We arrived in NYC on Sunday evening, Ed had meetings on Monday to prepare for the staff and students’ arrivals with the rest of the leadership team, and then the rest of the staff team arrived on Monday afternoon. Then, we had meetings all week to prepare for the student’s arrival, time in prayer at a local park, time on campus at Columbia University, team bonding in the form of ice cream and laughter :), and lots of good food together! Yesterday, we had a day off to rest before the madness begins so we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry so we could see the Statue of Liberty. Then, today, the students arrived.
As we learned more of the vision for the project (with my husband as the director, you would think I would have heard it already, but alas, this was the first time), heard more about the students who are coming, and have gotten to know the city and the local community around here better, I am so excited to see what the Lord is going to do in this city! It is so, so different from the south in regards to openness to Christianity and spiritual things, people talking about God and Jesus, and everyone is so concerned about themselves and getting where they need to go and doing what they need to do. Don’t get me wrong, its not that they are mean or bad people, it is just so, so different. I knew this would be true, but being here for more than a few days make it so much more obvious.
We are learning to live life in the big city, and to do it with children. Now that I have remembered anew how to navigate the subway, figuring out which stops have what, found the local Target and mall, and have located a few great parks, I feel like life is in business. I keep thinking, this is good and I can do this – things are different but once you figure out how to do them in the city versus the suburbs, it is good. The girls love the subway and Kinsley keeps asking when we get to ride it again.
Two other things I am really loving here so far: 1 – the food and 2 – running in the park. I always hear everyone rave about the food in Charleston being the best in the country and while it is good, all restaurants do a little different variety on the same things. Here, the food is all so different and everything you try is so good!! Its like they all specialize in something, and when I say specialize, I mean do it right. We have eaten at a pizza restaurant called Julianas (amazing!), pasta place called Enzos (probably one of the best Italian restaurants I have eaten at), and a sandwich, pasta, and salad place called Cafe Hestia (I could eat a salad from there for every single meal). And there are so many more places to try! Good thing we walk a lot to walk it all off!
Here are the last few days in pictures:
These are pictures from the ferry and of the staff kids looking out of the boat –
This picture is so funny to me. Emerson is strapped into her stroller on the subway but anytime she can, she grabs onto the pole to hold on, because she sees everyone else doing it. So cute!
Today, on the way back from the park, we passed by a fire station and they invited the kids in to sit in the truck. Kinsley was in one of her moods and didn’t want to sit up in the seat, but Emerson didn’t want to get down. It was fun to remember the history of the FDNY and thank them for all do and have done.
We had a big welcome dinner and then started briefing the students tonight on the history of New York, project norms, and how to navigate the subway.
Hopefully, I will be able to update more regularly this next week or so as such much is happening. Thanks for letting us share this journey the Lord has us on with you!