Moldova 2016: Day 1, 2 & 3

Our flights over were thankfully somewhat uneventful! Long plane ride from JFK to Moscow, with a very short layover, which mostly required that we move from one terminal, through a security check, to the next gate to wait for a bus that would take us out to our plane (normal procedure in many parts of the world). We arrived safely in Moldova on Saturday morning with only one bag of luggage missing! Thankfully it was accounted for and the airport promised it would be on the next flight from Moscow.

Our first day in Moldova, we spent the day in the city of Chisinau, to eat and rest before spending our week in the villages. On Sunday morning after breakfast, we loaded our luggage and ourselves into vans to travel an hour to the village of Chiţcanii Vechi, Orhei. Sunday morning we joined the village church to sing songs, share a few testimonies and a message in Philippians 1 by Eric Gregory. After church, our students and the translators (young adults from Moldova) were able to visit their host home before lunch. The rest of the day allowed some time to rest, get to know the Moldova team for Tomorrow Clubs and do some decorating and prep for our Tomorrow Clubs that start on Monday!

Please pray for our week at camp, that we would have great opportunities to interact with the kids and show them the love of Jesus through everything we do! Please pray for our students as it will be a busy week in a very new environment for most of them (outhouses without seats are not easy to get used to!). Please pray for continued health and sustained energy as some students and leaders are still figuring out jet lag.

Reach Out 2016: Day 3, 4 & 5

DAY 3: Saturday, July 2

We began with breakfast at Water Street at 7 where we were continuing building relationships with the residents. We went back to Teen Haven and had our devotion time and also had time to talk in our squads. Following that time we were able to go to Central Market and get a quick sweet treat! This was a nice little pick me up since we were about to begin a busy day preparing for the Block Party. Our group walked to Palm Street which is where Pastor Jose lives and we began cleaning the streets and getting it ready for the party. After clean up, we had lunch as a group and then we walked around the neighborhood to give out flyers and promote the block party. It was a nice turnout and we had the awesome chance to interact with kids and families. Praise the Lord for the beautiful weather! There were games set up for kids, a bounce house, and they also had Bingo for adults! Our drama team performed and pastor Jose gave an encouraging message to those who attended. There were a few people that you would really tell were touched by the drama and the message. The party ended around 5:30 so we cleaned up and headed back to Teen Haven. We were overjoyed when an ice cream truck drove by and our group had the chance to enjoy a cool treat on a hot day! I’m sure the man with ice-cream truck was happy to have over 20 customers! We got back to Teen Haven around 7 and then had a chance to debrief about the day, worship together and bond as a team. We were thankful for how the Lord could use us as servants for the people of Teen Haven and Activate church. The block party was an awesome ministry! 

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DAY 4: Sunday, July 3

It began like the other days with breakfast at Water Street at 7. When we went back to Teen Haven we were greeted by Calvary staff member, Scott Messner where he gave a great challenge to the team. He encouraged us to not categorize people based off of their appearances or our first impressions. He referenced Ephesians 2:1-10 and that was also the passage that we used for our personal devotion time. After he left us with his challenge and we were able to have our personal devotion time, we met up in our squads and reflected on the different things that God has been showing us. We joined back together as a group and Michael said that each of us were getting $7 to use how we felt like God wanted us to use it. We then broke out in groups and asked God to help us know how to use our money. One group bought food at a local grocery store and asked God to direct them to the people that needed it. Another group combined their money and used it to bless a woman by paying for her grocery bill. The wonderful part of this story is that she had been praying in the checkout line that she would have enough money to buy her groceries. It is amazing how when we ask God to guide us then He will use us for His glory! This was a great experience for the group and it was neat to hear the different ways that the students wanted to use their money.

