We could hardly believe our ears! A friend surprised us with two tickets to go to New York for the 4th of July weekend! Not only that but he got us an apartment right on Broadway in Time Square! It was like a dream for my wife and I. Is it true? Pinch me! All expense paid trip to the big apple. My wife always dreamed of visiting New York, she has never been there but we could never have afforded it either. We are missionaries you see and as you know we live on a shoe string budget. It could not get any better than this, only God can do such a perfect, spontaneous gift like this. Believe it or not we really rested in New York of all places. We are not really big city folks, we like the quiet, small town feel and to be as far away from the bustling city life as possible is our idea of rest. Yet we are still young, filled with energy and to see New York, well that is another thing. We were energized by the city. The neon lights, giant bill boards in front of our apartment and the thousands of restaurants lining the streets, it is an experience like no other. We probably walked hundreds of miles and rode the subway everywhere. The sights, smell and sound of Manhattan cannot be described in words but can only be experienced. To make it even sweeter, we were treated to front row seats to two Broadway shows, we will remember this for the rest of our lives.
I have set this stage up for you not to glorify New York, but to tell you of an odd and paradoxical event. Believe it or not New York had become a place of soul searching for me. I found once again the simplicity of God in my life. It showed me what I really wanted and not. I believe my most favorite moment was visiting Time Square Church. As I walked in their well preserved broadway theater converted sanctuary, I felt the awesome presence of God. I was not able to contain myself and tears began running down my cheeks as I felt God's arms embracing me. The message was right on time, it was about giving away our testimony no matter how small we may think it is so that others may come to the freedom that God had set for us through Jesus. It was about not looking at our limited abilities or capacities but trusting God and knowing it is God who does the work and all we have to do is be obedient. Oddly enough, we were at the epicenter of world culture and entertainment, but the only thing I wanted the most is to be in the presence of God. We enjoyed New York, I talked so much with my wife and really got to rest and spent time together. Most of all we experienced the lights, shows and what money can buy, but we quickly realized we were happy. Happy to live the simple life God has given us while constantly giving of ourselves so that people would know this freedom. New York was nice and all that, but what God confirmed in me is even better. What He gives my wife and I daily such as peace, freedom, love, compassion, goodness, family and simplicity of life without complications cannot compare to what the world can offer. So you could really say I found myself in New York, I found out with all what the world can offer, I still want my simple life with Jesus and the privilege of doing His will. In my case, to bring drug addicts and alcoholics to the hope I now have.