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God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again (continued)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014
Posted by: New York Gospel Mission | more..
29,400+ views | 430+ clicks

For the past several weeks, many people have expressed their hearts of thankfulness for what I’ve been doing (rather, I’d say what the Lord has been able to do with my 5 loaves and 2 fish) through the past year. Many of our Spanish attendees are going to miss, at least for now, the attempts I have been making at speaking and preaching in their language for a portion of every service in which I am involved.

Garrett Jones left New York for college yesterday. He will be attending Bob Jones University in South Carolina and will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and co-workers. Garrett has been a help here at the mission, distributing the Lord’s table, helping with the occasional food donation run but more often with the midnight trash exodus (three times per week, about 10 PM, we take out voluminous amounts of garbage from the food pantry operation. Thursdays we neatly fill half the sidewalk with cardboard for recycling). Pastor Bill and Mrs. Jill have a great love for each of their children, and they will miss him. Garrett will be missed also by his bosses and co-workers at the bagel shop where he worked. He was a faithful employee, often filling in for absent co-workers in strenuous early morning or night-closing shifts.

SermonAudio.com director Steven Lee and Pastor Colin Mercer (of Greenville, South Carolina) came up to visit us day-before-yesterday. It is always a pleasure seeing and interacting with Steven on his quarterly visits here. This morning, when I woke up after Steven had left the city, I noticed there was a brand new iPad Mini sitting on top of my “old rhinoceros” laptop (for which I am extremely thankful. It also is borrowed). Maybe Steven saw my technological poverty and had mercy to intervene. Thank you, Steven. Pastor Mercer preached in Thursday’s chapel service and brought a clear, simple, and loving evangelistic message about man’s sinfulness and Christ the substitute for sinners and satisfaction of God’s righteousness. He invited those outside of Christ to believe in Him, the living Christ, and be saved.

And now, I am looking forward to what lies ahead for me, but I am somewhat sad leaving New York. I closed the chapel service Tuesday blessing my chapel crowd with the blessing with which the LORD commanded Aaron to bless the children of Israel.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;

May the LORD shine His face upon you and be gracious unto you;

May the LORD lift His countenance upon you and grant you peace.

I have done my best to fully preach the Gospel of Christ to them. I have shown them the way of faith and exhorted that they repent of sin and insufficient righteousness and trust Christ alone. I have sought to rightly divide the word of truth, preaching through about one chapter of Scripture per week in the expository format which the LORD has given me to execute. I have warned them of dangers and have tried to show them the middle ground where one departs neither to the left hand nor to the right. I have sought to show them love and un-inflated Christian stability—“be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus.” And now I commend them to God, both the saved and the unsaved, those who attend chapel for the Word and those who outwardly seem they couldn’t care less—I commend them to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build them up and to give them an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. We have had some very dear times in chapel on Tuesdays—times it seems the Lord has met with us in the awesome peace of the dark recesses of His eternal Word spoken long ago and now also. So, now men with other gifts and other angles of teaching will seek to expound the same Word which remains the same forever, the entrance whereof giveth light.

I have told many people here that I will plan to return on vacation when I can, and I already look forward to it. I am happy to think about returning to the healthy forests and fields and the company of family in Southside Virginia/Central North Carolina, and I am glad to be going for other reasons as well, but I’ll always have an appreciation of life and ministry in Manhattan.

10 Things I will miss about Manhattan once I have gone

  • Getting to minister and rub elbows with such a diverse group of people from many ethnicities, tongues, and walks of life. Many have become my friends, and I will miss them.

  • Having my little biblical learning and my sometimes-meager-seeming (but it is great) relationship with the Lord (and the ministry and sanctification that come from it) impact so many people through the power of the Holy Spirit. Getting to preach the glorious Gospel of Christ with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Having Him meet me as I seek to rightly divide the word of truth.