Later in the afternoon the team went out again in the streets to promote the church service that was going to be with Activate Church at Franklin and Marshall field. Groups stopped as they saw people in the streets and they excitedly invited people to attend. It was awesome to see the growth from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon with how the students were interacting with people.  The group met back at Water Street for dinner at 5:00 before we had to prepare for the church service. After dinner we prayed with Activate and we loaded up in vans to head over to the field. Once we were there we had the chance to pray, sing worship songs, watch one of the drama skits, hear from Pastor Jose, and talk/pray for the people who were also at the field. It was a fun night for the students as we then stayed to see the fireworks! We arrived back at Teen Haven shortly after 10:00 and we had time to debrief as a group about the day and have snack. We loved debriefing about the day as a team and it was encouraging to hear how God has been working in the lives of the students. 

ABBY McDANIEL

A highlight of my trip was when we were handing out food to bless people with. We had animal crackers, peanut butter & jolly ranchers left. We stopped at the corner & prayed that we would find a family to bless and what do you know, a family walks around the corner! After talking to them it turns out they were not going to have lunch that day! It’s truly amazing to see God’s hand at work.

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DAY 5: Monday, July 4

Our group shared our last breakfast at Water Street. The students were able to say their goodbyes to some of the residents that they had been getting to know. It was so encouraging to hear how some of the students wanted to come back and volunteer in some way at Water Street. We took our last walk back to Teen Haven and had one final debrief as a team. One of the coolest things was how many prayers were answered during the course of the trip. The team unity was truly the work of the Spirit and so many students were sad to see the trip come to an end. It was a great experience and we were so thankful for all the support we received as a team! 

JOSH GLICK

This was the most fun week I have had all summer!

CORINNA DIENNER

I think the greatest blessing for me was the bond within the group. Everyone was really open and I made some good friends! Free time was fun, but then going out and seeing the confidence everyone had was super cool to see!

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We love hearing that students were blessed by humbly serving and sharing God’s love. Thank you for all of your prayers and support for our Reach Out Team and their ministry in Lancaster, PA!

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Reach Out 2016: Day 1 & Day 2

DAY 1: Thursday, June 30

The team left Calvary Church around 9:45 AM and arrived at Teen Haven in Lancaster city a little after 10:00 AM. We unloaded the luggage, snacks, gifts for our “blessed to be a blessing” ministry, and while all this was a happening there happened to be a homeless gentleman asking us for food and money. (Talk about diving right in!) Training began right away as we were greeted by a few of the staff from Teen Haven. Jose, the director at Teen Haven was talking to us when the homeless man came inside to our meeting room to ask for food again. It turned out that the “homeless” man was actually a volunteer at Teen Haven and they were using the scenario we experienced when we pulled in to make us think about how we reacted to him. Students shared how they felt nervous and unsure of what to say, but the Teen Haven staff encouraged the team to just love these people like Christ and to see them like God does. It was a great start for training and stretching us to think about how we love those that we will interact with.

After the morning training session we walked to Water Street Rescue Mission for lunch where we got to mingle with the residents. It was fun to begin conversations and learn stories! Right from lunch we had a small seminar where staff members of Water Street explained their mission and how God is changing lives of people that are affected by homelessness. The staff members then took us on a tour of the main campus. Once the tour was finished we went back to Teen Haven where we prepared for Door to Door outreach. We were given an opportunity to help Teen Haven promote their day camp for kids, as well as their Sunday night church service. This was stretching for a lot of the students as most of them have never participated in door to door ministry. A lot of the students said to was a great experience! After splitting up in groups to promote the ministry of Teen Haven we then came back together at 5 for dinner at Water Street. We had another opportunity to meet residents at Water Street and learn more stories.

