I cannot believe that we are almost done with 5 weeks of the NYC Summer Mission! Week 4 felt more “normal”, whatever that means on summer mission 🙂 .
Our students and staff, knowing that days on campus are limited as we are nearing the end, decided that they wanted to challenge themselves to push hard and to trust God as they finish this race well. In order to do that, they have set a goal to initiate 25 spiritual conversations daily. It has been encouraging to see each group cheer on the others and to praise God that they have exceeded that goal EVERY SINGLE DAY! As a result of God opening up peoples’ eyes and hearts to the message of Jesus, 2 more students surrendered their lives to Jesus! Here are a picture of these two new sisters in Christ:
We are so proud of them and even in the midst of feeling burnt out and seeing the finish line on the horizon, they are continuing to trust God for big things here. At the beginning, we set a goal of seeing 10 people place their faith in Jesus this summer. With 3 days left on campus, will you pray God allows us to see that goal met as He changes their lives?
We also had other “normal” things this week – ethnic dinner at a Ukrainian restaurant, mens (pictures below) and womens (we totally dropped the ball on getting pictures) times where we talked about things that are specific to our own struggles (the women talked about surrendering every aspect of our life to Jesus), Bible study, staff meeting, church and serving time at the church in the kids classes’, extended time in the word and worship, family dinners at our apartments, and extended prayer and training times.
We are really enjoying our staff team this summer. Most of them (with the exception of Ellen who is from Boston) are from the South, which has been fun for us to talk about sweet tea, the ways of the South, and southern words, and feel understood 🙂 Saturday night, we went to something called The Night Market which is held behind the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The night market consists of all kind of ethnic food vendors (who change weekly!) who sell large portions for $5 so you can taste and savor food from all around the world. Every time, we try something new and every time, we LOVE everything we try. We were delighted to share this fun treasure of a place with our team (it only happens on Saturday nights during the summer). I had a delicious cocunut pancake with java palm sugar, Russian palmini and a Malaysian burger. After we all tried food, went back for more, went back for even more, oohed and aahed over all there was to offer, and enjoyed the cultural music, we walked over the the unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park where the Worlds Fair was held. Notice it from Men in Black?
Ed is such a trooper – after being diagnosed with a sinus infection, he had to wake up the next morning and run a 10K. He had to do it to qualify to run the NYC half marathon next year, so he couldn’t just back out without their being consequences, and with him recently running a half-marathon, this wasn’t hard, BUT STILL!
I was so excited that the kids and I could finally come and cheer him on – they had a blast watching and cheering on the runners (and getting a few high-fives) and I loved seeing an Ugandan man win the race (I love, love, love watching them run with no heavy breathing like they only ran one block and their stride is amazing!).
The girls only have 2.5 days of school left – today we had class parties and yesterday, Emerson graduated kindergarten! Yes, it is weird that they graduate and then have 3.5 day so school left, but I don’t make the rules 🙁 Here are pictures of our “not-so-little” girl. She is so spirited and sassy and a girly-girl (notice her necklace, dress, lip gloss, and high heels) and she has done so well in school this year and has made tons of friends!
Tomorrow, we are having staff meeting, hosting practical seminars for the staff (I am excited to lead one on financial stewardship and best practices), and then walking the Brooklyn Bridge and eating delicious pizza near the Brooklyn waterfront. And, another fun thing happening this week, my cousin (who is way more like my niece) just graduated high school and is here with us for the week. She loves NYC and we love having her join in with us!
Prayer that we would finish strong, that our staff and students would consider moving back to NYC on a longer basis (as interns or staff), and that God would help us start preparing with our next season of MPD in SC and NC. Excited to finish this project well – God still has big things in store!