members of the community. This was out of my comfort zone. I have more experience witnessing to children, so talking to adults intimidated me. I had to trust God to give me the words to say, and the courage to speak. God truly answered prayers! I got to witness to Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, and Atheists throughout the week, and for many of them it was the first time they had ever heard the gospel! One of the verses that stuck with me during my time on the streets was John 14:12-14.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name I will do it.
God answered so many prayers while I was in New York, and some were immediately. On one of the days when we were going door to door, we could not find half the addresses on our sheet. We started to get discouraged, so we prayed for God to help us find the addresses and open doors for us to share His good news. As soon as we ended our prayer, a member of my team looked up an realized we were on the wrong street. We were supposed to be on 24th Avenue, but we were on 24th Street. We looked up from the road signs and saw the house we were looking for! When we knocked on the door a Muslim woman answered, and we were able to share the gospel with her. Even though she was not receptive, God still answered our prayer by leading us to her. We had believed God would answer our prayer and He did! Faith is so important! (James 1:6-8) Why should you expect God to answer your prayers if you do not have faith that He will?
But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
God was truly able to work through the students at City Project! It was amazing to all gather at the end of the day to share what we found difficult, how we shared the gospel, and how God was moving in the lives of the people in Queens! Many students found people of peace, who were ready to learn more about Jesus, and others wanted to receive a Bible to read more on their own. God used the talents, gifts, and experiences He had given us to help reach our communities!
Wednesday we had a free day, to rest and explore the city. During this time, my friend, Ashlyn, and I went to Central Park, the Central Park Zoo, and Little Italy. We both had already been to NYC, so we wanted to have somewhat relaxing day to get to know each other and do a couple fun things. We had an amazing time in Central Park and at the zoo! We got to spend time in God’s beautiful creation in the midst of a giant city!
While the week was physically exhausting (I walked about 50 miles in a week), it was spiritually energizing! I grew so close to God, and He revealed weaknesses in my spiritual life. I was also able to get to know many of the other students who are doing City Project! I feel like I have known them forever!
The upcoming weeks I have a pastoral internship in the Central Office at Summit Church. I will be interning for Summit Kids on weekdays! On Sundays I will serve with Summit Kids during the early service, and I will attend during the later service. I will also be taking theology classes, which will be taught by the pastors at Summit Church. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for these next few weeks in Durham!
Please pray that God uses my internship to reveal His plan for me, and to show me weaknesses in my faith so that I may grow stronger in my relationship with God. Also, pray that God speaks through the pastors who will be teaching us, so that we may hear what God needs us to hear to grow closer to Him.
I will keep in touch! Thank you all for your support and prayers!
View more pictures below!