When we finished dinner we went back to Teen Haven and prepared for Penn Square outreach. We reviewed our verses, looked over our testimonies, and the drama team did one more rehearsal before we hit the streets. Our team arrived in the square a little after 7 PM and we stayed until 9 PM. Many conversations happened during this time and while we were there we experienced both small and large victories. A group of guys were able to share the Gospel to a man, Daniel, and lead him to Christ! One of the students gave his Bible to Daniel so can continue growing! Please be praying for Daniel on his new faith journey! Other groups were able to pray for people and encourage them by at sharing that God loves them and what it means to them. There were also big learning moments for the students where people had different beliefs that they shared. Overall, the students were great and the drama team was able to perform and give great platforms for conversations. We went back to Teen Haven around 9 and were able to have a little snack, worship time and debrief the day as a team. God is definitely at work and the prayers are so very appreciated! His mighty work is just beginning and we’re excited to see it continue!



DAY 2: Friday, July 1

Early morning for the group as we had to leave Teen Haven at 6:50 AM to be at breakfast at Water Street at 7:00 AM. After breakfast we had devotion time at Teen Haven and then walked back over to Water Street where we did service projects. (Pick up trash, clean cars, and help in the kitchen). We ate lunch and then were able to have some time to relax and enjoy team bonding. We left for the park near Water Street around 2 PM and hung out there until dinner time. We were able to interact with different kids and play games with them. We also shared the gospel through wordless bracelets and one of kids, Miguel, accepted Christ! Woo hoo! After dinner we prepped to go out to the streets at Penn Square again. It was packed and the students were able to engage in lots of conversation! Another gentleman named, Steven, also came to the Lord after being interacted with both Friday and Saturday night! It was such an encouraging day of outreach with great conversations and celebration to some of our new brothers in Christ.

Thought from student – “got to talk to a man at Penn Square who was also trying to share the gospel in the  streets. Was able to pray with him and encourage him too.” -Emma Moore

Please continue to pray for strength and energy for our Reach Out Team this weekend, alongside of team unity! On Saturday, we are doing the “carnival” for local families. Please be praying for opportunities to share Christ with the people of Lancaster!

NYGO 2016: Day 6

DAY 6: Thursday, June 30

Our final day of ministry is always a little bittersweet. We were excited for another day of ministry, but also sad for the experience to be over. After a delay on the subway because of some inspections, we all met up at Calvary for our final ministry preparation time. We had the privilege to hear from Dr. Alfonse Javed. Dr. Javed is a pastor at Calvary Baptist Church and having grown up in Pakistan, has devoted his life to equipping others in how to minister to Muslims. He has written several books on the subject and helped us understand our Muslim neighbors and how to share the love of Jesus with them. We also heard from Israel and Katie Martinez, a married couple who have both come out of homosexuality and seen God work in amazing ways in healing and changing them.

With a lot to think through, we grabbed lunch and again headed out to the parks. Students were able to take all they have learned and practiced this week into the parks for one last day of ministry and many of them were able to have good conversations and speak about Jesus. After several hours for ministry in the parks, each of the teams would take time to debrief before heading back to the church for dinner. It is always so encouraging to join together to review the challenges and encouragement of sharing about your faith! Here are some of the notes from a few of the students and leaders that visited Bryant Park on Day 6, and what they feel they have learned from their time “on mission” in parks this entire week:

  • God is the one that does the work of the gospel, but He does that through his people! (Josiah P)
  • to put yourself away and not worry about what people think of you and just talk about Jesus! (Tim)
  • if you trust in God’s plan, it’s far better than your own – trusting in Him allows you to see what he can do in your life (Emily)
  • great to see how God can put people in your path (Clayton)
  • a new view of joy and the importance; the joy of the Lord is my strength! that’s what the gospel is about! (Addie)
  • when I speak, it’s Jesus speaking through me, it’s not me all by myself! (Danny)
  • learned I shouldn’t be doing this trip for my own pride or self-focus, but learn to share what God has done (Dennis)
  • God answers prayers in the most miraculous and marvelous ways! sometimes we pray for something with good intentions, but often have selfish motives; God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we are expecting! (Katie)
  • don’t ignore God when he is calling you to do something… when He says go, you need to go! (Raymond)

We all returned to Calvary Baptist in the evening for a unique prayer time for Muslims all over the world. The church was set up as it would be in the middle east and we enjoyed some delicious arabic food as we heard testimonies from people who had been saved out of Islam. We prayed for muslims in the Middle East, Europe, South America and right here in the US. After saying our goodbyes, we returned to the hotel for our final debrief.

