Community Summer Missions Project 2014 – Chicago

Chicago CSMP 2

Chicago CSMP 1
by David Nang
For a month, my missions team did most of our work within Chicago with specific organizations and with HMCC Chicago, but it was through an unplanned event outside the city that God revealed His evangelistic heart to me.

One Saturday morning, our team prepared to enter Chicago via subway. Walking to the station, our team made an unusual right turn, and immediately I saw my high school friend, Conor, jumping towards me. Conor was conducting research over the summer at Northwestern University, but I didn’t know because I never saw Conor to be a long-term friend. With this providential encounter, I began to see Conor through God’s eyes. Not as a distant friend of mine to forget, but a lost child of God to remember. A promise to continue our conversation, a sure handshake, and I rejoined my team to enter the city.

With our busy schedule, LIFE group presented the only chance I had to meet Conor; our team would leave Chicago later that week. But I was scared to invite him. I knew Conor didn’t believe in God. I knew his view of church wasn’t great. I feared his judgments, thoughts towards the group, the difficult questions he might ask. Yet I was pleasantly surprised when Conor accepted my invitation to LIFE group. How appropriate that just 5 minutes before asking, my missions leader had led me in prayer for him.

So with a worried, doubt-filled heart, I began to pray. And pray a lot. I prayed to God that my friend would see the difference in our community, that he would notice something positive. And by His sovereign grace, God began to unfold His amazing answer to me.

Conor not only stayed for dinner, but remained for a long 3 ½ hour night with our LIFE group. He sang ‘Shout to the Lord’ with us, studied Colossians 1 with us, shared very personal moments with us. He even accepted my invitation to receive prayer. His engagement throughout the night was surreal. As Conor and I left the apartment, he asked for the song we had lifted up in worship and made an announcement thanking everyone for their kindness and hospitality through the night. Upon leaving, he shared a touching response, “Just because I don’t share the same beliefs, doesn’t mean I can’t see the beauty in [worship].”

It was in the most unexpected of moments, on a random street corner in nearby Evanston wherein God gave me a chance to share my faith. CSMP taught me that missions really can occur anytime and anywhere. I learned that Christ-centered community is cool, too; I could collaborate with a family of believers to welcome a stranger oblivious to the love of God. Not only this, but I became a witness to the profound efficacy of prayer. I can only imagine the wonders of God’s sovereign Plan to make it all happen. Jesus is worth it.