welcome to New York!

After a day full of traffic, travel, running to catch the next flight, learning how to taxi and zooming through buildings upon buildings upon buildings, Mallory and I made it to our new home in New York on Friday night around 11:00pm. Lots of new and lots of exhaustion hit us real hard and all at once. But. I was truly thankful (and blown away!) that night by the incredible supply of steadiness and bravery by the Spirit in us. Eleven at night, sweaty, exhausted, and beyond sensory overload, we find that our new home is a 10×10 room with 2 other roommates. So our task that night was to unpack our clothes which were puzzle pieces that we strategically found places for. (PTL that Mallory and I are real close after a year of life together, because we be sharin’ all of our space together).
So, yes. Culture shock + insane exhaustion. But met with incredible endurance not of our own shower- and sleep-craving selves. (We did finally get to do both of those things, and we were very, very grateful).

Saturday was orientation day! We met the other 20 MNYBA interns who will be partnering with various church plants and ministries throughout the city this summer. These are the people we will be sharing a building and resting with after long days. Like a family, we will be going out to different places each day but coming back together and sharing a common space and being known together. It’s been incredible to see how we’ve all bonded very quickly and meshed together like a family because of the common Spirit in each of us. Orientation included a scavenger hunt through the 5 boroughs of New York, so that brought lots of bonding time, learning the public transportation system, as well as gratefulness for our beds again that night. 

Sunday I met the Church I will be serving with this summer: New City Church! They planted in Queens in the Spring of 2014. I loved worshipping together with them and the warmth of getting to know one another. 

Yesterday – Monday – I had the day off, and I decided to join my college ministry in Queens as they spend the week here, prayer-walking and sharing the Gospel. Wow. What an encouraging day! This was a great unexpected gift. Not only did I get to see familiar faces and hug people I know while I’m in a new, unfamiliar city; I also got to meet so many new students who are a new generation of disciples who have heard the Gospel through my friends who I was in ministry with during college, and who are being transformed by the power of the Gospel! I asked one student how he got connected to Summit College this year (his freshman year). He mentioned a friend of mine from college and said, “he is the first person who ever told me that I am intimately loved by God.” Gosh. What’s incredible is that I watched my friend realize this same truth! How beautiful it is to see God’s love & truth touch people’s hearts and change them, and to see it continue to transform others through them. 

I’m learning again how worthy God is. I’m learning again that sharing God with the world is our mission, yes, but it is a delight! When we know that we have a Father who truly delights in us and loves when we run to Him, it becomes our joy to share who Jesus is with our lost brothers and sisters, and to plead on their behalf for God to rescue them from darkness and the lies of this world. 

Be encouraged, sister or brother. You are greatly delighted in by our Father who promised to save us through Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection despite our rebellion or anything of us. You are so deeply and intimately loved. I pray that this gives you great joy and satisfaction in Him!