Last week I spent four days in New York City nailing down the final details for Embrace’s September mission trip to the City.
At this time last year I made my first visit to New York. My knowledge of the City during that first trip was solely derived from media. I truly thought I would take a cab everywhere I needed to go; that everyone lived in Manhattan; and that I would be surrounded by people 24/7.
While the latter certainly proved to be true (seriously – Times Square at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night is wall-to-wall people), the former thoughts were not. I quickly realized that taking cabs everywhere is expensive and that the subway and bus systems are much more cost effective and time effective means of travel. I also learned that not everyone lives in Manhattan. Although many people commute into Manhattan on a daily basis, it is much too expensive to live there.
What I did learn during that initial trip – and have been reminded of on my subsequent trips to the City – is that the nations are present all over the Metro New York area. I am also constantly reminded that it takes every believer inside New York City to reach those who don’t have a relationship with Christ in the City.
With each visit I am amazed and humbled by the hearts of the believers that are New Yorkers. They not only have a passion for Christ and for making Him known, but also for those within the City who do not know Him. Many are willing to do whatever it takes to reach those in their communities who are native New Yorkers, as well as those who have come from other countries, with the Gospel of Christ.
In my process of finalizing details last week, I was in areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx (four of the five NYC boroughs) where I was surrounded by dialects and languages that are not like my own.
Honestly, it made me smile. While I realized I couldn’t understand much of what was being communicated around me, I smiled because I know that God knows what was being shared because He made the peoples and He made the languages.
He also sent His Son, Jesus, to die so that all peoples might know Him.
What an incredible opportunity that God has given us as believers – to be a part of seeing the nations come to salvation in Jesus Christ and worshiping Him alone.