New York City. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps. Not many people choose to fly clear across the entire continental U.S. to one of the most vibrant and diverse cities on the planet — just to stand awkwardly in a public park with a large knot in the pit of their stomach. The idea of short-term missions typically evokes images of passionate spiritual conversations in far-flung exotic locations. Reality can be a bit more intimidating. It can feel lonely there in the park.
Sowing Seeds: A Team Sport
But take heart, there is good news. Christ did not call his hands to toil in solitude. He did not call his worker to stand awkwardly in that park alone. This is a team sport. Thankfully Christ calls his children to live, love, toil and shine in community. No one stands in the park alone. The Holy Spirit empowers and indwells the one in that park. He is not alone. And his team is a beautiful mosaic. And it is as beautifully diverse as the fields in which he calls us to labor.
The Field: God Loves Diversity
There is a good reason to join a short-term mission trip in New York City and sow the gospel. Walking down the street is a passport across the world. Every tribe and tongue mixes together in this pulsating metropolis. A walk through Queens will lead past taquerias, the smell of grilled meats calling. Around any corner may lead across an incredible Thai food shop, the starchy aroma of hand-pulled noodles mixing with the smells of basil and fresh peanut sauce. The world is here. His children scattered from Babylon, but have reconvened here in this city. And he longs for them to come home.
Bringing Them Home
God is working here. Those who come to New York City for a short-term mission trip will be challenged. They will see God work, and they will boldly proclaim the name of Christ to those broken and hurting. They will meet people from across the globe, places where the gospel is not proclaimed and Christ’s love is unknown. Make no mistake, God uses those that answer his call. And he will change lives.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14
No such thing as ‘short-term’ in missions
When a life is changed, when a child of God comes home, an eternity will change. When they carry the gospel back to that faraway place, that place where the name of Jesus remains unknown, lives will change. Eternities are changed forever. And all because someone stood nervously in a park, ignoring the knot in their stomach, and said, “Here I am. Send me.”