Students were challenged to make this a week of life change, not just a cool experience. Each student shared the practical step that they would take when they got home, to implement what God had taught them this week. As we all went to bed, students and leaders were swapping stories of how they had seen God work in amazing ways this week. We are sad to leave the city, but excited to get home and live out what we learned.

Pray that students would share their experiences with friends, family and supporters as we head home. Pray for students who will still be raising the last of their financial support for the trip when we get home. Pray that students would take the next steps that they had committed to, that this week would be the start of a lifestyle of evangelism. Most of all, praise God for the life change in our students and leaders, as God worked in amazing ways in and through us as we shared the love and message of Jesus with New York City!


DANNY GARCIA, ADDIE MOORE & CLAYTON BYERS

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LEIGH OBER

Tea party in the park… My grandmother would be proud. The moment she prepared me for was today. I had a tea party in the park. Picture with me the scene in Alice in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter and his tea party, which was hysterically similar to my experience today. I haven’t had any great conversations all week because I was focused on encouraging and guiding the students. But today I felt like I should be the one to have the conversation. I started my walk at one corner of Bryant Park and went almost the entire way around before finding a woman sitting with 3-4 tables set up ready for a tea party. The women of my family have been trying to get me to enjoy tea parties for years. Well, it finally happened. An hour and a half to two hours later I was disappointed to have to say goodbye. (I may need to move to NYC for the weekly tea party held in Bryant Park.) It was so meant for me. I connected with the hostess and then with each of the 4 other people who joined us. Seriously, a ton of connections and ways to bring up God, Jesus, the Bible, the hope we have in Christ, the joy He has given us, and the peace we have knowing our future! It was amazing. Only God could have orchestrated the connections made between each of the people there. I didn’t change anyone’s mind then and there, but we challenged each other, shared our stories, and drank lots of tea. Time will only tell what becomes of these connections. Maybe I’ll have a tea party in a park at home…or coffee party. Creating community, a safe place to challenge and encourage each other is my take away from this week!

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NYGO 2016: Day 4 & Day 5

DAY 4: Tuesday, June 28

The fourth day of ministry is always a tough day – it is the day that the pace of New York City life and ministry catches up to you. As we had done yesterday, we spent the morning at Calvary Baptist Church. After worship that lifted our souls, we had the privilege of hearing from Jody Chadban. Jody and her family are originally from Australia, but after hearing God’s call for them to minister in New York, they packed up and moved to the other side of the world in obedience. Everything has not been smooth sailing for them since the move, but we were reminded to tell of God’s goodness, not only when a trial is over, but in the midst of the difficult times. Our students were also equipped to share the gospel with the large Jewish population in the city as they heard from Stewart Weinisch. Stewart is a Jewish native of New York who realized that Jesus was the true Messiah and now works for Jews for Jesus, spreading the good news to his own people. After being encouraged and equipped, we grabbed lunch and headed out to parks. Students again sought out opportunities to speak to strangers, to ask them questions and hear their stories. We focused on prayer today, praying throughout the day that God would bring people into students’ paths that they could share the love of Christ with. Many students were able to share the gospel today and though not everyone accepted it, we know that seeds have been planted. We returned to Calvary for much needed dinner and heard stories from students and leaders from all of the church groups about the amazing way that God worked through conversations all around the city. We took the time to pray for each story, praying that God would be at work, even after we leave. The day ended with us hearing from Matt Fearey, a pastor from Idaho and one of this week’s NYGO Task Force leaders, who challenged us to partner with others as we share the gospel.

