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Signs of the Times

Times Square and Central Park

semi-overcast 13 °C

New York City!!! I love it here. There is so much vibe and so much buzz. It feels like you are walking around rubbing shoulders with movie stars and maybe in some way you are as I did spot Anne Hathaway in Central Park (Devil wears Prada and other films...). Emma had never been to NYC, she was in in a state of awe and fear. Awe at being in such a world renown city, but fear because of Emma's perpetual paranoia that everyone is a potential thief and mugger (bring on Nai-robbery and Kenya!!).
NYC from Central Park

NYC from Central Park

We are staying at the Africa Inland Mission (AIM) HQ here in Pearl River, about 40 miles north of the city with an 'old' friend from the boarding school I was at in Zaire - Rethy. John was the principal there and was my prayer partner and taught me Bible class and science and other subjects. John is a polar opposite to me. He is a self- confessed obsessive-compulsive and has all his birthday cards ready for the next 6 months, his music collection is neat and ordered and his time-keeping is a definition of punctual. This may cause him some stress in the next week while I am around....

Emma and I got a lift into Manhattan on Sunday with a girl who works at the AIM office called Tameka. I had expressed interest in going to the Times Square Church that David Wilkerson started (author of 'The Cross and the Switchblade). I had been told it was a good church and I was really intrigued by a church that had been started with a man with such an incredible love of the lost and needy. The church met in a converted theatre and the ceiling was an incredible ornate gold and painted ceiling.
There was a massive robed choir on stage of over 100 people who led us in passionate praise and beautiful movement. I imagined that the experience there was a foretaste of what heaven will be like as the church was full of different nationalities (over 100 so Tameka said). I was excited to spot David Wilkerson at the front of the stage, though he didn't take part in the service.
The sermon was a prophetic message about how we as Christians will be called to suffer corporately one day in the near future, and that we are meant to be witnesses to Christ and His death and resurrection, out goal should not be for comfort and material wealth. It was a call to have God's kingdom as our highest goal.
Times Square Church

Times Square Church

After the service, Emma and I went to Central Park to see the finish line of the New York Marathon which was coincidentally taking place. It was great fun to be a part of the excitement. I was especially delighted to see a guy in a kilt running to the finish line and then seconds later, a guy wearing an irn bru tank top. To cap it all off, a band on stage started playing "I will walk 500 miles" by the Proclaimers. I was ecstatic!
NYC Marathon

NYC Marathon

It's not too difficult to walk around Manhattan because all the streets are in gridlines. From the marathon, we went see my old best friend from Rethy days (Zaire), Nathan Langford and his sister Betsy in a Starbucks between 38th and 39th Street on 7th Avenue. Poor Emma had to listen to countless stories from boarding school and all the strange people and funny incidences. I hadn't seen Betsy for almost 20 years. She has been doing similar work in Africa to what I am interested in - agricultural development, so it was great to speak to her about that.

Langfords on the HighLine

Langfords on the HighLine

We took a walk on the Highline which was an abandoned raised trainline that was turned into a park. That was pretty cool in the middle of the city. We walked and talked till we reached a little Cuban restaurant and had dinner there. It was a great surprise to know that Betsy will be going to the same agriculture conference Emma and I will be at in December in Florida!

Times Sq

Times Sq

Posted by africraigs 06:59

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