Has it really been 3 months since my last post?!?!?! I have no idea how to cover the events of three months in one post. I guess what sums it up is God has been so good in the stepping stones He has given me to heal from the experience in Austin. I would be lying to say I have truly forgiven those few people, but I must say it doe snot define my life. Living in New York has been a blast, though it has not been without its challenges. Rick lost his brother and mother in a 6 month period, was in a car wreck, and had surgery. That being said, it is apparent that the spiritual warfare here is strong. That is because God is doing some great works here! We are seeing so many lives changed. Down south, going to church is the social norm. Living a Christian life is not necessarily the norm, but being a church attender is. Up here, you go against the norm if you are a follower of Christ. The challenges Christians face up here blow me away. Since we have been here, the church attendance has tripled, so that is very exciting to us as well as the church. Rick's friend, Mckelvie, has been leading worship, and that has been such a blessing! If anyone reading this is looking for potential mission trips for your youth or adults at your church, the fields up here are ripe for harvest, though the laborers are few. We have opportunities!
Witnessing is very different up here. There is such an aversion to Christianity and church up here, that the relationship foundation must be set very securely before the Gospel is presented. I work one night a week. I hate going out at night away from my family, but God has put the 2 ladies I train on my heart, and I know I am training them for more than earning a paycheck. God has partnered me with them for such a time as this. I pray regularly for opportunity and conversation, and He has been faithful.
I have loved exploring NYC so much. I hope to post pictures soon of places and stars I have encountered in NYC. It is a fascinating place that never grows old. I just discovered Shake Shack, an outdoor eatery right in Madison Square Garden. You stand in a long line to place your order at Window #1, wait to pick up your order at Window #2 and then find a tiny table to sit at and eat. I was soooo good. One of my best friends from college came up to the city, and she suggested we try it. I was shocked. Another fave is Grand Central. Most people think of the part of GS that is seen in movies - the huge lobby. Though that is beautiful, the bottom floor is my favorite. There are tons of walk up restaurants (like at the mall) and sit down places. Juniors has the BEST bakery of anywhere in NY. Times Square continues to fascinate me, especially at night. I feel like a child when I am there, so in awe of all the lights! When my little sis was here, my friend who works at FOX News took us on a tour. We sat in O'Reilly's chair and met Shep Smith(who had on more make up than Tammy Faye Baker). My favorite restaurant BY FAR in the city is Tony Dinapoli's. It is an Italian family style restaurant, and it is to DIE FOR! We live 40 miles north of the city, so the train system to get into the city is so convenient! We drive a couple miles to the train station (which happens to be right across the street from the church), hop on the train, and arrive at Grand Central an hour and twenty minutes later.
One of my best friends from SC is coming up next weekend with her daughter, and the gals are hitting the city. Abbie is thrilled about the girl's trip!Hopefully I will get a chance to blog this one, too!