Traron changed his summer plans a year ago and, in a leap of faith, joined a Summer in the City® (SITC) project with Cru in New York City. He had the time of his life and learned a lot about the power of prayer. SITC students spend their summer with different partner ministries each week, helping to serve the people of the city.
Salt and Sea Mission hosted Traron’s first experience serving. Debbe, the leader of Salt and Sea, taught Traron to pray about everything and to trust God in all things, especially when it came to sharing his faith. The experience left a mark on Traron. He didn’t expect to be back in New York anytime soon, but Dan, one of the Cru staff members, asked Traron to come back this past summer as a student staff member. He eagerly agreed.
This summer was different for Traron. He got to witness the growth of the students and help steer them towards new steps of faith. There were new partners to serve this year. Traron loved his second Summer in the City. Debbe had passed away a few months before his return, but Traron had another adventure at Salt and Sea Mission that caused him to remember her teaching from the summer before.
It was the first day serving with Salt and Sea this summer. The SITC students shared an abundance of pantry goods with the mission. They hoped to draw a crowd for a special event. Because many in that community are Chinese, the students planned to show the JESUS film in Mandarin. But no one on the team could introduce the film or explain the gospel in Mandarin. Traron and his team realized all they could do was pray, prepare for the next day and trust God to work.
When they arrived at Salt and Sea, all those waiting in line were Chinese. God was at work! With another visiting missions group, the team set up a makeshift movie theater and made popcorn. Everyone stayed for the entire movie.
One of the Cru staff members was introduced to a woman who spoke Chinese — both Cantonese and Mandarin, and was a believer. She happily translated for the group as the students stood before the crowd to share how God was at work in their lives. Then the translator shared the gospel. Traron observed his teammates bowing their heads in prayer throughout the event. He realized that he and the other students had come to see the importance of prayer in all things.
SITC students give their time, love, and service for a summer. But they often remark that God gives even more to them through their experience. Traron realized that SITC was a special picture of the body of Christ. He commented, “Once you know it’s possible, what it looks like and that it can exist — then you start thinking about how to make it happen again.”
-by Alicia Losier