A New York state of prayer
May 31 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

A New York state of prayer | Friday, May 31, 2002

Friday, May 31, 2002

A New York state of prayer

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

I love New York - Manhattan, especially - for many reasons. If I ever get a Sabbatical, that's probably where I'll want to spend it.

Lately, I've been translating some of that love into prayer, and it's a good time for it.

Here's one reason: May 30 marked the official culmination of clean up and recovery efforts at "Ground Zero," where the towering buildings of the World Trade Center stood before being reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack last Sept. 11.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, debris stood in piles 20 stories high. Today, the entire 16-acre site is a pit nearly seven stories deep. Millions and millions of tons of twisted metal, pulverized concrete, cables and wiring have been hauled off - but only after being sifted for the remains and personal effects of victims. More than 2,800 people died, many of them rescue personnel who had been called to the scene to assist others in escaping.

On a recent visit to the city, Jan and I were able to visit with some of the officers at the Port Authority Police Department's temporary command post. The men we met had solid names like Mark, Steve, Carl, Ben. Dan was one of the most talkative. His younger brother, a fireman, was killed on Sept. 11. Dan had been assigned to another part of the city that day.

Now, those workers who have devoted 24 hours per day for almost nine months to the effort of clearing the site and searching for remains have had to move on to more mundane routines. Some who have held their emotions in check while there was recovery work to do will inevitably crash now that all is done and there is nothing else to be found. Many will be asking very spiritual questions.

It is a good time for Christians to pray that these dedicated souls, along with the families of the victims, will find comfort and encouragement and direction in a painful time of transition.

Here's prayer reason number two: N.C. Baptists have entered a partnership with the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA) - an association whose boundaries are circumscribed by a circle with a radius of up to 100 miles, centered in Times Square. That area alone includes 21 million people - more than two-times the population of North Carolina.

North Carolina Baptists will assist the MNYBA in supporting programs and activities designed to share Christ's love in New York City, to plant new churches and to strengthen old ones.

Rick Astle, director of missions for the Columbus Association, is serving as prayer coordinator for the partnership. Astle, who has made two recent visits to New York City for "prayer walking" and preparation, is recruiting "9-11 Prayer Warriors" who are willing to commit time each day to pray for the people of New York.

Prayer volunteers are encouraged to pray at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., devoting 11 minutes of prayer to one or more of 11 "prayer tracks" targeting specific needs in New York. Persons wishing more information should contact Carla Foster in the N.C. Baptist Men's office by calling (800) 395-5102 or (919) 467-5100, ext. 331, or by sending an e-mail to cfoster@bscnc.org.

And here's prayer reason number three: The BSC/MNYBA partnership will kick off July 21-27 with "Deep Impact New York," a project that will involve about 175 students (7th grade through college) from 10 N.C. Baptist churches. Students will plug into existing ministries and reinforce efforts to begin new ones, taking with them energy, creativity and a passion for Christ. "Deep Impact" projects will also send students on ministry to Caswell, Honduras, and inner city areas of Charlotte.

John McGinnis, student missions consultant for N.C. Baptist Men, asks N.C. Baptists to offer a special prayer every Tuesday for the students who will participate, and for the people with whom they will work.

Lisa Chilson-Rose, volunteer coordinator for the MNYBA, is asking New York Baptists to do the same.

For more information, contact McGinnis at jmcginnis@bscnc.org or Chilson-Rose at lrmnyba@aol.com.

I grew up thinking that New York was far away and populated by really strange people called "Yankees." On Sept. 11, we all learned that New York can also seem very close and even Yankees can feel like family.

It's a good time to pray for our family - not just the new one in New York, but the one we know here in North Carolina, as well.

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5/31/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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