  • The transit system. One can get anywhere one needs to go in the city for $2.50 on an interesting subway system and in the company of other people. The elevated trains in Brooklyn and Queens provide a beautiful sight of the city and let a person see some of “old New York,” as I call it. For commuter rail, three railroads with multiple lines go out in all directions: New Jersey Transit, MetroNorth, and Long Island Railroad. The PATH train is like an extension of the NYC Subway system and goes across the Hudson River to the New York Metro Area cities on the New Jersey side—Hoboken, Newport, and Newark. The free ferry over to Staten Island (there is no bridge to Manhattan) and the private ferries traversing the waterways are not only functional but also very enjoyable to use.

  • The Indian lunch counter. Actually called Dil E Punjab, or Punjab Deli, the Indian lunch counter, as I call it, is a $7/plate, standing-room-at-the-counter-only bodega with excellently spicy vegetarian food. For 7 bucks I get three good vegetarian dishes, rice, yogurt, cucumbers, onions, flat bread (roti), dessert, green chutney, and spicy/sour mango pickle. It cannot be beaten by other eating places, as far as I’m concerned. I am hoping, having left this Indian lunch counter for the Lord’s will’s sake, to gain a hundred fold.

  • Getting to devote myself full-time to the ministry. Feeling that I’m actually doing what I’m supposed to be doing professionally.

  • The city skyline. Who would not mention the New York skyline after living here a year? There’s nothing quite like it in America.

  • Caring for Mrs. Betty. Devoting myself to the care of another Christian who cannot do anything for herself anymore. Having that called “duty” and sanctioned as work when really it feels like gentle helping, feeding, relaxation, conversation, ministry of the Word, and rapport-building. Sometimes tedious, but rewarding.

  • Getting to enter and leave town by Amtrak when I go for my bi-monthly recharge trip to Virginia.

  • Walking a lot. I love to walk. Even though we have a subway station a block away from here, sometimes I walk even when I don’t have to. I walk .7 mile to pick up the cargo van in the mornings. I walk places that are too close to use transit. I walk places elsewhere in the city after getting off transit, like a soccer game I went and saw on Long Island with Garrett, Cherie Jones, and Heather Williams, about a mile and half away from the train station. I like to walk down the Hudson River.

  • Getting to be part of a ministry heritage that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, still evangelical, still holding to the fundamentals of the faith, still vibrantly helping others, willing to point out the Jewish origins of the Christian faith. (The New York Gospel Mission was founded by a Jewish man seeking to reach Jewish people with the Gospel of Christ. Manor Church also had its origins as a mission to this part of the city.)

If there’s room for an eleventh:

  • The sushi restaurant in Brooklyn. Even though I’ve only eaten there three times, I would include it on a list of things I’ll miss here. For $19.95 at dinner, one can eat all the sushi one wants. The restaurant has especially good sea urchin sushi. Near the Sheepshead Bay metro station. I’d have to walk you there to tell you the name of the place. (By the way, Sheepshead Bay is the station where you get off when you go to visit the church where Mr. Bickel is pastor.)

One final thought in closing. Does time fly? Well, not really. Sometimes it seems to pass quickly when a person is devoted to a task or a pleasurable experience. Sometimes it seems to crawl during times of boredom or stress. When you get to the end of something though and there’s no more time, the “great now” is upon us, and it seems like time has flown because now there is no more time. “Behold I come quickly” the Lord says, “and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” When the day declares it, many works have been done in the Truth over generations at Manor Church. The Lord has been pleased with us to dwell.

May God bless the readers of this post and those who pray for us here.

Andy Woodard will be continuing the blog post next week.

By the way, if you are reading: I love and will miss you, Pastor Chris. And to all in New York who take like, precious faith in Jesus Christ – the same faith which I have, which the apostles of Christ had, which the saints of all ages have had: may God be with you ‘til we meet again. I love each and every one of you and will miss you.

Posted by:
Christopher Love, NYGM Intern

Dr. Bill Jones Dr. Bill Jones

Dr. Bill Jones has helped in the establishment of two churches in otherparts of the country and served as Pastor for 14 years. The past few summers, Bill has...

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