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MICAIAH HUSS

Mission log, star date June 28th, our mission to spread the gospel to the lost people of New York. Today started out poorly – Laurel and I went to Union Square Park and walked around looking for people to talk to, when Laurel spotted someone that seemed good to talk to. So she told me to go talk to him (she had elected me as leader the previous day). When we talked to him it did not go very well, we left discouraged and defeated. We sat on a bench and prayed, we also talked about random things. Then out of nowhere a group of people came up and started talking to us, we soon found out that they were missionaries some from New York and some from Conestoga PA. The one showed us an evangelism tools, his name was Manny, (ask Laurel to see) this had given us a new zeal to spread the word. But first we practiced, sadly by the time we had finished it was time to leave. We once again felt defeated and were discouraged (but I bought her ice cream, so we felt better). Then when we were on the subway Laurel was showing the others the trick and I saw a man watch her do it. When she had finished I saw his eyes light up and I decided to talk to him, he said that he wasn’t a Christian but went to church with a friend and had a Bible that he read. His name is Luis and I was able to pray for him, it felt so good to be able to pray with someone.

I learned today that God uses our failures to do things because if we had not done poorly with the first conversation then we would not have met Manny and if we would not have met Manny then we would not have met Luis. I also learned how I need a partner, because without Laurel then I would not have talked to the guy, we would not have learned the trick, and never have met Luis.

 JONAH DAY

I was very nervous for this trip that I was about to talk to people I did not know, but I kept praying for help. When we went to our first park it was a very uncomfortable experience, I got rejected many times and I also got spit on and my stomach rubbed by a random stranger while he reached for my pockets for cash. When we went to our second park today it was a different story, I got rejected many times and all I wanted to do was to give up, but I prayed with my friends and right after that I met a homeless man that was really passionate about God and he told me that I was doing a great job and that I’m respecting God a lot and after an hour long discussion I felt great. I then went to another homeless person and she started to read the Bible that I gave her but didn’t really understand it, so I explained the whole Bible to her for about over an hour, then after the whole discussion she had a better understanding about the Bible so I asked her “did you ever accept Jesus into your heart?” and she said no, so I asked her if she would like to and she said yes and right there she became a Christian!


DAY 5: Wednesday, June 29

After pouring our hearts and souls out to the people of New York for the past few days, today was a much needed free day! Thanks to our gracious leaders, students were able to sleep in and get breakfast delivered to their hotel rooms. We then departed on our day exploring the city we have called home this week. We started by going to Brooklyn Bridge Park, a new park in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge with several different active piers. We were able to relax, play frisbee and basketball, all with the Manhattan skyline in the background. After a quick stop at the busiest Chick-Fil-A we have ever seen, we then made our way to Central Park. Students teamed up with leaders and took advantage of all that the park had to offer. While some took naps, others went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or explored. We finished our day off with dinner and shopping in Times Square. Though it was our “free day,” many students still took advantage of opportunities to talk with people, sharing the love of Christ as we traveled, relaxed and ate. This was so exciting to see as we have been reminded this week that when we go home, it is usually ordinary people, doing ordinary things, in a missional way, that God uses for the greatest impact!

Pray for students as they have to transition from their free day back into a ministry mindset. Pray that they would make the most of their opportunities tomorrow, that God would use our last full day in New York to change us and change the people we speak to.

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LAUREN YATES

Today my brother James and I went to go get some drinks because we were hot from walking around all day. While we were in line, James saw the guy in front of us had a hat that said Buddha on it. Because James wants to go over to Asia some day, which is predominantly Buddhist, he wanted to talk to the guy with the hat. After we get our drinks, James and I go over and start a conversation with him and his sister/girlfriend. They both spoke Thai, but the girl spoke a little English. Even though it was hard to talk to them, because of the language barrier, James was able to explain to them what prayer meant to us and we were able to pray for them. After the conversation, I felt encouraged by the fact that even though it was our free day and I didn’t think they’d want to talk, James was still on mission and sharing what God was doing in his life. For that I thank God for the passion that he has for people, and the joy you can see in his face whenever he talks about God.

