They say "There are eight million stories in the naked city." Here are just a few from our recent missions trip to evangelize the city that never sleeps!
Onward, Christian Soldiers!
This year marked our 12th annual Repent and Witness Evangelism Camp
in New York City. Dubbed by some as a "boot camp" for evangelists participants in this year's outreach experienced four solid days of training and equipping in Biblical evangelism to include opportunities for engagement in rigorous activity such as open air preaching and one-to-one witnessing. Each day we mustered outside the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA)
where we stayed and "marched as to war"
, so to speak, toward popular destinations like Times Square, Coney Island, Union Square, and Washington Square in an effort to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
Times Square is chock full of colorful characters
Here CCN President Jenifer Pepling
is witnessing one-to-one with a man dressed as a popular comic book hero. Can you guess this character's name? In recalling one of her most treasured talks that day Jen writes: "My favorite conversation was with Alec. I shared the gospel with him and he was very receptive. I asked him what was stopping him from repenting and putting his faith in Jesus and he told me 'addiction and lots of problems'."
Jenifer then spoke at length with Alec about his use of heroin and pointed to the fact that this was not going to fix anything but only create more problems for him. She then encouraged him to resolve to put away such things. Afterward, she posed the question again, "What is stopping you from repenting and putting your faith in Jesus?"
He replied that it would not go with his lifestyle. And so Jenifer wonderfully explained to him The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
from Matthew's gospel (Mt. 13:44
) and that Jesus is the treasure worth selling everything! Finally after a third time of asking the same question Alec finally admitted that he lacked purpose and that he has been suicidal
. Filled with compassion Jenifer assured him that because he was made in the image of God it was that which gave him value and worth. "The look on his face when I told him that"
Jen recalls with immense joy "was worth a thousand words!"
Savior and the awesome responsibility we as Christians have to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature"
)! Please pray for Alec.
Down by the sea
It was a warm and sunny day at Brooklyn's Coney Island. Lots of people were walking about enjoying the beach and the nice weather. Campus Leader Leah Jessie
made the most of this opportunity by handing out gospel tracts to passersby along the boardwalk.
Service with a smile!
At Washington Square park Campus Leader and seasoned Repent and Witness veteran Tim Jackson
preached in the open air. Many people trekked through our area and heard as Tim graciously proclaimed the law and the gospel
with a merry heart and cheerful countenance.
Team Leaders throughout were extremely encouraging. Late one evening as we headed back from a long day of witnessing CCN President Jenifer led us in a lively rendition of "Nothing But the Blood"
followed by "Amazing Grace"
. Though our bodies were worn our spirits remained high. It was a joyful night of singing and giving glory to God, one that we will not soon forget!
Additionally, Team Leaders' responsibilities focused on helping participants to put into action what they have learned while lovingly encouraging them out of their comfort zone to reach the lost.
On the box
Former Slippery Rock University and CCN Bible Study student Joshua DiPippa shown here preaching in the open air for the first time in Union Square.
John Malone a native from New Jersey and a first time attendee of Repent and Witness shown here giving his testimony before a busy crowd.
The Gospel at Union "Scare"
Manhattan's Union Square contained bright lights and a bustling nightlife, not to mention an eccentric mix of people. But for Campus Leader Eric Williams
it also brought forth a wonderful surprise. While "on the box" Eric (right) was greeted by his cousin (left) whom he hadn't seen in a long time. Nevertheless, while he was preaching Eric's cousin was listening and got an opportunity to hear the gospel! "What are the odds?"
Eric wondered aloud.
Dennis Miranda (left) from Pittsburgh, PA lovingly shares a passage from God's word with a New Yorker in response to one of his objections. Just a few moments before the bicyclist and his friend had been sharply protesting during Dennis' open air preaching
before a watching crowd.
Campus Leader Gene Henderson
came upon two young men dining in the park where he began a witnessing conversation with them. "They were very attentive" Gene recalls "and did not seem to mind me interrupting them while they chowed down on their pizza. The young man on my right said to me that he thought the Bible to be not a reliable book saying that it was translated so many times over so many years." This is a common objection
that CCN campus missionaries often face. Nevertheless, Gene was prepared to give a defense. "I explained to him that the Bible was written over a length of 1,500 years, written by 40 different authors and from three different continents. And that the Bible has a coherency and consistency unmatched by any ancient work out of antiquity. We see this coherency and consistency well in the multitude of fulfilled prophesies and even more amazingly in the life of Jesus who often went to the scriptures to answer peoples questions and objections. So if the scriptures" Gene pressed on "were and are good enough for Jesus to properly know and answer life’s questions then those same scriptures are good enough for you and me." The young man then exclaimed that that was the best explanation of the validity of the Bible that he had ever heard! Thus Gene then ended his time by politely apologizing for interrupting their meal. However, they seemed very appreciative nonetheless that he stopped by to talk with them and to share the good news
of Jesus Christ who forgives all when we repent and trust Him.
"Parting is such sweet sorrow..." - Shakespeare
Though witnessing in such a place as New York City could be considered a tough assignment, the toughest part of this mission, however, was in leaving the sweet fellowship of like minded believers. At Repent and Witness our faith was tested and limits were certainly stretched. Nonetheless, one truth remains, and that is [God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us
To all those who've partnered with Christian Collegian Network throughout the year to make our evangelism camps and outreaches a success THANK YOU for your continued support!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!