This post is going to be a smorgasbord of information – from answered prayers to an update on our summer mission to just a look at life in our family recently. So sit back, hang on, and enjoy the ride (or read!).
This week, we got the call we have been waiting for for months, literally. EMERSON GOT A SPOT IN KINSLEY’S SCHOOL!!! This is a HUGE deal and what we have been praying for for months. They had a few students who took spots in other schools to be in the Gifted and Talented program, which opened up a spot for Emerson. I have tried to figure out what the Lord may have been teaching me, other than to be patient, be okay with not being in control, and just to wait on Him (does this lesson ever stop?!?), but I honestly don’t know. This will be one of those things that I just don’t get, and I am okay with that. Our Muslim friends who ride the bus with Kinsley and are in the same boat as us (they didn’t get a spot for the younger sibling either) still don’t have a spot yet since they are further down the list, so not only do I feel compassion for them, I am so grateful that we now know and aren’t waiting like they are.
NYC Summer Mission has really begun to take off. Students and staff have been here for a few weeks and have started to get their grove and figure out things like doing laundry, navigating public transportation, getting a feel for their campuses, etc. It has been so neat to see how they have been taking huge steps of faith, some by initiating spiritual conversations, some by engaging with people not like them, and others by just being here. The first week on campus really rocked a lot of our students as they got questions that really challenged them and for many, it was the first time interacting with people who didn’t believe what they did. It caused them to really think, dig in the Bible, and figure out how they would answer it and what they believe. That is what this mission is all about – not just sharing the Gospel but causing these students to grow closer to the Lord as well!
That being said, the Lord has allowed us to see fruit so far, which is very gracious of Him! As of just Monday, the Lord allowed us to have 135 spiritual conversations, 55 conversations where the Gospel is shared, and 3 decisions for Christ! And its only halfway through the summer mission! Please pray the students keep taking steps of faith, keep initiating conversations, keep leaning on the Lord through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to have these conversations, keep engaging their doubts and turning to the Lord to answer their questions, and keep growing in their faith as well.
Even though I don’t get to go to campus everyday with the students because I have the kids, school pickups, etc, I have been able to be involved in the summer mission in lots of ways – staff meetings, women’s time, ethnic dinners, family dinners, social events, and much more. Enjoy these pictures of summer mission so far.
The guys at putt-putt on Pier 25 on their Men’s night. Why are they mean-mugging? No clue. The picture below is a group of our students and staff at Top of the Rock.
This is training we held for the students where they practiced how to use Solarium, a picture survey, to find out what people believe and to get into spiritual conversations with them.
A beautiful picture of One World Trade at night. Beautiful city!
The view of the city from Queens College.
A cross on campus at St. John’s University, a Catholic college.
Learning about and finding the way around St. John’s University via a map.
Ethnic dinner at an Indian restaurant in Manhattan.
Another beautiful view of the city.
Another ethnic dinner at an Ethopian restaurant in Manhattan. And yes, our kids ate that (barely).
Another ethnic dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown in Manhattan (it was seriously the best Chinese food I have ever had).
One of the surveys we use on campus to enable us to get in spiritual conversations or get a students’ info to follow up with them.
A group of our girls on the beach at Coney Island.
Personally, life has been crazy busy being involved in project and juggling family/kid/school demands. BUT, we have been having a great time and the kids are loving all their time with “the college students”, as they call them. We also had a great time renting a car and driving down to Coney Island for the day last Saturday. We were going to be meeting the students at the amusement park that afternoon for a team social, but we decided to travel down early and get in some beach time. The water was cold, the beach was crowded, but that didn’t stop our kids from having a great time.
The kids enjoyed their time riding the rides at Coney Island, though I have to say, so far, only one of our kids REALLY enjoys it. It is funny how the Lord makes each kid so different. Kinsley is very afraid of heights, fast things, and doing anything that scares her. As you can imagine, Coney Island rides weren’t her thing (though she did try the Log Flume as her one big ride). Emerson, on the other hand, would have stayed another 3 hours riding rides. Ed is a huge dare devil and loves fast and high things, and Emerson would have ridden everything there with him if she could have. Blake is a little more like Kinsley, though time will tell if he learns to love them like Emerson.
As you can see, Emerson loved the rides with her dad! Kinsley, on the other hand, is much more content with this speed of ride – a little train for toddlers (which was Blake’s favorite!). Bless her heart.
Oh yes, she did ride this all by herself. And two different big roller coasters with Ed. Tough I don’t hate roller coasters, she didn’t get this love from her momma.
One of my favorite parts about the summer in the city, so far? Getting to listen to concerts at the Forest Hills stadium behind our apartment without even paying and from the comfort of home! Last weekend, they had the Chainsmokers perform and they not only were LOUD and CLEAR from our apartment, they did fireworks the whole time. Last night, Jack Johnson performed and our students that came over for family night were floored that they got to listen to some of his music from our balcony. Is this real life?
Thanks for hanging in there through this long post. And thanks for your prayers for Kinsley and Emerson’s school situation, for our summer mission, for our family, and for Kinsley’s foot surgery vs orthopedics situation (no update there yet). We are so thankful for you!