9/11 – never forget.

We had the privilege of living in the Big Apple for 3 years, October 2001-December 2004.
Those are years we will never forget.
In July of 2001, we skipped our way into New York City, with happy hearts and anxious anticipation. We were interviewing for a youth and young adult pastorate position at what was to become our home church ~ Glad Tidings Tabernacle, in the heart of midtown Manhattan.

(Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glad-Tidings-Tabernacle-33rd-Street-NYC/253046548057077?sk=photos_stream)

We left NYC that week in July, ready for a new start and for closure back home.
Boo-ya. Hired. Done Deal.
Prior to being hired at Glad Tidings (GTT), we were living and working in Dallas, TX at the Women of Faith and New Life Clinics corporate office(s).

September 11, 2001. 
It was my last day of work at Women of Faith, when I received a phone call from my aunt, telling me the news…
Adam rushed home to grab our t.v. He brought it back, plugged it in, and for the rest of the day all eyes in the Women of Faith and New Life offices were glued to the screen.

Has your (new) church been affected?
Are you guys still going to move there?
Are. you. crazy???

Yes. Just crazy enough.  

As soon as we could connect with our Pastors, we found out they were okay and the building was okay, and asked – “Do you still want us to come?”
“Yes. We want you to come. Now – more than ever.” 

So in October of 2001, we officially, unofficially, became New Yorkers. 

Nothing stays the same. 

The terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers changed everything…
in our lives. in our church. in New York City. in the World.

New Yorkers are fully committed people. 
They are committed to their causes, to their communities, and to living amidst constant change.

As New Yorkers, we were fully committed to our cause ~ our call as the Pastors for the Youth and Young Adult communities of GTT.
Our job changed the minute we started working there, and things never slowed up or settled down.
NYC is a ridiculously fast paced, outrageous, obnoxious and lovable city.
It requires flexibility, ingenuity and creativity ~ mixed with a lot of resilience, stubbornness and craziness.
You either love it. Or you hate it. 
Sometimes on the same day. Sometimes in the same moment.

9/11 was a day that changed the world. 
But Hope still rises from those ashes…
Light still shines in the darkest places…
Life still thrives in the pit of despair…

Nothing stays the same.
Lives were forever changed…
Buildings are built up and buildings eventually come down. Even the original Glad Tidings building, from 1867, was demolished a few years after we moved from NYC…

(Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glad-Tidings-Tabernacle-33rd-Street-NYC/253046548057077?sk=photos_stream)

New Yorkers know how to thrive and survive in the midst of stress and change.
The buildings they frequent for work, home and play are just that. Buildings. 
NYC is known as a concrete jungle..
But the buildings don’t make New York City, New York City.
Our lives weren’t changed from visits to the museums, the monuments or the matinee… 
Our lives were forever changed because of the people we encountered.

The vibrancy of the people who live, work and play in the Big Apple is what makes New York City, New York City.

It’s the subway train performer, the street corner musician, the deli worker, the diner waitress, the shoe shiner, the fashion designer, the actress, the opera singer, the Broadway star, the business man, the banker, the CEO, the student, the teacher, the preacher…
The people make the city come alive. The people make the city move.
We will never forget 9/11. People around the world will never forget. New Yorkers will never forget. And New Yorkers will keep on moving their city forward.

For a few years, we were part of that city movement. 
Our time there was an epic part of our life journey. 
Our first daughter was born in New York City ~ so she’s an official New Yorker. 
Our lives would never be the same after living in NYC, serving at our church in the heart of the city, and becoming parents for the first time… 
We learned to trust more intimately.
We learned to love more deeply.
We learned to see more vividly. 

We love NYC. We will never forget 9/11. We are so proud to have served God and love His people in NYC.

Here we are with some of the youth and young adults from GTT.

How has 9/11 changed your life or world view?  How has NYC impacted you?  Please share…

In Him, Leslie 


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