DENNIS LIEN

The past week has been fun and challenging. It was super cool to be able to worship in a totally different environment that was just very inspirational. The messages were very personal to me and changed a lot of my views during this trip. However, as inspired I was after worship to speak to people, it did not go the way I expected. It was a lot tougher for me to start this one conversation. When I finally got over my doubt our conversation took a very quick turn as I found myself taking out my Bible in a few minutes. Even though it was cool to take out my Bible, I was then faced with many questions that I didn’t know the answer to. It was was hard for me as I soon found out that the person I was talking to was a Jehovah’s Witness. He soon described his reasoning and it felt as if he had no faith or trust in the word. He wanted the exact answer and felt as if there were many lost connections. My prayer request would be for this person (his name is Caesar) and that he would find the willpower to have faith in God’s plan for him. Over this past week I have learned that I need to have more trust in God’s plan and be able to pray more personally with him. This trip has just been a life changing and I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to speak to people and learn more about God’s love and how to have trust in him.

JESSIE ROBINSON

Tonight was so encouraging to my heart! After the students in my pod group and I each had a chance to share a prayer request of specifically what we wanted to see God do, or a specific person we wanted to talk to tomorrow, we prayed that the God who can answer all of these requests and more than we could ever think, would do His will. After we were done praying, I had each of the students say something encouraging about each of the other students in our group. We all went around the circle and shared a few great attributes about each person in our group or something specific that we had seen them do over the last few days that could help them during their day of evangelism tomorrow. Each of the students had something so beautiful to say about each other and about myself as a leader, and it was awesome to be able to hear encouragement. Sometimes, the week and certain conversations can be discouraging, but I think that the words of a partner in the Gospel are so beneficial to lift the spirits of the students! Keep praying for encouragement and unity towards each other and that each specific request that the students prayed for would be answered in God’s plan!

NYGO 2016: Day 3

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Day 3: Monday, June 27

Today was our first “routine” day of ministry here in NYC. Our students spent the morning at Calvary Baptist Church, engaging in a time of worship and a message by Mandy Moore of Community Fellowship Church in Lancaster, PA. This week, our students are digging into the book of Philippians and learning what it means to live “on mission” not just while they are in New York City, but for all of life. Our students also had a chance to hear a testimony from Eddie Torres, who has a powerful story of how God got ahold of his life and brought him out of homelessness and despair. After grabbing lunch and heading to the parks for the afternoon, our students had the chance to spend several hours within a park to find people to talk to and hear stories of other people’s life or share their own. It is always challenging to start these initial conversations, but it is so encouraging to see students step out in faith and be willing to share about Jesus to people in this city! After park ministry, our students went back to Calvary Baptist Church for dinner and another time of worship and Bible session from Brian Moore (Mandy’s husband).

Please continue to pray for our students that they would have sustained energy throughout the week, boldness and courage to start conversations and share their own stories, and a great joy in all that they do! We are so very thankful for this opportunity to see and experience God’s love, grace and power in new ways this week!

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DANNY GARCIA

Today I went to Union Square park and I met a guy named Martín and I started to say hi to him in Spanish because he looked like he was Spanish, and we started a conversation and he told me he was starting to take courses to learn English, and I was actually kind of happy because I made a comfort zone for him ‘cuz then he would be struggling because we both knew Spanish. It was surprising and it opened me up, and I think it opened him up, too. So I asked him, “So what’s your religious belief?” and he said “oh, I’m a Catholic” so I asked him if he goes to church daily, but he said he didn’t go to church that often and didn’t read his Bible because he didn’t feel like he had the time. I encouraged him that he could always create time to read his Bible. Then he asked what I was doing here, and I told him that I was on a mission from God, and he thought that was really cool. It was really nice to speak to someone in my native language and share the Gospel to them. Please pray for Martin, that he and his family would go back to church and read their Bible again.

