As I boarded the plane to fly to D.C. for the weekend, I remained in a state of excitement, yet hesitation. I knew my God was a big God who did marvelous and wonderful things, but I doubted what he could do to my heart in one weekend. Trust me, I was foolish to doubt him. He moved in mighty ways, not just in my heart but also in the hearts of the other students around me. Foremost, he provided fearless leaders who led in prayer, love, and conversation. Essentially they were praying for our group to become church plant members and move to D.C., a prayer quickly answered.
As City Life students, we traveled to D.C. to engage with a church plant from the Summit called Restoration City Church. Little did I know, God was going to use RCC’s vision, community, and mission as vessels in reaching and teaching me. Friday night, we spent time with members of the church, walking around the city my heart was so quickly softening for. One of my leaders challenged me to consider moving to D.C. upon college graduation, followed by my boyfriend asking, “So, do you want to move there?” My answer to both being, “Oh, we’ll see.” Saturday changed my “we’ll see” to a reality rooted in a deep desire to see a broken city restored by the love and power of Jesus Christ.
Saturday morning, we attended sessions given by individuals who helped to plant RCC. They explained the process of planting RCC, how God led them to this particular city, and the pros and cons of living in such a large, international, multifaceted city. My college major is Professions in Deafness: Interpreting, allowing me to interpret for deaf individuals upon graduating and obtaining certification. Gallaudet University in D.C. is considered the “Deaf Mecca” of the United States and is home to several deaf students from around the world. It was mentioned in our time Saturday morning that Gallaudet is a campus hostile to the gospel. Christianity is a sour topic of discussion, and Jesus is a name to be ignored or quickly denied. Our City Life leaders planned a scavenger hunt through D.C. and Gallaudet was one of our stops, a nice challenge for my friend and I, both of us being interpreting majors. The goal of the entire hunt was to share the gospel and pray with someone, prayerfully advancing the kingdom of God. We split into two groups, and off we went! Our first stop? Gallaudet.
I could feel the nerves settle in my stomach as we rode the metro to our location, praying for the Lord to use my hands for his will and for our group to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Wow, did God answer! We arrived to Gallaudet, and it was a ghost town. We walked and couldn’t find a single person. Finally, we reached the student center. As we explored the building, I noticed a room called the Chapel. With curiosity peaked, I immediately walked in, followed by my group, and we were approached by a startled deaf man. After encouraging us to stay, he preceded to tell us about his life as a Deaf Buddhist monk as I interpreted questions from my friends. We shared with him that we were Christians and why we were there. For Gallaudet to be an overall hostile campus to the gospel, this man was kind and welcomed our conversation. He listened, we listened, and we all shared. It was beautiful! When it was time to go, my group stood outside and prayed over him, praying for his soul to be transformed by Jesus and for his passion to flourish for this campus and community. The Lord undeniably set that moment into existence. All of our lives joining in such a way that we could meet this man and share a glimpse of Jesus with him. God set up that encounter because he loves us that much. Later, after continuing through Saturday and Sunday, I called my Dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. He wanted to hear about D.C., and I told him everything. His response? “Maybe you should think about moving there.” Elated with shock, I realized that here I was, doubting God was going to use this weekend, but how foolish and wrong I was! God totally used this weekend to teach, reach, and restore my life and the lives of those around me. I now have a new, deeper desire for living and ministering in the city, a desire only the Lord could give through His grace.
-Sarah Spivey (City Life Student)