Reaching Muslims and Hindus in the tri-state region

Throughout the summer months, Send NYC has been greatly encouraged by the work of our church plants that are diligently seeking ways to reach our city’s Muslim and Hindu populations. Our church planters, along with their ministry teams, have been faithful to their calling and are seeing firsthand how God is creating opportunities to change lives and regenerate hearts among the Muslim and Hindu people of our region.

ethNYcity, a book and website sharing research on gospel influence in metro NYC neighborhoods, reports that there are over 800,000 Muslims in metro New York City, meaning that 1 out of every 10 Muslims in the US live in the NYC area. Additionally, over 400,000 Hindus live in Metro NYC – both groups with very little Gospel witness.

Send NYC has opted to not share the names of this group of church planters due to sensitivities within their ministry and out of respect for their families overseas. But, we can share that the summer months have generated reports that our church planters are taking advantage of opportunities to engage Muslim and Hindu families at local festivals, through one-on-one conversations, and during dinner gatherings. Together with these faithful church planters, Send NYC is celebrating that the Gospel message has been shared numerous times and is praying for the individuals that have asked for Bibles translated into their native tongue.

The fall and early winter will provide our church planters opportunities for additional outreach, please join us in praying for these events and that monetary needs will be met. Send NYC’s prayer initiative, called 4•5•1, is a powerful way that you can become a prayer partner for a metro NYC church plant, including those reaching the Muslim and Hindu communities. Click here for more information on 4•5•1 and join us in praying for gospel advancement in NYC.

 

 

Date Created: 8/28/2014 11:26:29 AM

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New Jersey church plant celebrates a summer of growth and impact

Under the pastoral leadership of Pedro Hernandez, Iglesia Bautista El Redentor has been reaching the community of Rahway, New Jersey, during a summer full of church activities. In addition to Sunday services and children’s Sunday school classes, the Spanish-speaking church plant is hosting Wednesday night bible studies and Sunday morning discipleship classes.

“We've had the joy to have our first baptism and families from the community getting involved in our church and activities,” wrote Pastor Hernandez.

In July, the church fellowship hosted over 50 children for their Vacation Bible School. The 18 VBS workers from Iglesia Bautista El Redentor were blessed to have VBS assistance from a 33-member strong P2 Missions team from Central Baptist Church in Douglasville, Georgia.

Hernandez wrote, “We are very excited and thrilled to see how God has been working within our community and how many lives are being touched by this ministry here in Rahway.”

Iglesia Bautista El Redentor will be is already preparing for ministry events in the fall and early winter, including English classes and Friday evening children’s events. Please join them in praying for upcoming events and that monetary needs will be met.

Iglesia Bautista El Redentor meets each Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at 177 Elm Avenue, Rahway, New Jersey, 07065.For information on how you can support or serve this fellowship, see the North Jersey Church Planting Network.

Date Created: 8/21/2014 10:51:39 PM

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Prayer Powers the Work: the 451 prayer initiative

Communities, like individuals, are unique—and the communities of metro-NYC are part of the most influential, unique region in the United States. Send NYC is working to raise up pastors and ministry leaders to reach the 22+ million individuals in metro NYC. To accompany this great work, Send NYC is asking for prayer support with a new initiative, known as 4-5-1.

The 4-5-1 Initiative represents coming before the Lord 4 days a week and praying for 5 minutes for 1 community located within New York City, Long Island, or northern New Jersey

“The 4-5-1 Initiative is a prayer ministry done by the people, for the people,” said L.J. Slan, the Send NYC Church Planting Intern. “The 4-5-1 concept is simple but the results are powerful, very powerful.”

Participants of 4-5-1 will work with the Send NYC team to adopt a metro-NYC community—one of New York City’s 59 community districts, one of Long Island’s 16 towns, or one of northern New Jersey’s 11 counties—and bring the people and ministry efforts in that specific community before the Lord in prayer. Slan will connect 4-5-1 prayer partners to church planters and ministry leaders within their adopted community.

“We are seeing God move in metro-NYC, and we firmly believe the substance for this is prayer. The power of prayer is real,” said Steve Canter, Send NYC City Coordinator. “In Midtown Manhattan the evangelical growth has been from less than 1% to greater 3% in 20 years. During that same period you had local and national movements of prayer established in and for the city. I believe that the evangelical growth corresponds to God’s grace in answering the prayers of His Church.”

The 4-5-1 Initiative is a meaningful, effective way that individuals or church groups can be a part of God’s work in perhaps the most influential city in the world as they support our church planters and their efforts.

