By Gabe Garcia, Go Now missionary and student at Dallas Baptist University
Upon applying to Go Now Missions, I was very compelled to be able to connect with the Asian culture. I initially applied to go to the East Asia trip and upon hearing that I was not appointed there, I was confused. I felt that it was the spot the Lord wanted me to be. However, He opened a new horizon to a completely different place and it was right here in the states. It was in New York.
Because I wanted to be obedient to the call, regardless of where I was, I accepted the appointment. I was joyful to learn that I would still be able to connect with the Asian people but in a different setting. I know I was still used for God's purpose. Our team participated in several outreach opportunities, including prayer walking, surveying, passing out goodie bags with a purpose, and just talking to people with intention.
The most rewarding experience took place in Jackson Heights when I came across a Buddhist monk praying aloud at a street corner. I felt the urge to go and speak with him. I simply approached him and asked what exactly he was praying about. From there, a conversation sparked. Our encounter consisted of a lot of listening for me. My mindset was to be slow to speak and allow the Spirit to guide the conversation. He iterated that one doesn't need religion when they can just pursue joy and happiness. I explained following Christ is what brings me joy.
This was a transition into me sharing the Gospel with him. He respected what I had to say, but he was firm in his own beliefs. However, I noticed as I continued to share my own experience about how God has been ever-present in my life, his demeanor changed. I could tell he was touched by what he was hearing. Though this wasn't a moment of repentance, he allowed me to pray for him before I left. I placed my hand on him and asked the Lord to reveal himself to the man.
Upon parting ways, he said that I was the most well-mannered Christian he had ever conversed with due to not having Christianity thrown in his face. Humbled, I explained I was simply acting as Christ did when He was here on earth. This was a reminder to show love as Christ did in our everyday ministry. The man was thankful for someone to listen to him. I know that the Lord is working on his heart and I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to have a part in it. This is the whole reason why we GO.