One thing I forgot to mention yesterday…. we all wore our orange shirts that we got for the commissioning at church to make travel easier. Once we got here in NYC we were going to dinner or other places and had people stop us and ask what we were doing and overall the response was very positive and they wished us well. That was an encouraging start to the week.
Today began at 8AM with worship and then we had a meeting. We were on the streets by 10:30AM and it was a rough start. It was easy to say hi to people or how are you doing as they walked by but it as much harder to say “Is there something I can pray about for you today?” Once we got into a rhythm it was much easier. At first I stumbled over words to say but it did get easier. Sometimes it was harder when someone said “yes” because you got a lot of “no” or just a lot of people walking on the other side of the sidewalk, avoiding you looking down. It was fairly discouraging to stand there for an hour and not get to pray with one single person, but things did turn around!
So to explain a bit we set up a prayer station on the corner of a street and then spread out on the street corners and asked people if we could pray for them. We had the story booklets available to use and beaded bracelets to help explain the gospel as well.
So a couple things that I did NOT expect. I knew it would be hot and I knew it would be physical but until you stand on your feet for 5 hours straight asking a lot of people if we could pray for them you don’t realize just how exhausting it is! I also did not expect to get hit on! One guy came up to me and I asked him if he needed prayer and he said he needed a lady. As I proceeded to chat I realized he was trying to pick me up! Another guy was talking on his phone and put down his phone and walked over and told me I was beautiful. Luckily these were the only two times today and I pray it doesn’t happen anymore but again something I didn’t expect. Several people walked up and down the same street several times in a day and I was not ready for that. It turned out to be a good thing because then people got to know us and weren’t not intimidated by us but rather glad to see us again. It was great to call those people by name. A person may have talked to one person in our group and saw another one of us and thanked us for what we were doing. Lastly, I didn’t expect that people would just shout as they walked by “hey pray for this” or “pray for that.”
There were a lot of wonderful things that happened today too. I prayed for a women that wanted me to pray about injustice at work and so I did. A while later she came back with a bottle of water for Adam and I and thanked us for praying for her. I had people come up to me crying. One lady because she was worried her son was making bad choices and she felt like she was losing him. I found it much easier to pray with women and especially moms. I had one single mom that wanted prayers for her son who had ADHD and an older son that she was butting heads with as he was gaining his independence. I learned to slow down and take time praying with them addressing each issue and then proceed to see if they had ever heard “The Story.” Many people were receptive to what we had to say if they took the time to stop by. There were also plenty of no thank yous. It’s amazing the amount of people that are a steady stream on the street all day long. Not shortage of people to ask by any means.
We got to have lunch at a nice place that had salads. That seems to be common around here where they throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl for you and toss it all around. It has been very easy to find healthy things to eat. There was a couple I stopped that had just gotten a carrot juice and beet juice at a local place and was able to pray with them. But lots of healthy food choices!
It’s hard to know if we made a difference but as we talked we know we are just one touch that they may be receiving. Groups before us have laid the groundwork as well because some people remember our group being around last year and proceed to tell us about what they learned. It was a great opportunity to review the gospel with them again or to ask them what they remembered or what impacted them. It was evident as we watched people walk up and down the street just how broken the world is and how people are searching for answers in something. It just a matter of if they are ready to hear the answers we have for them.
I regret not having a small notebook with me to take notes in. I plan to do that tomorrow to actually track the prayers and get a more accurate picture of who I talked with. Tomorrow we are going to a park in Manhattan and surveying people so it will be a slightly different task.
Praise for today:
- We made it back in time to miss the rain.
- We were all safe.
- We were able to stay hydrated and although it was hot it was tolerable.
- We took the time to pray with people on the street.
- People were kind to us.
- We were able to talk to the police and our leader used kind words to not have them hassle us.
- Strength and endurance as the week goes on and we become more tired.
- Rest and full nights rest of sleep without interruption.
- Pray that people’s hearts would be open and receptive to hearing the message that we have to offer.
Thank you all for your support. It has been an adventure. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Stay tuned to more updates. I may post again about our evening adventure.