Thursday, July 21, 2011

From NYC to Ethiopia!!

Hi Girls!

It has been such a whirlwind of a summer...but a fabulous one indeed! Our youth group just got back from a week serving church planters in New York City and two days later I boarded a plane with 12 other FBC'ers for Ethiopia! I've been here for a night and one full day and it has been awesome! I can't wait to update more later...but for now I wanted to share some about all God did in NYC last week! Our girl summer intern, Payton Tipton, wrote this post and it's rockin' awesome just like her! Enjoy!!

When you think of New York City, you think lights, people, shows, Times Square, subways, and "the city that never sleeps." Although that is the truth, our group of 86 from FBC saw much, much more while there. Our quest started with about a 14 hour bus trip towards the Big Apple that turned into what seemed like 2 days. Nonetheless, we all made it safe and sound ready to get to work. Little did we know that the next week would be life-changing, not only for us, but for the people of a very big, dark, and lost city. Our one HUGE FBC group was split into four smaller groups and sent to these four respective areas of NYC: Brooklyn, Upper Manhattan, Queens, and Hoboken, NJ. We teamed up with church planters in each of those regions who were awesome! They all showed such a desire to share Truth with those around them, and were more than grateful for having us there to act as a catalyst for their churches. All the teams had different tasks for the week, some that would merely plant seeds and not see the harvest, while some would see many come to know Christ in just a few days. In Upper Manhattan, there was much trash to be picked up in local parks and around the streets, basketball to be played, homeless people to reach, and the Gospel to be shared. Brooklyn held a VBS, played some ball, and ran into some difficulty with the local Jewish Community. I think it turned out to be a very unique experience, though, for we all can learn how Jesus felt walking around His hometown. The Queens group held a VBS that EXPLODED with 19 children accepting Christ and 45 attending. They saw the fruits of their labor for sure. Finally we had the Hoboken crew who painted curbs along the road and passed out fliers to the community. They had a difficult task for they could not be open about their faith in Jesus Christ. It would have been offensive to the Hoboken locals. They may very well see the seeds they planted once they get to heaven. In every single group, though, GOD WAS SO FAITHFUL. I cannot express that enough. To wrap up our crazy fun week in NYC, we got to have a day of adventure exploring the city. On Saturday, some went to Battery Park, Yankee Stadium, Ground Zero, a Mets game, China Town, plus much more! The whole group grabbed a delcious dinner together and headed to the Empire State Building for some final sight-seeing. After that, it was to the buses to head home! We have been given such a special call on this earth as followers of Jesus Christ : to GO! What an honor....how sweet it was to go in the name of Jesus with such an awesome group. Keep NYC in your prayers as our new friends, the church planters, continue to minister to those around them. And the next chance you get to GO, don't hesitate. It will change your life. Much love, Payton

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