Turning the big 1-0!

Kinsley turned 10 this past week!  She was bummed about not celebrating with her friends and having to cancel her party (that we only let them have every 5 years so it was a big deal!), but she felt celebrated with a mid-day call from sweet friends who told her things they loved about her, calls from friends and family, and a making of her favorite strawberry cake. The cake layers ended up sliding because the icing was too runny, but she still loved it.
Thank you so much to all who have reached out to check on our family as we continue living in the epicenter of Covid in the US. Recently, in response to an email from a ministry partner, I typed up a brief summary of how we are doing and what life is like for us right now. I will post my response here as an update.
  • Thank you so much for checking in on us! We are still in NYC – hunkered down in our little safe house – what a provision from the Lord when he provided this house for us 1.5 years ago – he knew we would need this place to survive because it would be a brutal time if we were still in our apartment. We only leave these days for a run, short walk, or a quick trip to the grocery store (complete with mask, gloves, and Lysol spray down and change of clothes when that person comes home!). 
  • Life is for sure challenging right now and heartbreaking to see our city suffering      so much – NYC was locked down way too late and by that point, the virus was    rampant. Thankfully, we, our students, and our close friends aren’t sick, though we know others who are. We also have friends who are working on the front lines as doctors and nurses and risking their lives daily. Our community is doing a great job of rallying around them, but it is challenging to support them when we are having to be stuck inside for our safety. The kids are doing pretty well – we had to cancel Kinsley’s 10th birthday party and they are sad about being away from their friends, but they are really handling it all like champs.
  • Our life now consists of homeschooling the kids using their teachers’ assignments (April), hosting Bible studies and discipleship appointments and leading staff meetings and caring for our team virtually (both of us!), trying to get creative about how to reach college students and still try to move our ministries forward in evangelism and discipleship and networking (our whole team!), caring for and leading our church small group virtually, and leading the Cru campus staff in the city about how to handle this crisis and next steps (Ed as the NYC Crisis Director). Thankfully, our students live in virtual worlds, so the only huge shift is not being able to see them in person and having to get creative about evangelism and meeting new students.
  • It’s a full load for sure and we end each day weary and exhausted, but we are making sure to have good rhythms and connect regularly with Jesus to fill our cup and empower us to do what has to be done. We are so encouraged by reading our Bible, listening to church sermons online, and listening to praise and worship – it is balm for our thirsty soul and we are able to sympathize a lot more with New Testament believers. We are learning much about being still and waiting on Jesus and turning to Him to fill us and carry our burdens and not other things that numb us but leave us empty. We are also learning much about what is looks like to serve others, even we feel empty, and how Jesus empowers us to serve them – for instance, our community, our small group from church, our kids, and each other.
  • Please just continue praying for us and warn others to take this seriously – we are so disheartened by people who think its “just a flu” or “political propaganda” – we don’t want them to be where we are in a month…learn from NYC. Even when we moved here, we said NYC sets the trends for the rest of the country and is ahead of it in so many things – this time, use what is happening here as a warning! Pray for us to lean into what God wants us personally and us collectively to learn during this season. Pray for our kids to thrive during this time and that we would be diligent to teach and encourage and love them versus feeling like we are having to balance them and ministry and making unhealthy choices with that. Pray that we wouldn’t be anxious about possibly losing support with all that is happening with the economy and trust God for what tomorrow brings. 
The following pictures are of:
  • a busy street in our neighborhood known as the “Boulevard of Death” because it is so busy and hard to cross
  • a post on social media from a good friend who is a PA at a busy hospital in Brooklyn
  • supplies that are being donated to hospitals from people in our community as they rally around the front line workers.

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