Thats a wrap! We have finished our summer project in NYC and returned home (more on the return trip in a bit). How are we feeling? Grateful to be home. Excited to see our friends at home. Sad that we left the city and our project family. Already missing so many things about city life. Thankful to the Lord for how he moved this summer.
The last week of summer project was very similar to the weeks before it. Lots of good conversations on campus, spending time doing inner city ministry, an ethnic dinner at a Haitian restaurant, church, Bible study, training time, time in the Word, and so much more. One of the fun perks of it being the last week were being able to attend the staff and student banquets. The staff banquet was held at the Lincoln Center. The food was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Three course meal involving all kinds of foods that I couldn’t read on the menu much less repeat here. But man, was it good! Here is Ed and I dressed all fancy at the staff dinner.
Then, the student banquet was held at a southern cooking restaurant. It was such good food and I thoroughly enjoyed having a REAL glass of sweet tea again. Here is a picture of our Bible study at the banquet.
At this banquet, we were able to celebrate through stories and videos how the Lord has changed lives this summer – both of our students and of people in the city. I will try to find one of those videos and post soon.
This summer, God put a burden on our heart for reaching NYC like none other. NYC is the largest city in our country by far – over 8 million people compared the the next largest city of Chicago with about 2.7 million. Brooklyn, one of NYC’s buroughs, has about 2.5 million people, close to the size of the city of the Chicago – and that is just one of the boroughs in NYC. Beyond its size, NYC attracts people from all over the world – some choose to live here, some choose to work here, and some choose to study here and then go back to their countries. NYC influences the culture of our country unlike any other city and one thing is clear – NYC can be used to reach the entire world.
As I talked with people in NYC this summer, it was increasingly clear that many had never heard the name of Jesus before or hadn’t given much thought to who he was. This summer, through all of our students and staff, we were able to have:
325 initiated conversations, 216 spiritual conversations, 131 gospel presentations, 1 Spirit-filled life presentation, and 1 person trusted Christ!!
Overall, the Lord moved greatly this summer and we are so humbled and amazed to have been a part of that. Our students lives were completely changed and we are really excited to hear quite a few of them talking about taking a year or two, or the rest of their lives, to come back to NYC to share with people full-time about Christ! Check out this blog from a student of ours, Summer, who went with us – its pretty amazing and says in way better words than I can what the Lord taught our students this summer.
This project just reiterates the heart of what we do with Cru – reach students with the message of Christ, see them built in their faith, and then see them sent out to make a difference around the world for Christ in their occupation and ministry. Yes, we could tell college students about Christ for the first time. Yes, we could teach students how to walk with the Lord and to surrender their lives to him. Yes, we could go to NYC or to another country full-time as missionaries. OR we could trust the Lord to use us to raise up 10, 20, or 30 students who will go do those very things, thereby multiplying the impact.
This is a picture of a few of our girls praying for the city and here is a picture of me with Chelsea, the girl I discipled this summer.
After we left NYC, we traveled to Maine for the day to see a few lighthouses and to eat some good lobster (and boy did we – check out this giant lobster below that we got with all the food pictured for only about $25). Kinsley’s favorite part? Seeing the tower that looks like Rapunzel’s and saying “Rapunzel, let down your hair!” Here are a few pictures from our trek:
After Maine, we traveled down to Boston for a day of sightseeing. We loved Boston – the history, the architecture, the views, the fun things to do – but we didn’t love the heat! Ed got to see Fenway Park and check that off his list, we got to tour around the city and see many historic places, and the girls got to visit the aquarium.
The last day, we were planning on stopping at a hotel on the way home just for the night but when Kinsley kept asking how long until we got home and we were tired of stopping again to set up camp just for a night, we decided to book it home. We drove over 12 hours to make it home (quite a few of those were after they went to bed at night). The girls were troopers and did great – especially with lots of stops to break things up. We did have a little bit of sadness when we passed through NYC again on the way back, realizing just how much we were going to miss the city. But, when we arrived home at 1:30am, we were glad to be home!
Thanks for your prayers, support, encouragement, and loving the city with us this summer. Please continue praying that students, even some who were with us this summer, will go and make a difference there for Christ!