SHADES BLOG

UMin's Summer Snapshot

Posted by Kevin Naylor

Editor's Note: This summer we will hear from various UMin students about how they are using their summer for the Kingdom and how God is at work in their lives. Next up, we'll hear from Brittany Martin who is a student at Samford University.

This summer I participated in GenSend through the North American Mission Board. I was sent to the incredible city of New York for six weeks to live on mission and spread the gospel. We did many different types of ministry such as prayer walks through our neighborhoods in Brooklyn, handing out flyers for our church planter, and holding picnics for the community in the parks. We also got the opportunity to volunteer in Coney Island working with another church’s summer children’s program. It was so humbling to work with those children but such a blessing to pour into them. 

One of my favorite things that we did was spiritual surveys. We went into an area and asked people spiritual questions about themselves and the community, but what was great about these conversations was that many of them led to deep Gospel conversations where we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. It was so encouraging to see that New Yorkers actually crave community more than we typically think.  Even though they are in one of the most densely populated cities in the United States there isn’t much sense of community and therefore, everyone is lonely. I found that more times than not if I stopped and just asked someone how they were that they would instantly open up and start a conversation with me. 

I think the hardest part about the trip was being away from home for so long. There were also days when I really didn’t think I had anything left to pour out, but God always found away to help me through whatever I was going through. 

Overall, this summer was an incredible blessing. I am forever changed because of this summer, but the main thing I want to take away from this summer and continue this fall is to “step out of the boat.” During our training in Phoenix, Steve Turner told us something that really stuck with me. He said that we are all called to step out of the comforts of our boat and walk on the water with Jesus, and follow Him wherever and whenever He calls us. So that is my prayer that I won’t hide in comfort, but will step into uncertain and uncomfortable waters this semester with Jesus.