So, I know that I said I was going to write the next part of my NYC story like, a week ago, but I was busy with things like math classes (merr merrrr), crafts, family reunions, obsessively cleaning my room (it’s become a new thing for me), sleeping, and other things. Also, I just didn’t really feel like it, or once I thought about it, it was too late & I was ready to go to sleep. And this is the third day I’ve been working on writing all this down. It seems my writing kicks don’t last long enough to get everything out at once. Nevertheless, here it is. This part will be mostly about the mission part of the trip, which was the best part, and the real reason for the trip.
After we landed in Jersey, we rode for like, almost four hours to our destination, Crossroads Church in Farmingdale. It was actually a fun ride, we went through Brooklyn, past Coney Island, and probably some other cool things I don’t really remember. Also, I got my first glimpse of the city, and from that moment on I was absolutely IN LOVE. Even from far away, I could tell it was so exciting and wonderful, but I’ll expand on that when we talk about the city :). Once we reached the church, we went to our rooms, children’s Sunday school classrooms with cots. It was really nice not to have to sleep on the floor, and they even had our beds made when we got there! Which brings me to the people at Crossroads. They were WONDERFUL. They were so accomodating and we got very close to each other. Their love for Jesus was very apparent in everything they did, many of them had moved all the way from Texas to Long Island to be a part of what God is doing in Long Island. It was awesome to see such obedience to the Lord, and I pray that I will be able to be so trusting and obedient to whatever God is calling me to do. After we got settled, we ate dinner, and then I’m pretty sure I went to sleep soon after that, because my exhaustion was immense.
Our first full day in Long Island was Sunday, and also Mother’s Day. We woke up pretty early to help get ready for church. Part of our group went to another church in Long Island, and I’m honestly not too sure what they did there. But I stayed with three other girls, and we worked in the nursery. I worked with my friend Morgan in the baby classroom, and it was so fun! We only had three kids, but they were adorable. One little boy was dressed better than some college boys I’ve seen, and he was absolutely precious. We attempted to make Mother’s Day crafts with them, but they weren’t very interested, so we kind of gave up on that, and played instead. After the church service, we had lunch and then headed to the beach! We didn’t know we were going to get to do that, so it was a wonderful surprise! I can’t remember what the beach was called, but it was absolutely gorgeous. The sand was super white, and the water was much cleaner than it is in the Gulf of Mexico! As pretty as it was, the water was FREEZING. Apparently, the middle of May isn’t considered summer on the East Coast like it is here in Texas. But it also wasn’t deathly hot sitting out on the sand either, so you could say it was perfect. I will definitely be going back! Anyways, after we took an obnoxious amount of sorority pictures, we took a stroll along the beach. It was great, until we ran into the nude beach and had to turn around. No, I’m not kidding. It was absolutely disgusting, and frankly, I don’t want to talk about it. We hung out for a while, just sprawled out on towels, talking and watching the New Yorkers. It was a great afternoon. After we were sufficiently sandy, we piled back into our van and made our way back into town. However, on our way back, we stopped by a property the church was considering buying. It was an old church that was bigger than the one they are currently in, and a house for the pastor and his family to live in. The pastor told us that they would really like to get the property, because it was in a great location, and they would be able to expand. We all prayed over the property, that God would provide it if it was His Will, which was an awesome experience. Later that week, we found out that they were able to purchase the building. It was so incredible to see God working to expand Crossroads in such a huge way in the small time that we were there. I’m not really sure when the church will move into the facility, but I know they are so excited about the things God will do in the new location, and I am too! After that, we went to the two-story Wal-Mart that was in a mall, because people forgot things, me being one of those people. Naturally. Most of the girls were amazed that it was two-story, I was baffled that it was connected to a mall. I guess you can get your clothes & groceries at the same time…Efficient. After that, we went back to the church, stuffed bags to pass out, and soon went to sleep.
This was our first “working day” on the trip. Half of us woke up super early to go pass out bags at the train station. I don’t really know what time it was, but the sun was up, which isn’t saying much, because the sun is like, blazing by 5 a.m. there, and it threw me for a HUGE loop. Anyways, the bags had a granola bar, a bottle of water, a couple of pieces of candy, and a flyer about a baseball camp the church puts on every year. The baseball camp is what Crossroads uses to reach the Farmingdale community. The pastor explained that through the camp, they are able to build relationships with people in the community and bring the Gospel to them. He told us that the “need” in New York is not physical, but spiritual. Most people have everything they need and more, but are desperately in need of love, and that is the mission of Crossroads, to spread the news about the love of God. On the other side of the flyer was information about Faith & Family Night with the New York Mets. The pastor told us that for the first time ever, the Mets have decided to have a Faith and Family night, a baseball game with a Mercy Me concert afterwards, and they asked Crossroads to partner with them. He explained that while these are common in the South, they are extremely rare in New York, so it was a big deal that the church was able to be apart of it. So, back to passing out the bags. It was very intimidating at first, to be honest. The pastor just let us out of the van and we were left to pass out all the bags, alone in a strange place at 6 a.m. We went up to the platform, and started asking people if they “would like a snack to take to work today”. A lot of people said no, and a few asked us how much it cost. I was afraid that people would be rude, since that’s supposedly the norm in NY, but I learned that if you are nice and friendly to them, they will be nice back. It only took us about fifteen minutes to pass out the bags, so we were back to the church by 6:30 or so, and I crawled back into my cot & slept for another hour. After my nap, we had breakfast & then set out to pass out baseball camp flyers in the neighborhoods around Crossroads. We were split into groups of 4, given a map, a general area to stay in, and stacks of flyers, and then let loose in Farmingdale. It was SO MUCH FUN. We just walked around and stuck the flyers in people’s doorknobs for like, four hours. I got to be really good friends with the girls in my group, just by walking around and talking. After lunch, we got a little tired, and sat down on the sidewalk, which apparently isn’t normal, because we got some strange looks. That night, a few of us went to help a lady who goes to Crossroads. She hurt her back and couldn’t clean her house, so we made beds, did the dishes, vaccuumed, and cleaned up the kitchen. When we got back, we all watched the premiere of The Bachelorette (the beginning of my obsession…if she doesn’t pick Sean, I WILL. #bye). And it was a wonderful evening. We then went to sleep, for the next day was…….our trip TO THE CITY!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to tell you allllllllll about it!
(But not now, I’m tired, and I have to get up at 7:30 to go learn about logarithms and calculating interest and who knows what else.) These two days really showed me that God can use things like baseball and snack bags for His Kingdom & to draw people to Him. God is doing absolutely amazing and HUGE things in New York, and I am so blessed to have been able to be involved in His work.
|Little Lambs on the beach!
Next time I’ll talk about my adventures in the city and how I’m absolutely OBSESSED. Until next time!