To listen to more of Danny’s story from today, click here.

ALEXIS FARRELL

Today we went to Washington Square Park, and before my pod (Victoria Glick and Obed Bamungwa) went out to talk to people, my pod leader, Jessie Robinson, asked to the group what our individual goals were for the afternoon. I said that I wanted to connect with another individual on a deeper level; spiritually and with our hobbies. The very first person my pod and I talked with was an Argentinean girl named Andrea who was currently traveling the world, something I am passionate about. We also reached a deeper level by talking about our religious views. Through this I found that she was Catholic, but open to other religions. We talked about heaven and hell, and how she thinks she is not able to know if she’s going to heaven. She believes that she has to pray for her and her family’s soul for the opportunity to get into heaven. Victoria then explained how in Christ we are sure of where we’re going after we die. We asked how we could pray for her and she requested safe travels. Please pray that this would be a planted seed that a partner in the Gospel somewhere else would be able to water and harvest, and that Andrea’s heart would long for the certainty of eternity that is only found in Christ.

NYGO 2016: Day 1 & Day 2

Day 1: Saturday, June 25

Our team has arrived in New York City and has quite literally been on the move for the majority of the past two days! After arriving in the city, we had our time of worship and debrief with NYGO and had a chance to meet the other four churches that are also on this trip this week… groups from Mississippi, Georgia, Texas and Seattle, Washington! After our time of debrief, our groups visited Times Square to start talking to people and ask them questions and find out where they are from – a great way to start simple conversations moving into this week!

Day 2: Sunday, June 26

On Sunday, after breakfast, our teams headed to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for church service. We had the privilege of experiencing the full Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, some guest singers, and a powerful message by Jim Cymbala! Our entire second day was focused around prayer, as we visited the Staten Island Ferry, spending time on that ride to pray for the city of New York and the people that live within it. We also had a chance to visit the 9/11 Memorial to spend more time of reflection and prayer and learn a lot more about this city and how it has been grieving and growing over the past 15 years. Our entire day was spent walking more steps than most of us have taken in the past week, and many of our students are already worn out! Sunday evening, we made the trek from the very bottom of New York City to the very top (for an idea: we started at the 9/11 Memorial at the bottom of the island, and when we caught the connecting subway at 4th street, we rode it the whole way up to 181st street! We spent time enjoying dinner with all of the church groups and a message about prayer by Walter Sotelo at the Hebrew Temple where Walter’s church, Uptown Community Church, meets and does ministry.



Please pray for continued strength and energy for our students and leaders, as well as courage and boldness as they enter into Day 3!


ALEXIS CLINGAN

Today we took a ferry to Staten Island. As I was looking out the window enjoying the view, a woman started a conversation with me. We talked about the weather and why we both were in New York City. I talked about how I was with a group from PA and why we were here. I found out that she was going to the parade to support Pride week. She then asked me, “So, do you guys support gays?” Honestly, this was the question I had been dreading. How do I even begin to explain that to someone? As I stood there, I felt the Holy Spirit take over. I was able to explain to her that as Christians we are taught to love everyone. No, we do not support homosexuality, but the Bible teaches us to love everyone.

VICTORIA GLICK

Today when I was riding the subway, I saw some people that really opened my eyes that New York City is full of people with real sin and this is what happens when people reject the fulfillment of God’s love. Please pray that we would be a light in the darkness, not a people of judgment and hate.

KATIE HIESTAND

Yesterday (Saturday), we went into the city, in Times Square, and talked to a man on the street who was a Muslim, who was talking about how God is holy, and Jesus, Abraham and the prophets and how he doesn’t trust the difference between forgiveness from God and forgiveness for man for certain actions. My heart just breaks for people who are like that because they are so close to the truth, but yet so far from the truth. Please pray for people’s hearts that they will be softened and that they will be open to what we have to say and that we will have the answers to people’s’ questions.