Monday, March 14, 2011
NYC!!! Reflections on our First Day in the Big Apple
It is near the end of our first day in New York City and I can hardly believe the experiences we have already had! I am just going to take this time to reflect on some of the events that stick out in my mind from today, and how I have seen God at work!
When we were all boarding the plane, we were super excited and ready for NYC! So of course we were laughing, chatting and bursting with energy. I happened to be sitting in the back of our group on the plane, and a woman sitting behind me, in a lighthearted joking manner said "Of course we are right behind all of the giggly girls!" She then proceeded to ask us where we were going, so we started to explain our Spring Break trip to her. It turns out, she had seen us earlier sitting in a circle at the airport gate when we had gathered for a quick discussion, and had told her husband "We need to see more of this in the world" (She was referring to the fact that it was quite obvious that we were a group of Christian and Muslim students together). I was taken back by this, and really started to understand the magnitude of this trip. Simply sitting together in a airport had caused a woman to notice, I can't even imagine the impact we might have over the entire week here in NYC.
Since today was our travel day, our main activity with our limited time left in the day was a photo scavenger hunt! This was a great time to just experience and explore the city while also getting to know others on the trip better. My awesome group included Imen, Samara, Kate and Andrew. From figuring out the subway system, to finding a food that none of us had ever eaten before, we had a blast working together! Even with such limited time together I already know that this week is going to exceed every expectation that I could have.
After everyone returned from the scavenger hunt, we had a great discussion and reflection time. I was very humbled by the honesty and willingness to share stories within our group. I am continually amazed by our conversations and am learning new things about Christianity and Islam. We read passages from the Bible and the Quran that were about loving thy neighbor. It was beautiful to hear the similarities in the teachings. I also even learned simple things about the Quran. For example I never knew how it was organized. Even just learning these small facts allows me to be more knowledgeable, and I am grateful for the openness and patience of all of the people on this trip to take the time to answer and explain any questions we have.
It's getting late and we some great service projects planned for the morning! I hope you all have a blessed week!