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Sunday, June 12, 2011

New York!!

This past week marked our first non-orientation week at The City Project. Instead of slowly warming up to our internships or seminary class, we went to New York to minister to Muslims! It was crazy. Crazy good. Crazy uncomfortable. And sometimes just plain crazy. 

Jenny, Perry, & I
We spent our mornings with a church planter named Brad who knows the city (the people and the place) really well. He trained us on how to evangelize (a really Christianese word that sounds super scary, but definitely doesn't have to be!). Although I definitely have shared my testimony with other believers and know how to present the Gospel, I learned a lot of new stuff. Brad taught us how to be real and how to be practical and not just treat people like a statistic but an actual person with a soul. He imparted his wisdom (very humbly, might I add) in the morning and then we grabbed lunch and went out into the city to make relationships with people and share the Gospel. It seems kind of crazy looking back on the week now, but we (Jenny, Perry, & I) would go into stores, salons, or sometimes just on the street and get into intentional conversations with people and go through the Creation, Jesus birth, His death, and His resurrection and why all of that had to happen. I think the reason why it seems so crazy is that before this week, I never would have done something like that. Not because I didn't think it was important, but mainly because I didn't know how. Hopefully I'll have a spare 8.5 minutes to write about some of the practical things Brad shared with us in a later post (hoping that the seminary class doesn't kill me in the next week).

Since the trip was only 1 week, we obviously didn't have the luxury of building super intimate, invite me to your wedding kind of relationships, but we did get to see God do some amazing things, despite our time constraints. My group got to share the Gospel and/or one (or more) of our testimonies in nearly every conversation we got into (granted, not all those people were receptive). One group with TCP got to meet a man who was the Imam over all of New York City - a huge feat that definitely could not have happened without Intervention. Multiple groups got invited to have meals with Muslims in NYC. One group got to go into a mosque, which for white Christians is a big deal. All of these conversations and experiences could not have taken place without the Holy Spirit blazing a trail before us. 

In addition to the ministry facet of the trip, our team definitely grew closer as a whole. Because multiple people knew each other prior to TCP, I think a lot of people (myself included) were scared cliques would form or people would be excluded, but that definitely didn't happen, which was wonderful. The best part of getting to know everyone is that we get to keep hanging out and being intentional for 7 more weeks!
We also got to do some pretty awesome sight-seeing, which was really fun! We got to experience Times Square and explore Manhattan, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, and see the Statue of Liberty - not to mention the crazy culture we experienced in the boroughs we ministered in.

This week was awesome in so many ways! Pray that God keeps working in the lives of the people we ministered to. Pray that the Holy Spirit would use the conversations that were had to spur on a hunger for truth. Pray for Brad that he and his family would be encouraged and that their ministry would grow to see countless people come to know Jesus. 

Next week I'll be starting my seminary class (yikes.), my Summit internship, my community ministry internship, and helping out with Kids Week (a.k.a. Vacation Bible School). Pray for motivation to read for my class, eagerness to learn at my internships and the physical strength to live out the Gospel towards all the kids that will be participating in Kids Week.

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