Texans in the Big Apple

8.3 million.

That is the population of New York City.  NYC has a metropolitan population of nearly 20 million.  We spent the last four days there, a couple just across the Hudson in Jersey City and two more in Spanish Harlem near Central Park with our “blog-friends” Kristian and Katy Rose.  It was somewhat overwhelming getting from place to place with three kids, and the density of people was repressive at times for a guy who grew up in the wide open spaces of the Rogue Valley of Oregon, but we definitely experienced the city.  We took the subway numerous times, road city buses (one actually broke down in the middle of Park Avenue), walked for miles pushing the kids in the strollers, experienced a little hole in the wall pizza parlor on Staten Island and then of course, did all the tourist spots, Times Square, WTC, Central Park, purchased I “heart” NY shirts, and even accidentally walked past the Empire State Building.

Probably my most enjoyable experience was walking from playground to playground in Central Park, letting the kids run their wiggles out so that we wouldn’t drive the Roses’ crazy in their little 500 sq. ft. apartment.  Kristian works for a Christian non-profit called Hope For New York, where he connects people with opportunities to serve with ministries throughout the city, while Katy works for Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation which works to educate and help children who are stuck in abusive homes.  Both of them are deacons at Apostles Church NYC, which is a church plant of about 200 or so.  JR, the lead pastor felt called to NYC a few years back and moved from Texas with his family to minister to the people of the city.  We had dinner with the Roses and some of their friends from Apostles, it was a wonderful time of encouragement, hospitality, and connection with other believers.  All of the families happened to be from the Lone Star State – when we were sitting around a beautiful brick patio with NY buildings stretching to the night’s sky all around us it was a little strange to hear in a Texas drawl “y’all just sold everything uh.”

I can honestly say that I don’t think I could live and do ministry in New York City (that is usually when the Lord starts to line everything up for you to do just that).  It seems too big, too repressive, too busy, and too difficult.  That is why what Kristian and Katy are doing is so encouraging: they had the same thoughts, but they were obedient to the Lord’s call, endured a year of difficulties and are now loving it in NYC.  Much of New York is a transient population, meaning many don’t stay long.  They come to NYC to make it big in the arts, or after 3-4 years in the financial sector they move out, with plenty to show for it.  Not the Roses, they are both dedicated to see New York changed for the Lord, and they are willing to stay for the long haul, or until God sends them somewhere else.  Ironically, in the “city that never sleeps”, where the lights are always bright, it can be a very dark place, and the Roses want to reflect a light that can never be put out, they desire to be a conduit for Jesus to reach out to the un-reached.  I can’t imagine moving and working in New York City, the Roses however, have made me think that with Christ, maybe we could.


3 Responses

  1. it doesn’t get much better than those roses! it was such a privilege to have you in our home and to get to know you. fun memories! would love to stay in touch.

  2. Loved having you guys. You have a wonderful family and we’re thankful for the work you’re doing. Look forward to seeing what’s next!

  3. […] New York.  They are amazing people and we loved our time with them, you can read more about that here.  On top of inviting strangers with three monkeys for kids into their home to stay and live with […]

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