I wrote Stephen Rice to ask a couple of questions about what he's doing in Brooklyn and am grateful for his reply.
Please pray for God to use Stephen in a great way and to use this to prepare him for a future of continuing to make a great impact on the world for the Gospel!
1.Where are you and what are doing?
I am living over in the heart Brooklyn, New York City. I am working with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) as a Generation-Send Intern. The Generation Send program is designed to give us practical experience with igniting urban (Urban= Density+Diversity... New York being the largest in both) ministry as well as provide insight that will help future church planters plant in the city. During this internship we are assigned a specific location in New York City where we spend our time Identifying, Investing, Inviting, and Increasing in the community. Basically we live life in the city and figure out how we can intentionally build relationships and create an authentic Biblical community. My specific area I am assigned to is West Village/ Greenwich Village (one of the wealthiest and home of the LGBT headquarters) and I am quickly falling in love with this city. If God loves people and desires for them to come to know Him, then how important is New York City in the eyes of God. Living life on a mission is practically living out the Gospel in every aspect of life and being intentional and authentic to those we encounter on a daily basis. Within these interaction we pray everyday that God uses these seeds of His good news and causes spiritual growth in this city.
2. What's the most interesting and/or encouraging thing that has happened there?
Man, it is hard to try and recall everything that God has shown me already in the early stages of this summer but there is one thing that I have noticed that keeps me going. Questions. Deep I know hah. But people in this city notice when someone is living a radically different life than what is expected. Conversations have been sparked but simply smiling, tipping well, giving my seat up on the subway, helping carry a stroller up stairs. Conversations that lead to questions like "Why are you here?" I live for that question! Because it opens doors for deeper conversations. Like my friend from Northern Africa who my friend and I got to walk Him through the Gospel for the first time. He has never heard about a God of love that actually came to earth redeem His creation by the sacrifice of His own son. This conversation happened because he noticed something different about the way my friend smiled in a coffee shop. This is what excites me, that God is drawing the people of New York City to Himself and that I get to play a little role in that great mission.