While I am usually the one sharing, posting, and updating you on our life and ministry, occasionally, I like to have someone else write a post for my blog for a change. Or, I post on .someone else’s blog, like I am going to be doing this week (and I will be sure to link that post here so you can see just what I said). Our teammate and friend Erin shared this story with her ministry partners and I was so encouraged (and thought you would be, too) that I wanted to post it here. This story is such a great example of how God is working on students’ hearts here in NYC!
“I’ve now met Jora (name changed) four times: the first time was when Sarah and I did Soularium, a picture survey about life and spiritual beliefs, with her (I honestly forgot about the whole conversation); the second time was when I was walking out of the cafeteria at SJU and heard someone yelling after me, “Hey you!! You’re the Cru girl, when are your meetings again?!” Students don’t tend to run toward me asking about Cru, so I told her the info and asked where I had met her before (oops). She never came to Cru, so I didn’t think much of it.
The third time was on Spring Break: I was with Sabrina, a student from Southern Miss, and we walked up to a group of about ten friends and asked if they would be willing to take our Perspectives survey (shown below). Jora recognized me, and said she would be willing to, along with her friend. We sat there hearing about her views of God, human nature, Jesus, and other topics. She had a background in Christianity, but was definitely confused. She thought there was a God, but just wasn’t quite sure who He was. She admitted she liked thinking about these things because she wants to figure out what the Truth is. At this point, I felt like Jora wanted to continue these conversations, so I got her number and asked if we could meet up another time.
Fourth meeting: Jora and I met last week for lunch. She dove right in, telling me all about her beliefs and confusions. She grew up Catholic but always skeptical. How could God be good if bad things were always happening? People said one thing and did another. Jesus died for her, but what did that actually mean and matter?! She had good, deep questions. She kept saying “I’m just trying to be good enough. I just am trying to be good enough, but it’s hard.” Her whole view of Christianity was on being “good enough”. I told her that sounds draining, full of pressure and no confidence, to which she agreed. I asked if I could share with her what I thought Christianity actually offered and the main message, to which she agreed to, again.
We walked through the gospel using our Knowing God Personally booklet, which breaks down the gospel into 4 main components: God’s love, our Sin, God’s Response, and our Response. As we got to the part on sin, talking about how we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), she looked relieved. She said that hearing that the Bible says that we have all sinned, that none of us are actually “good enough”, was the most reassuring thing. We kept walking through, going through Ephesians 2:8-9, talking about how we have been saved by grace through faith. This concept was so new to her. We got to the very end where it talks about two kinds of lives: a life without Christ and a life with Christ. Jora was explaining that she had a life without Christ but that’s not where she wanted to stay. The second after she said this, she looked at her clock and realized she was late for class (no joke). Worst timing ever. She got up really quickly and apologized but had to run. I asked if we could meet next week and she said “Yes!”.
I sat there dumbfounded at her response to the Gospel and the craziness of the timing. I was both slightly annoyed but also SO hopeful that the Lord is going to work through her to continue revealing himself to her. We are (hopefully) meeting up this week to finish our conversation. Would you pray for Jora?! Pray that she recognizes her brokeness, that we can never be “good enough” and we have a desperate need for Jesus. Pray that she would recognize that she does not have Christ, but by grace through faith she can be forgiven. Thank you for partnering in prayer with me and trusting God to work in students lives in NYC.”