The Rev. Dr. Bill Greenwood Jr. and his 17-year-old grandson, Greyson Greenwood, spent the week before Easter in New York City reaching out — both to the “up and ins” and the “down and outs” during a brief mission trip in the Big Apple.
They partnered with other youth teams at the New York School of Urban Mission to reach out to the homeless with soup kitchens, food trucks and food pantries while also giving out blankets, toiletries and gospel tracts.
Then the Greenwood grandfather and grandson duo braved the New York subway to reach out to students at LaGuardia Community College, Columbia University and St. John’s University with Easter apologetic items.
“Many – but not all took our “Jesus” DVDs, Gospels of John and assorted tracts, some eagerly,” said Bill Greenwood. “These college students are from all over the world. Our only incident was a miraculous testimony to God’s divine timing. We had just exhausted our abundant supply of Christian literature when campus security accosted us and asked us to leave.
“We replied that we were indeed on our way off campus,” Greenwood said. “Interestingly enough this incident happened at St. John’s University, and I thought immediately of the New Testament book of Acts where St. John himself (and St. Peter) was similarly accosted and asked to leave the area … the only difference was that they were arrested, and we were released.”
The senior Greenwood concluded, “So go to New York City and impact the world...because New York City is perhaps the most diverse mega city in the world.”
Almost half the population are immigrants and speak a language other than English at home, he explained.
“We met people from every corner of the globe,” he added. “And we were told that only about 5 percent of metro New York City are evangelical believers. Much work remains to be done.”
The two Greenwoods said they went because “we are called to be global followers of Christ because our God is a global God, and He has called us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.”
Bill Greenwood Jr., a Vernon Hill native, recently retired after pastoring Baptist churches in North Carolina for 30 years.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.