On July 13-18, 2015 a team traveled to Queens, New York for a week long trip that involved outreach, evangelism, and prayer walking. Queens, NYC is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the world. It is comprised of 2.3 million people from over a 120 different ethnicities. The team did park evangelism among predominately Bangladeshi and Pakistani people. This happened through a combination of initiatives from conducting surveys, handing out tracks, eating and meeting with people in local restaurants and parks as well as sports activates. Here is a testimonial of one of the team members. Please also see the photos from the mission trip below.
I would like to share a story on how God used us during our time in NYC – Queens. We were going to the streets in pairs and that day Carl and Jim were paired up as were Dave and I. We were supposed to go out in the morning, but it was raining and we waited until later in the day. Dave and I were doing some home surveys (evangelizing) and were about to cross a street into the next block. As we were waiting for the light to change, I noticed a young man coming toward us. I just felt like we needed to talk with him. It turned out that this young man – in his early 20’s was very troubled. At first he was just talking foolishness and told us he had been drinking and smoking marihuana. He had broken up with the love of his life and everything seemed so hopeless. He told us that he had done so many bad things that nothing could improve his outlook on life. That started Dave and I into action: We shared with him the good hope in Christ. He told us that he knew of Jesus, but was a Hindu and didn’t practice his religion. He knew that he would have to work or figure out a way to be pardoned for all his offenses. We told him that none of us were good enough or could work our way into paradise. By this time he was sobbing and wondering how we could have just “happened” to meet him on the street, at this time and this day. We shared with him that none of this was a “coincidence,” that God was totally in control of this event. (Remember we were supposed to work this street in the morning!) We asked him if he wanted to have this peace and comfort that Dave and I had. He responded – “Yes!” We lead him in the prayer that acknowledged that “he was a sinner and that Christ was his Savior” and he asked for forgiveness of his sins. After this prayer, you could see the relief on his face. We told him that he could expect Satan to pick up his vicious attacks against him and things would not initially be easier. We connected him with our missionary on site.
We don’t know if God changed his heart, but we do know that he appeared to be very sincere and thanked us profusely for “being in the right place at the right time!” I do know that both Dave and I were blessed to see some fruit on our efforts. Only God knows the depth of a person’s heart!
This event of street and park evangelism amongst the various Unreached People Groups was a definite new challenge for all of us on this trip. God forced us to look deep into our own beliefs as we shared the Gospel with these people. We were often challenged by some of the stronger Muslim people about our faith of Christianity. It was only with the help of the Holy Spirit that we could claim the truth of the Gospel.