This past week, our City Project students spent a week sharing the gospel and praying over many on the streets of NYC. This week was both challenging and encouraging; it was a week of powerful grace and total reliance. City Project participants, Talia and Josh, share their reflections from this week below.
New York City reminded me of one thing: Jesus has done everything necessary for our salvation through his death and resurrection, and that is what separates Christianity from every other religion in the world. Praise God!
The stumbling block I saw in many precious Muslim women in New York is one that I am way too familiar with in my own life. We don’t want to admit that apart from Christ we are utterly helpless in sin, so we don’t fully trust that Jesus is enough for our salvation. As my team and I sat with two kind Muslim women on a bench in a park, they described to us that their only hope for forgiveness is for their good deeds to outweigh their bad deeds on the Day of Judgment. In a moment of transparency, the women explained that they really don’t know where they stand with God; they could only hope that they would be forgiven.
After sharing the gospel with these women, they expressed complete contentment in their Islamic faith rather than seeing the certainty that is found in Jesus Christ. Why? While there are many answers to this question, I believe it is because pride blinds the world to its need of God. And when you ultimately reject your need of God, you will have to pay the price for your own sin with eternal judgment. All of us were broken and sorrowful over this very fact during our time in NYC.
While we will probably never see those women ever again and may never know if they accept Christ, we are full of joy because we were able to share the greatest news of all time with people who desperately needed to hear it. We got to tell them that Jesus did everything necessary for them to be forgiven of sin and saved from eternal death and that they could receive that salvation through repentance and belief in him. Even though the two women didn’t accept Christ at that time, we are confident in the power of the gospel and the work Jesus has done in our lives. By God’s grace we were faithful, and we trust him to do whatever he wills with their lives.
Throughout our week evangelizing in NYC, God broke my heart for the nations. He broke my heart for the people groups who are blindly pursuing gods that don’t even exist. He broke my heart for those who have never heard his name.
Our City Project team mainly engaged with Muslims, and we met many individuals and families who are fully devoted to the Islamic faith. We all had the opportunity to passionately share the gospel many times with these people. Witnessing the lostness of people who bear the same image of God as we all do was both heartbreaking and eye opening. This brokenness didn’t just shake us to our core, God also revealed to us how imperative it is to share the truth of the gospel.
Sharing the gospel with anyone can be difficult at first; I know it was for me. After learning some strategies from Global Gates, the organization we were working with, I felt more confident and prepared for some specific scenarios and responses. However, in the midst of all the training, God showed me there was no amount of training that can fully prepare you to evangelize.
When you are totally reliant on God in an abiding relationship, then you will be prepared and confident to evangelize. Total reliance on God is the first step to allowing God to fill you up to be a better reflection of Christ. Giving up self-reliance is hard but eternally worth it. This week has forever changed my life. I feel the Spirit of God closer to me than I have ever felt before. I thank God for his grace that continually allows me to grow, and I thank Mercy Hill for this amazing opportunity to directly obey the command of Christ to go and make disciples of all the nations.
–Talia Yurko and Josh Malloy (City Project participants)