Coming from South Texas, I must say New York is the city that has everything—beaches, malls, churches, parks, concerts, food of any kind, you name it.
It is surrounded by famous boroughs. There is the glamorous and rich city of Manhattan, the zoo and entertainment at the Bronx, artsy Brooklyn, the beach and working class housing for many in Long Island, and the most diverse borough (and my favorite), Queens. About 138 languages are spoken in Queens.
I will be honest. I viewed Queens skeptically until I got off at one of the terminals of train No. 7. It happened to be the Hispanic part of town. As soon as got out of the train, the smell of my local food was there. I heard Hispanic people yelling in Spanish, trying to sell their products in the streets. It felt like home.
I had the opportunity to start my ministry with Boto Joseph, a missionary at Jackson Heights. He is a devoted follower of Christ, and I saw prayer in action. A team from Alabama is staying and working with us, and we were boldly filled with the Holy Spirit guiding us through the streets of a Bangladeshi area. We have been covering the streets with prayer in the name of Jesus.
As soon as I stepped into that street, it was like being in Asia. The people, the shop stores, the market, the clothing the language—but there was a difference. We had several encounters with people from Muslim and Hindu background whom we prayed over in the name of Jesus. When would we have the opportunity to do this in a closed country? It blew my mind.
I feel blessed to be here in Jackson Heights where I have the opportunity to share my faith openly. It was a joy to meet a Bangladeshi woman who said was a follower of Christ. It is extremely encouraging to bump into these people and know that the gospel can reach this place and this people group.
We also were able to do street evangelism at a community park. We got to share Bible stories and play games with kids from parts of Asia and South America. Parents from different religions were able to engage with their kids, and many of them stayed with us to hear the stories.
I had the opportunity to meet Sandra. She is from Colombia and has been living in the United States six months. She considers her life sad. She feels broken and lonely in this country. Her kid is going to the hospital because her boyfriend has been mistreating the child. She broke down in tears, and I was able to share with her the hope Jesus gives us. Please pray for her. Pray she contacts me or contacts someone who will guide her toward Christ.
This city is truly covered by darkness. It has every kind of need there is out there. Everywhere I go, I see poverty, need and unhappiness. In one day, three people jumped towards a train and one of them died. There is a huge need in this place. Please take five minutes every day and pray for the people of New York.
Alexandra Granda, a campus missionary from the University of Texas Pan-American, is serving with Go Now Missions in New York City.