To read more about the 4-5-1 Initiative and to inquire about adopting a metro NYC community, see www.sendnyc.org or email L.J. Slan at newyorkcity@namb.net

Date Created: 8/12/2014 11:29:13 AM

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Serving the weak and vulnerable in NYC

 Raleigh Sadler 
Sadler speaking on the steps of Manhattan's City Hall.

In 2012, the Lord used two events to grasp the attention of Raleigh Sadler. Over the course of one month Sadler’s job was eliminated, thus he was faced with losing the benefits and security that comes with full-time employment, and he said goodbye to a best friend taken by cancer.

“During this time, God opened my eyes to the fact that I have an expiration date,” Sadler said. “I began to think about my passion to serve the weak and vulnerable in a major urban area. After much prayer and with no guarantee of success, I sold everything and moved to NYC to serve as a NAMB MSC (Mission Service Corps) missionary.”  

Sadler, who always said he’d never end up in New York City, found himself serving the city’s weak and vulnerable though two ministry positions: Director of Justice Ministries at Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA) and Pastor of College and Justice at Gallery Church.

Much of Sadler’s ministry is advocating for those living in the anguish of human trafficking. Sadler recognizes that watching a documentary or reading statistics about human trafficking can be a heart-wrenching, moving experience, but nothing breaks your heart like realizing that those close to you, friends even, have been impacted by sex trade.

“In NYC, I have several friends that have been prostituted,” Sadler said. “Hearing their stories is heartbreaking. However, I am reminded that God is at work and will use the Church to help bring an end to this injustice.”

Sadler, age 35, is driven by a passion to see the local church love God and love their neighbors holistically.

“God has not called us to proclaim the Gospel alone, but to demonstrate it as well. As Christians, we talk about being ‘the hands and feet’ of Christ. However, we will never be the hands and feet of Christ unless we are his eye and ears,’ Sadler said. “We must be looking for those who are weak and vulnerable in our community before we will ever care for them. With that said, justice ministry happens when we carry out the ‘Great Commission’ through the ‘Great Commandment’.”

To enable Christians to look for and then serve the vulnerable, Sadler started the Let My People Go (LMPG) movement. He explained that the LMPG movement was created to call the local church to recognize that God desires to set people free. 

“For example, as Moses went to Pharaoh, he was not merely asking for Israel's physical emancipation alone,” Sadler said. “He called for their freedom to worship God freely on the mountain. The physical redemption of God's people as well as the spiritual redemption are inextricably linked.”

Sadler’s vision for LMPG is to know that evangelical churches around the country strategically find, reach out to, and care for the weak and vulnerable within their communities.

Sadler leads LMPG Immersion Experiences, which are unique short-term mission trips for college students that desire to minister to a segment of metro-NYC’s most at-risk population.

Sadler said of the Immersion Experiences, “The goal is to expose students from all over the country to brokenness in NYC. Typically when the students arrive, they spend the mornings learning about different elements of social injustice. Then they are sent out to pray over and survey brothels in Manhattan. Throughout the week, they also work with two vulnerable populations: the homeless and at-risk teens. As they go home they are not mourning the end of a trip, they are celebrating the realization of the mission to which they are called.”

As Sadler continues his ministry, pray for his personal wisdom, clarity, and for a continued dependence on the Gospel. As for his ministry, Sadler requests prayers for his ability to build relationships with financial partners.

For additional information on the LMPG Immersion Experiences and to follow Sadler’s ministry efforts, see www.RaleighSadler.com, and follow him on Twitter: @raleighsadler and Facebook: www.facebook.com/raleighsadler.

 

 

Date Created: 7/19/2014 1:28:25 PM

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Five Minutes with Jon Carr

With 125,000 living in a three-square-mile area, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, needs a Gospel witness. Jon Carr, church planter and lead pastor of Metro City Church, is hoping to be such a witness in Sunset Park. Together with his wife Bonnie and their daughters, Kayla and Emily, Carr is preparing for a fall launch of weekly services. Carr recently took a moment to share about his community and Metro City Church.
 

 How did the Lord place NYC on your heart: My initial experience with NYC was a mission trip. Through a long and gradual process, the Lord gave us a great burden for the people of New York and led us to this great city. 

How are you reaching Sunset Park: We had a community BBQ a few weeks ago, we also set up a prayer stand in the community. We work in a local senior center and help clean up our streets and parks. In the future we will host various family events.  

When will Metro City Church launch: We have worship services at 4 p.m. on the last Sunday of the month during the summer and will launch weekly services the last Sunday in September.  

Snapshot of your church body: We are a multi-ethnic church reaching mainly second and third generation immigrant families. We have families with children as well as young professionals and students.  

