So today was AMAZING! This was our first official day stepping out in boldness in NYC! Not only did we go to the Empire State Building, we got to encourage people while we were shopping! The five of us wanted to share a our perspective of the day with you guys!
Today I got to encourage about 8 different people! SO GOOD! I was concerned about how people would receive encouraging words because on media you see how people in NYC might be cold, busy or even uninterested to things but I found that that is not the case at all! Every person I talked to was receptive and seemed intrigued by what was happening! Here's a short little recap of the people I got to encourage:
- Juice Press: We got breakfast here and I was able to give the cashier a prophetic word about her passions and a how God was going to give her a plan to pursue them! She seemed really happy about the word!
- The Green Table: I wrote down an encouraging word for the hostess here. Someone else from the team gave another employee a word and she seemed to be curious about it and then I handed her the word and she seemed thankful!
- Spice and Tease: Chelsea was ordering some tea and the guy who cashed her out asked where we were from and we said Nashville. He had been to Nashville a few times so we had a sweet connection there. I ended up giving him a word about how God is giving him a green light to do a business venture! The dude really seem to track with the word and he said that we were doing a great thing!
- NYC Subway (14th St.): We walked down the stairs to catch a train and this guy caught my eye. I felt like I was supposed to share a word with him about a quick transition into something new. He said how that word is a relevant word in his life!
- Mr. J on the sidewalk: This dude caught my eye and so I decided to talk to him. He said how he had recently been hit by a car, so now he is in a wheelchair and cast. He was really friendly and said he was open to receiving an encouraging word. I just felt like God wanted to tell him how proud He is of him.
- Movie Theatre: So we were walking past the movie theatre and I saw a guy and I felt like I was supposed to encourage him. I share a word about maybe transitioning into training or schooling and it opened the door to share with him about hearing God's voice and CB's mission!
- Walgreens: As we were looking for hand sanitizer, we noticed a family shopping for some drinks. I asked God for a word for the mother and Kylie Jean gave a word to the daughters. They seemed to really enjoy getting the word and as we were walking away, Kylie Jean felt like the Lord was saying it was a confirmation for them.
- H&M: So some of the team were shopping in H&M and me and Carrie decided to sit outside and wait for them. As we were recharging ourselves by sitting in silence, this guy burped loudly and it sparked a conversation. He told us his story and we told him our story of coming here for CB. We ended up giving him and encouraging word and prayed the 4 line prayer with him. We originally were praying for his feet, but after we asked him to see if it felt better, he said that his head was tingling. We tried to explain him how he was encountering God in a tangible way right then. He didn't seem freaked out or anything, so that's good! I was really glad he burped or else we might not have had this lovely time with him!
Today was our first day in NYC! I have been surprised by how open people are to receive encouraging words from our team. Danielle was the first one to jump in this morning by writing out an encouraging word for a employee at our breakfast stop. It was exciting to hear how well received it was.
After lunch we grabbed some coffee and a few of us wrote words for a guy working at the coffee shop. It was cool to be able to speak positive things into someone's life. Even though it is a small thing that didn't take that much effort, I know God is able to take a small seed and do amazing thing with it. So you never know what a simple encouraging word can do!
A while later, Danielle and I were sitting outside at some tables while the other girls were shopping. A guy on his break from work started talking to us and Danielle started telling him why we were in NYC. We both got to speak encouraging words to him. Chelsea came up later and also gave him a word. Danielle also lead him through the four-line prayer for pain in his foot, and although he didn't say the pain went away, he did say he felt something, which was really cool! I'm excited to see what else happens on this trip!
This morning started slowly. Combine little sleep with much external stimulation and even more internal processing, and you get me, wandering around in a daze. I began to wonder how I was going to break through my own barriers in order to make meaningful connections with anyone.
Danielle shared a challenge with us this morning: Be bold enough to go with your instincts. If you have a thought about interacting with a person you pass on the street, follow through with it and see what happens! Watching Danielle approach people with love and gentle courage stirred my heart to want to do the same. I wrote a note on one of our beautiful Cultivate Boldness cards and left it for our busser at lunch, but was still daunted by the idea of extemporaneous encouragement. I tagged along after Danielle throughout the day, impressed by her boldness, and surprised whenever she admitted she had been scared before approaching someone!
Later that evening, my quest for pizza took us to Greenwich Village. I sat on a park bench with the ladies, devouring two slices of fresh mozzarella pizza. A young man with maroon trousers caught my eye as he photographed the park's fountain. I kept finding myself looking in his direction. Before I could chicken out, I made my mind up to speak to him, and quickly sought a picture or impression to share with him.
As I approached him, he saw me, and cleared off a space beside him on the park bench. That's as clear a welcome as I could ask for! I briefly explained to him what my friends and I are doing in New York and, with his permission, shared affirmation and encouragement with him. When I finished, he responded by opening the door even wider for me: "You're very insightful. What's this service you're providing? Who do you work for?" I told him we were kind of just doing this for fun, and spoke into his life a little more. At the end, I was able to speak a blessing over him. He seemed positively affected, and said, "Encouragement is something that's really needed around here."
I rejoined my friends, feeling joyful and light, thankful that it was so easy, and so sweet. The first hurdle cleared, I look forward to picking up speed in the next two days.
Also, I went back for a third slice of pizza. No regrets.
Naomi and Kylie's story
Though we are in one of the most high tech places ever, I am unable to find internet that will let me upload their video to post for today. I will post their perspective of today later on in the trip!