“even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
Would you like to hear about the adventure in New York City I had with my youth group? Well good, because the photo are finally edited, the stories thoroughly processed, and Time has given a good perspective. So I’m ready to share, if you’re ready to listen.
Our trip lasted from Saturday to Wednesday. Saturday’s first minutes found us at the church carport, sleepy-eyed and shivering (from excitement and the cold). Because of some complications, the trip took four hours longer than we had planned. But we got to see Times Square! On a crawling Saturday afternoon! (To be honest, I kind of felt that WCC was kind of creepily following me to New York.) But when we finally got to our destination, we were welcomed and fed by our host, Daniel Pollard.
He gave us food, told us a brief overview of what he does and what to expect, and then led us out into the street to the subway. The whole group of 30 spilled out into the sidewalk, following a man from Trinidad who walked really fast. Many, many people stopped what they were doing and watched us for a long time. We met the subway for the first time, all wide eyes, and clinging to the rails. It whisked us away, across bridges, over rooftops, and past so many fascinating stories that my mind was spinning. Finally, our guide stood up, briefly motioned with his hand, and said, “Let’s go!” That subway car was emptied hurriedly.
We lined up in a corner of an intersection where streams of people were constantly flowing by. Thus was our introduction to the underground subway singing experience.
If you’ve ever sung in a public subway, I hope you know of the joy of freely expressing love and praise for your Saviour, as well as your concern for the lost people you see. It can be so fascinating when those hallways fill up with floods of folks, and watching them is equal entertainment for us. Some people would stop for a second, removing an earbud and taking a photo. Several folk stayed till the end of a song, their eyes blinking quickly or their smiles broadening, reflecting our emotion. Still, so many more never even paused, rushing right on through to their next train. There was so much witnessing you can do while singing — nodding, smiling, making eye contact, or inviting strangers to sing the last verse with you.
We had brought tracts with us, and we all got an opportunity to meet people or pass along the Good News. Oh, I could be here all day telling you about the names and stories of the friendly strangers I met. There were the two girls and the guy on their way to India for a few months’ trek (lovely looking folk, with kind eyes and nervous voices); and Bryan, who wanted only to discuss what we believed in a non-confrontational way, not proving each other wrong with scientific facts (which was relieving for me, for I shamefully own my ignorance about truth-proving facts). He seemed very caught off guard after he agreed to allow me to pray for him, and I bowed my head and closed my eyes — someone said later he stared at me for a bit, until his head dropped too. There were lots of other people too, people whose faces, expressions, and lives were so dear to the Saviour, and so close to my hand.
After that encounter, my head was spinning. Bryan’s talk had lasted for a good 15 minutes, the hallways were noisy, and I finally had grown weary of all the unfamiliarity of the day. But it was still time for supper, so we rode the subway back to the church, and drove the 27 miles to our motel on Long Island. Along the way, we stopped at a Five Guys for supper, filling up the whole dining area and again interrupting normal evenings for some more people. Then we all disappeared into motel rooms, and thus ended our first day in New York City.