New York City, 2017

If you’d like to stay updated with my summer in Queens and the surrounding boroughs, you can do three things. Subscribe to my newsletters, read my thoughts, or watch my video logs.

LATEST EMAIL / June 3, 2017

Prayer requests are at the bottom.

The first week is done. One thing I’ve learned thus far? I’m probably never going to have the spiritual gift of tongues (talking in other languages… or babbling). Drinking chai tea in the Asian neighborhoods of Queens is great–don’t get me wrong–but having several cups at the scolding temperatures they prefer can really numb one’s taste buds. Unfortunately, I like ethnic food, so this is a lose-lose.

My schedule has been full, and my legs ache for rest, but I’m at peace and in comfort thanks to our amazing God. The Summit sent their City Project students here for the week alongside my team, and we just saw them leave today for Durham and the rest of their summer program. Spending this week with them, some of whom I already knew, was encouraging and powerful. Last year I was in their shoes, knocking on doors and walking up to strangers belonging to all nations to tell them about Jesus. No, we aren’t Mormon. We’re just ordinary people that have encountered a staggering, loving God that would die for us. This year I’ve had the privilege to watch them work and tag along, except I’m staying for several more weeks. (I’ll miss you dudes.)

I’m working as an intern with the ministry Global Gates, and every week we meet a different “sifting” team to partner with us and sift through Queens to find people interested in Jesus or who follow him and want to tell others as well. City Project acted as one of those teams, and they absolutely killed it. Here’s what happened…

Rejection. And lots of it. Discussing faith in America is unwelcome. Discussing it with foreigners from the East is easier, because they generally live spiritual lives and are open to talking. But either New York’s climate numbs them and they don’t want to answer their doors, or they reject Jesus and stick by their religion. Laying out the gospel to nonbelievers, from Point A (we are all sinners and deserve hell) to Point B (our dreadful fate was paid for and now we can know God), without disrespecting their beliefs is difficult. It takes a lot of humility. But every City Project student I worked with was faithful to our God. They trusted in his plan for these people, knowing that he wishes none would perish (2 Peter 3:9). And they know being rejected a hundred times is beyond worth it for our precious Jesus if it means just one person gets to hear and accept him.

And that happened. Seeds were sown in people’s hearts. It may sprout right now as I write, or it may sprout ten years from now. Perhaps they may never come to him. I know we saw several expressions of people wanting this hope we have in Jesus. Salvation is surely already happening, as it has been for years in this city.

And we found other brothers and sisters. I personally met a former pastor from South America, who felt led by God to leave his country months ago to come to New York and work as a missionary instead. My internship here involves following up with the people our sifting teams meet. I think we met this man, and his family, because God wanted us to, and now they’re going to come out and share Jesus alongside me. I also met another man, an Indian believer, that will start sharing with me too. How encouraging it is to know that this gospel belongs to all nations, not just one!

I’m confident I’ll have more stories for y’all, so I’ll quit here. Please pray for the following…

  1. Rejoice with me, because God’s moving already here in Queens. My team has many people to befriend and share our hope with and next to out in these streets.
  2. Pray for my team (Sam, Alex, Natsumi, Chloe, Sydney, Cara Leigh, Courtney, and Aimee) to find rest and peace in God amidst our crazy schedules and in desperate neighborhoods. Psalm 62:1-2
  3. Pray for my follow ups next week with N. and A. to honor the Lord. N. is a guy who’s never heard of Jesus but wants to know more. A. is a fellow believer and wants to know me more. Praise God! 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Brett Zeck