What has been your church’s largest struggle: About a year after moving to NYC, we went through a period of great trials. We struggled to find a location for the church, we were publicly attacked, and were emotionally and spiritually exhausted.  

The Lord was faithful throughout our trials and used them for our good and His glory. He led us to our current community and provided a team, a meeting location, and is granting us favor in our neighborhood. 

How can people be praying for your church: Pray that the Lord will continue to give us favor in our community and as we reach new people they will learn to continually learn to follow Jesus. We have a worship team to lead through the summer months, but will need a permanent team starting in September.  

Who are your sending churches: North Metro Baptist Church (GA), Cornerstone Church at Bay Ridge (NY), Sandy Plains Baptist Church (GA), Gilliam Springs Baptist Church (AL) 

Twitter: @metrocitychurch 

Facebook: facebook.com/metrocitychurchnyc  

Date Created: 7/7/2014 11:01:19 AM

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Life Change on Staten Island

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Just a ferry ride from Manhattan, Staten Island is a retreat from the busy New York City streets for nearly 500,000 residents. Full of parks and beaches, the borough is steeped in history and boasts a strong community. For Pastor Nick Mustakas, Staten Island is a rich mission field. Mustakas and his church plant, The Journey Church Staten Island, are passionate about reaching the 86 percent of Islanders that do not have a relationship with Christ. 

Mustakas has spent nearly all of his life on the Island. With his wife Julie, he is now raising his son, Noah, on the Island. New York City’s third-largest borough, Mustakas says Staten Island is packed with culture and home to people that place a major emphasis on relationships and family.

“Soon after deciding to follow Jesus in 2007, I felt the call to ministry and over the past few years God laid it on my heart to go back to the people I know to share His love and how they can find freedom in him,” he said.

Mustakas led the formal launch of Journey Staten Island on Feb. 9, 2014. Prior to launching, Mustakas and his launch team led the congregation during monthly services and community outreaches.

“Our launch team have become like family – we literally do life together,” Mustakas said. “They help Julie and I as we raise our new son and as we start this church.”

After their winter launch, Mustakas and his launch team thoughtfully worked to maintain momentum going into spring. Every first-time guest to Journey is presented with a handwritten note from Mustakas, a book on Christianity, as well as a $5 gas card. In the days following their visit, first time guests also receive an email that thanks them for attending and includes information about church events.

To further build relationships, Mustakas also reaches out to second-time guests with a personal letter containing a $5 Starbucks gift card and follow-up email.

Mustakas is thrilled to see his church family starting to impact Staten Island for Christ. As of late-May, 49 people had made decisions to follow Jesus Christ. With great celebration, on July 20, the church will host a time of baptism on the beach for all of Journey’s new believers.

“Every week we get to experience life change,” he said. “People bring family and friends and we see them accept Jesus and see God move in them. It’s so cool to see!”

As Mustakas continues to reach Islanders, pray for his spiritual growth and strength as he balances his responsibilities as pastor, husband, and father. As for Journey, pray that the church becomes widely known as a place where the people of Staten Island have an opportunity to learn about Jesus and grow in their walk with Him.

For more information on Journey Staten Island, follow them on Twitter @JourneySI.

Date Created: 6/25/2014 8:30:28 PM

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Though still young, Brooklyn's Mosaic Baptist is already reaching the nations

 

Over the span of six years God laid a burden on the heart of Steven Stallard to plant Mosaic Baptist Church, a multi-ethnic church that will reach the nations. Stallard and his wife, Sonya, felt the Lord was drawing them to Brooklyn, the most populous of New York City's five boroughs.

The couple, with their daughter Malia, landed in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a two-square-mile neighborhood of around 200,000 people. With the support of five partner churches and NAMB, Stallard has begun the work planting Mosaic.

“It is an ethnically diverse neighborhood with a distinct Caribbean feel. It has a unique history of racial tension,” Stallard said of his neighborhood.

The family started a small group Bible study in their apartment, a group that is preparing to multiply into a second venue. Stallard and the Mosaic’s members are conducting community outreach events around Crown Heights and are prayerfully looking forward to a formal launch of weekly services on Sept. 7, 2014.

Though still young, Mosaic is already reaching the nations. Stallard says Mosaic is, “ethnically diverse—with eight different countries represented so far; the church is 75% non-white, as well as generationally diverse.”

Stallard and the church are working to help on-the-go New Yorkers slow down their rhythms of life to commit to Christ and His Church. As the church approached their formal launch, join them in praying for their momentum and influence in Crown Heights. 

For updates on Mosaic, follow the church on Twitter: @mosaicbrooklyn.

 

 

Date Created: 6/15/2014 7:42:07 PM

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