We have worn the tread off our double stroller’s wheels in just 6 months! This vehicle has been a lifesaver for getting around the city with two kids. And that’s a little how I feel about being in New York City: not exactly worn, but going, going, and going!
I have not “arrived” as an urban mom, but am adjusting to the differences of raising young kids in the city. I want to share a snapshot of what life is like for us as we continue to figure it all out.
FIRST, THE UNEXPECTED
I didn’t realize that no car means carrying home groceries for the week in a backpack. It’s a lot of work, especially in 85 degree heat and 85% humidity with two toddlers! I also never expected to see the homeless showering at the splash pad where my kids play.
But these are opportunities to teach my children about what we take for granted and the reality of the need of many, which will hopefully foster generosity and a compassion for others.
WE'RE SETTLING IN
The kids have taken all the changes in stride and seem to have completely adapted to urban living. Simon loves that we can watch construction workers and vehicles everywhere. Eliza likes the horses and carriages that clip-clop to Central Park.
They have stopped asking why there is no grass. We no longer feel overwhelmed and overstimulated when we go outside. We can navigate the city confidently, even if that means occasionally stepping in yucky puddles and doggie doo!
OUR URBAN FAMILY
It feels surreal at times that they are “big city” kids, totally different from my suburban upbringing. I wonder how it will continue to shape them as they grow up, yet am confident that the Lord has called them to NYC too, and that He will provide everything they need.
We’re excited about what’s in store with our family life and ministry as summer wraps up and we head into the (hopefully much cooler) fall.
P.S. Know a student starting college this fall? Share this page with them!
Noah wakes, laces up his sneakers, and runs to school. The trip from his Brooklyn apartment to his classroom in Manhattan’s Garment District is six miles. He carries his lunch, sketchbooks, and change of clothes in a cinch sack and won’t rest for almost sixteen hours after a six mile return run across the Williamsburg Bridge.
Embracing it for the personal challenge, Noah is training for a 53 mile ultramarathon. He knows this regimen is tame, but there isn’t enough time in his day for more. He’s one of eighteen students in his Menswear program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. His intensive workshops and inborn competitive drive have him burning the candle at both ends.
I met Noah because his best friend Jake was in a Bible study I led at UM. They grew up in Great Falls, Montana and attended church together. Last fall Noah arrived on FIT’s campus of 10,000 students and couldn't find any ministries. Jake knew I had moved to the city and so he quickly introduced us.
With an acceptance rate of 4%, Noah’s program, the only one of its kind in the country, produces the talents who craft clothing lines for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Ironically, he had no idea it was this competitive. He read the wrong statistic when he applied thinking it was a 40% rate. Fortunately, the six months he spent preparing his portfolio earned him a top spot.
With 5,000 stitches Noah will learn to craft a full suit by hand. He’ll also learn to produce and bring to market his own clothing lines. At the same time, he’s eager to express his Christian faith within the fashion industry. This could start by inviting his classmates to simply read the Bible with him over lunch breaks.
Noah is the student God has called us to train and equip. He’ll soon return to Montana to test himself on wooded trails, yet his heart for the city and passion to share Jesus with an industry will be a lifelong endeavor.
Did you know? Campus Crusade for Christ International has 26,000 missionaries worldwide! Known as Cru in the United States, our biennial U.S. Staff Conference gathers 5,000 full-time missionaries from Cru's 20 distinct ministries.
The theme of Cru15 was "Together" and over the course of seven days we looked at these four major topics:
These focuses were timely and the array of speakers from within Cru as well as those they invited to weigh in were all exceptional. We came away feeling like Cru is submitted to the Lord in its commitment to sharing Jesus with people everywhere, no matter the context.
Indeed, we feel like the organization is doing a lot to help its staff move into the future as advocates for partnership with others in the body of Christ in order to help fulfill The Great Commission.
Now, with all the great online content you could watch or listen to about Cru's goals and aspirations, we realize you don't have seven days to soak it all in!
So, if we could recommend just one of the sessions for you to watch it would be this:
>> Tim KcKenzie - On Every Word // A 22-minute, live, spoken word scripture experience. This will minister to you as you reflect on the truth of the Bible and God's promises to us, his children. It takes you on a spiritual journey unlike anything else.
Of the Main Sessions, we also think the Francis Chan talks would resonate the most outside of the conference context. He spoke memorably about Being Known for Loving Jesus Deeply (look for the Legos illustration) and about Being Personally Rooted in God's Love.
The quality of the all the recordings is incredible. The Conference Team did an amazing job. We highly recommend checking some of it out!
Gathering with our New York City campus ministry team. Not all the kids could make it, but you can see we have a good number of people to start with in NYC. It was great to put faces to all the names we have been learning!
Simon (almost 2 1/2) enjoyed our afternoon trips to the park in Fort Collins, CO after we picked him up from Cru15 Kid's Care. It was his first time doing any sort of extended childcare and he did great for all seven days!
Cru Conference just wrapped up and the New Year’s Eve party was a hit! Our region’s annual gathering draws 500 students for teaching, training, and local outreach in Portland, OR.
I worked on the video team editing media for the main sessions. Take a look at our outreach video!
I hit ‘record’ on my camera and Schuyler began to share his story of how he came to know Christ. I listened intently and realized that our lives have had a lot in common. We both grew up in safe, healthy homes with loving parents, we both thought we were Christians because we had attended church, and we both chased blindly after the overwhelming freedoms we encountered in college. We each experienced spiritual emptiness in our lives until personally encountering Jesus through Cru.
UM’s annual Forester’s Ball was a rough night for Schuyler. Having just moved in with guys from Cru, and not being a Christian himself, he lied about his plans to go out and drink. He assumed they would judge him for his choices.
However, the next day he felt guilty for lying and decided to apologize. Expecting disapproval, their response caught him off guard. They knew he went to the party and got wasted, but they didn’t think less of him. They valued his friendship and wanted him to realize that being Christians didn’t mean they were above him. They wanted Schuyler to experience the unmerited favor and acceptance that God had offered them.
This was the first time Schuyler had experienced God’s grace in a tangible way. Today, he has become a follower of Christ because God has used students in Cru to show their roommate God’s love. He received God’s gift of salvation out of joy, rather than obligation, because Jesus died for Schuyler even when he was living for himself (Romans 5:8). We’re grateful for your support and prayers for young men like him.
SCHUYLER’S VIDEO: Watch it here
KIRSTEN’S HEALTH: Thanks for your prayers! She is no longer feeling sick and fatigued like she did from weeks 6 to 16.
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