“Tell me about forgiveness.” Nadia (name changed), a student at Brooklyn College, had been hanging out this summer with Marie, a NYC Cru staff member, and Jimmy, who was with us on the NYC Summer Mission. One day, Jimmy looked at Nadia with both humility and boldness and said, “Nadia, tell me about forgiveness.” With a confused expression she responded “Like in my religion?” Then this young Muslim woman began to share about what forgiveness means to her.
“In Islam, shame comes from God. Feeling shame is like punishment for what you’ve done wrong. You spend time feeling it and recognizing what you did is wrong. You aren’t supposed to do the sin again.” Curious, Jimmy and Marie asked what happens when you inevitably sin again. “You shouldn’t but if you do, you feel bad again. You’re expected to try harder to live like Mohammad and pray at the right times.”
Nadia looked down at the ground, and said “You are Christians. How does your God view forgiveness?” This ushered in a conversation about a God who is loving, merciful, and personal. One who is not after our behavior but is after our hearts. Marie and Jimmy sat and talked for two hours as Nadia asked question after question about our God: “What about the trinity? Who is the Holy Spirit? How do you pray?”
Like all of us, there’s a hunger in Nadia for truth and intimacy. This fall, Nadia and Marie will study the Bible together. Please pray that Nadia’s eyes and heart would be opened to the forgiveness that can only be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Cru has gotten off to a great start this school year in NYC. Cru participated in the club fair on several campuses. Through this, many students have indicated that they want to talk more with someone about a personal relationship with God. The club fairs also help in reconnecting with students from last year and finding other students who are already Christians. Last week, we had a city-wide Cru event with about 70 students attending. Please pray as the NYC Cru staff follow up with students who have given them contact info. Pray that students will feel drawn to attend the Cru Fall Retreat, October 7-9.
Evelyn is 7 weeks old and is a good baby! We love being able to see her smiles on a daily basis. We really appreciate your prayers. Because of your involvement in our ministry, people like Nadia are hearing the good news of God’s love and forgiveness.
Yours in Christ,
Steve & Robin