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New York team sees fruitful harvest in N.C.
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
June 23, 2011
6 MIN READ TIME

New York team sees fruitful harvest in N.C.

New York team sees fruitful harvest in N.C.
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
June 23, 2011

When Barry Lawrence pulled into the apartment complex in Rocky

Mount he saw something that would be a rare sight back

in New York. He saw members of

his mission team from New York. City

knocking on doors and meeting people. Lawrence

had to pull the car over to take it all in. “It was that moving,” he said.

Going door-to-door doesn’t work as easily in New

York as it can in North

Carolina. Many apartment buildings do not have easy

access for guests, and Lawrence

said people just aren’t as open to people they do not know.

That didn’t matter to the 11 men who came to North

Carolina to serve for about a week. They were willing

to try whatever strategy might work in the context in which they were serving.

They’re willingness paid off, as that day five people prayed to receive Jesus

Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

BSC photo

Boto Joseph, pastor of House of Worship Church in Queens brought a group to North Carolina for a mission trip.

This was the first time for members of Union

Missionary Baptist

Church in Rocky

Mount to reach out to people living in this apartment

complex. Pastor Gene Brooks said the mission team’s excitement and eagerness

for evangelism motivated the church in their outreach.

The church and mission team served alongside one another in

the Saturday outreach event as they hosted a lunch and played games with

children, led in music and shared the gospel. The night before the mission team

led the congregation in a special time of worship.

Brooks said he realized that night how long it had been

since he truly worshipped God, and he is grateful for the team’s ministry in

leading worship. “It was cold water washing over my soul,” he said.

Union Missionary members have been to New York twice this

year to serve. On their second trip they met Boto Joseph, pastor of House of

Worship Church in Queens. Joseph helped Lawrence

coordinate the mission trip to North Carolina.

For the past year Lawrence and his wife have managed the

David Dean House in Brooklyn. Later this year they will

move back home to North Carolina in

order to plant a new church.

The team Lawrence

brought from New York represented

three different churches: House of Worship; New Testament in Yonkers

(which planted House of Worship about six years ago); and Amazing Grace in Queens.

The team helped lead worship services and shared their testimonies in different

churches. They also led worship and volunteered at Cameron Boy’s Camp.

Joseph said the team spent many hours in prayer before the

trip, and then they saw God answer those prayers. “I saw God doing everything.

In every service, something was happening. It wasn’t us. I saw God work,” he

said. “I saw Him do what He intends to do. I could see everything unfold in

front of my eyes.”

What unfolded that week were lives changed by the gospel.

The team saw nine people come to faith in Jesus Christ.

One Sunday morning during service a young boy, a middle-aged

adult and a woman in her 70s all came to faith in Christ. “It was a great

picture of what God can do,” Joseph said.

All Joseph could say at first about the baptism later that

day was, “oh my goodness,” at a loss for how to describe what he experienced in

his heart. The team participated in a baptism service for a woman who prayed to

receive Christ as her Savior when she went to New York on a mission trip. She

met Joseph and other team members while in New York working with ministers’

wives. During the baptism service, her son prayed to receive Christ.

It took a visit to New York

for a North Carolina woman to

open her heart to the gospel — and it took a trip to North

Carolina for a man from New

York to open his.

A 22-year-old team member prayed to receive Christ during

the Sunday evening service.

“When (Metro New York Baptist Association) and North

Carolina Baptists began this partnership, we both wanted to see what took place

on this mission trip — the mutual sharing of gifts and ministries that would be

mutually beneficial,” said George Russ, executive director of the Metropolitan

New York Baptist Association (MNYBA).

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina began a

partnership with MNYBA last year through the Office of Great Commission Partnerships

(GCP).

“Partnerships are what happens when relationships, a mutual

concern and a shared commitment come together. This is what is happening

through the partnership between North Carolina Baptists and MNYBA,” Russ said.

As part of the mission trip the team also went to Southside

Baptist Church in Greensboro.

Pastor Patrick Fuller went to New York City earlier this year on a vision trip

with GCP, and a team from Southside will go this summer to serve. Southside has

developed a five-year commitment to adopt House of Worship, New Testament

Church and Amazing Grace Church. They are also committed to working with them

to help plant between 5-10 new churches.

After the mission team led a Thursday night worship service

at Southside, Fuller said the altar was full. “We had people saved and people

made rededications. God really moved in that service,” he said.

Fuller said hearing testimonies from team members about how

God saved them and how much they want others to know Him as Savior was

powerful.

“Sometimes we can become complacent and take for granted the

church. They (the team) are very much filled with the Holy Spirit and engaged

in a relationship with Jesus.”

To learn how your church can get involved in New

York City, visit www.ncbaptist.org/gcp or contact Michael

Sowers at (800) 395-5012, ext. 5654, or [email protected].