Ministry Update: Global Initiative in NYC

IMG_0133The first week of March eight young ladies joined a Global Initiative exposure trip to New York City to serve women and children at English centers in Queens and Brooklyn and to learn about immigration in America.

The first day in the city included a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island where the team read stories of immigrants from America’s past. The next four days included ministry to the immigrant women and children of America’s present day.

The ladies served in numerous English classes for women every day as classroom helpers and working one-on-one with students. They also participated in a prayer walk through the neighborhood, a missions scavenger hunt, and henna ministry, led a mini VBS lesson during Kids Club, and visited a local Hindu temple.

The week wrapped up with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and the Park51 Community Center, where the team observed the Jumaa service and interacted with Muslim young adults in a Q&A session afterward.

The trip was an opportunity to serve the English centers and students (both love visitors!) but was also a chance to meet unreached peoples in America. Some thoughts from a few of the gals upon returning home:

  • “As college students interested in missions, we listen to God to hear where specifically He would call us. For a while I thought it was only to the Middle East . . . . Spending time in Jackson Heights, where there are many different ethnic groups in one place helped me see that reaching out to many different groups at the same time is, in fact, possible, and that I shouldn’t be so close minded just because I can’t see how it can be done.”–Deborah
  • “I loved how each class had a completely different energy to it! All of the women had such personality and complex lives. It was so special to share this experience in their lives with them. They are some strong, brave, and intelligent women.”–Megan
  • “I knew that I needed to do more with spreading awareness about the importance of reaching the unreached. A couple days [after the trip] I led a seminar with my youth group and the outcome was amazing. They left looking at life with a different perspective and some are interested in doing more with it! I am currently doing research on surrounding mosques, Middle Eastern bakeries, and just any open door.”–Vanessa
  • “Visiting the mosque just affirmed in me that Jesus is the only way and that the way to reach Muslims with the gospel is by the witness of our lives lived in love and joy followed by speaking truth. The Holy Spirit starts with opening the heart and that’s something only love can do. I need to spend more time with Jesus and less time occupied by other things that bring no lasting fruit. I need to learn to love better, to love like Jesus.”–Gratiana

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