This week was a lot more of a normal week for us. It was filled with Bible study, discipleship, training for staff and students, prayer time, time in the Word, dinner and discussion, campus time, ethnic dinner at a Turkish restaurant, and then a full day where students and a few staff served with Cru Inner City ministry working with after school programs and at risk youth. We also had a men/womens time where we separated and talked about men and women things (the women talked about “Beauty to Ashes” – finding your identity in Christ and how that affects relationships with God, relationships with others, and relationship with self).
This week, I went to campus at City College. Colin Powell is a graduate of City College which again reminded me of the importance of reaching students here in this city. I loved interacting with people from all different faiths who didn’t know hardly anything about Jesus. For instance, to start off with, we talked to 3 students – 1 was from a Islamic family, 1 was from a Hindu family, and 1 was from a family that practices Sikhism. It was really interesting to hear all of them describe that they are searching for what is true for them and not just for what they have been raised to think, how they felt they shouldn’t obey God and pray because of fear of what he would do if they didn’t, and that they didn’t think religion should be about do’s and don’ts. We had a great conversation with them and when we asked about Jesus, the Muslim guy said that he heard Jesus described as Son of God but that he didn’t understand why anyone would want to serve a God who was human and messes up just like we do. We were able to not only have great conversation with them about what they believe and value, but also to clearly share who Jesus was, what grace was, and how they could have a relationship with Him and not just a religion.
The next conversation we were able to have was with two girls, both of who were raised Catholic but no longer attend church. After some really interesting conversation, we were able to ask them the question “If you think humanity is mostly good and everyone wants to do good, love others, and better themselves, then why isn’t the world getting better?” They told us they wanted to think about it some more and then get together more to talk about it. We are hoping to meet with them again this next week for some followup conversation.
Ed also got to travel to Columbia University this week and have some really great conversations with students. People here in NYC are very open to talking about what they believe or are thinking and we love dialoguing with them about God. Please pray the Lord continues to allow us to have great conversations, that he opens hearts and minds, and that he brings us into contact with the people whose hearts he is pursuing. Also pray that we continue to interact with and share Christ with everyone we come into contact with, whether students or the people who are living in our communities.
We were able to squeeze some fun things into this week – lunch with some dear friends of ours who are serving with Destino here in the city (Cru’s ministry reaching out to Hispanic students), a trip to the NYC library to see their children’s book exhibit (the picture below shows Patience, one of the lions who sits outside the NYC public library), our first time eating Thai food, a trip to the carousel and pirate park near Brooklyn bridge, and a walk across the bridge. When we were walking down from the bridge (just this morning actually), we came up against a parade rally going up the bridge full of hundreds of people protesting gun violence. They even had a band!! It was major madness going against the flow. Their was even an article posted on MSN about it (its there now!). Just our luck right?!?
We had our first big storm here in the city last night. It was fun to see the wall cloud of rain moving across the city and hitting us. And then, because we were stuck inside, this is how we passed the time.
Thank you for praying for us! We have two more weeks here and are excited to finish well – but Kinsley (our homebody) keeps asking when we are going home, so pray we stay engaged, finish well, and the Lord allows us to see fruit these last few weeks!