The first couple of days [in New York] were trying because not many of the community people seemed to respond to our attempts to have intentional conversations. I was having a difficult time finding the opportunity to share the Gospel with anyone even though I did have a few nice conversations with people on the subway about what our team was doing in New York.
However, my conversations never really went any further than that and asking if those people needed prayer. As the week went on, I began contemplating whether or not I was wasting or missing opportunities to serve the Lord well in New York. I wanted to so badly share the Gospel, but I also wanted to make sure that I did so according to God's timing. I took in the comfort of knowing that just being obedient to His will would be enough, and I also took in everything I could about the people's culture as I learned from the Christian leaders of the various boroughs. It wasn't until my last full day in New York that God reminded me of His perfect timing.
As my team got off at a subway stop in Flushing, Queens, I prayed that I would meet at least one person to share the Gospel with. While I waited for my order of dumplings to be ready in the food court, I searched for a person of peace. I finally saw a young woman, about my age, sitting alone in the middle of the food court. I prayed that she wouldn't leave before I got a chance to talk to her, and she didn't. She politely let me sit across from her, and we began getting to know each other.
She told me about her passion for languages, and I told her my passion for teaching. The conversation was really good, but I still couldn't think of a way to transition it into the Gospel. As we ate our lunch, I prayed for guidance, and the Lord finally told me to simply ask her if she knew who Jesus was. I thought it was a little straightforward of me to do so, but I did it anyway. Unlike I had expected, the young woman wasn't bothered at all by my question. Instead, she thought about it and simply said that she didn't really know who He was because no one had ever told her about Him (neither in China or in New York). I was surprised, but I was also excited because that meant I could tell the Good News from beginning to end.
I began with explaining how sin entered the world through Adam and Eve's disobedience but then how God had given a second chance to have a relationship with Him through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. After I explained the Gospel, I asked her if it made sense (which was something I had recently been taught to do with people of other cultures), and she nodded her head in agreement. Although she did not want to give her life to Christ when I offered, soon after the explanation, she did have a few questions. I tried to answer her to the best of my ability, and I explained the Bible's role in the spiritual growth of a Christian.
As I talked to her about the importance of Scripture, I offered her a pocket-sized KJV Bible my grandparents bought me specifically to take with me on the trip. She gladly took it, and she then asked if I knew of any songs that could further explain the story I had just shared with her, and I lit up with excitement because I knew God was working in our conversation. He knew how much I loved listening to music, so He gave me the chance to share one of my delights with the young woman.
By the end of the conversation we had exchanged numbers, and I could tell that she was genuinely interested in what God had done to mend the relationship between Himself and us. As she walked away from the table, I knew then that she was person God had wanted me to share the Gospel with during my time in New York. The best thing about the experience I had with the young woman was that it was only possible through His perfect timing.
Ana Cindy Saavedra served as a Go Now student missionary in New York over Christmas break.
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