Mike - My Cop Friend in IS-72

I met Mike as part of our church’s mission trip to NYC, Staten Island. The majority of our trip was built around a project at public school IS72, where we painted and cleaned an entire floor in the building. Even in the summer, the school has 12 cops roaming the halls, ensuring the security of students and teachers within the building. After checking in, Mike asked us the simple question. You are from SC? Why are you guys doing this? I shared very briefly how we heard about their need at their school, and how every summer we look for opportunities to go on a trip where we can be a bridge of God’s love to people outside of our own community.

The idea was completely foreign to him. Then he said: You guys must be Christians. At this point I had not used the “C” word at all, but something in his past flagged us as believers, it was nice to be recognized. After talking for a few minutes, Mike asked us: How do you afford to do this? We realized that he thought we were some type of convent, where this painting was all we did, perhaps traveling around the country and we didn’t have any other jobs. Again, I was able to explain to him the process in which we found out about IS72, and why we were there.

Another officer called Mike away before the conversation went any further, but it became real obvious throughout the week the lasting impact we were having on all of them. He was open to the gospel, particularly servant evangelism. I did not see Mike again during the week we were in NYC. We let our host church Pastor Ray Parascando know about our conversation, and when another groups comes next week to finish the project, he intends to look for him.

Why am I not meeting people like Mike on a regular basis at home where I could do some of the follow-up myself? I am not intentional enough about it. Through this trip I have learned that we have got to treat each day as if we were on a mission trip - our hearts are much more cognizant of opportunities to share Jesus when we have this mindset.


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