Adventures in Harlem: Featuring the Reverend Al Sharpton

Day 4 of our “immersion” into New York City. I have to admit, that my expectations that I was not fully aware of were quite different than what occurred  on this trip. Now that the trip is mostly over, the days are almost blurred to me, and it’s valuable to take the time to reflect and process.

Yesterday, the morning consisted of a session were we talked about the social gospel. In simple words, the social gospel is doing beneficial actions for others that shows them God’s love, and in turn, “good news” or the gospel to them. For example, good news for a hungry person would be giving them a meal. The meal is thus their gospel. A lot of times, we focus on what words to say to a person about God or salvation when really all it takes is supplying a meal or helping a child with their homework.

Our team split for the afternoon. A few helped with the after school kids program called Page Turners and a few spent time with kids at the teen center. I helped with the Page Turners this particular day. Children in general bring me so much joy in the way that they enjoy life so simply; by playing with legos or munching on a snack.

That evening, we all took the subway to Harlem where we attended Riverside Baptist’s Ash Wednesday service. Although struggling to keep our eyes peeled open, the service was meaningful to me. I’ve never been to an Ash Wednesday service and I was able to reflect and think during that time. The evening concluded with eating chicken and waffles after a rainy struggle to find the famous southern restaurant Amy Ruth’s.

I’ve been learning the power of flexibility and the negative power of disappointment in our daily lives. I love to be in control, however God has been softly reminding me that He is in complete control all the time, and never once am I out of His sight,  I am always in His hands and always loved.

-Emily Little