New York sojourn reveals heart of God
Campus teacher attends mission trip, prays
Campus fourth grade teacher, Matthew Weimer, visited St. Paul's Chapel, directly across from the World Trade Center in Manhattan, NY, July 16. He followed God's calling to repent for the sins of his nation, praying for America.
Matthew Weimer currently teaches fourth grade at FC. During the Aug. 23 chapel, his high school daughter, Jenna, and Weimer shared their D.C. stories along with a few other students who attended the trip. The following is Weimer's story, which he agreed to share with The Feather.
This summer God made a way for me to accompany my daughter, Jenna, '14, and a group of students from Peoples Church (PC) on a mission to Washington, D.C. Mike Whitford, PC's high school pastor, organized and led our trip.
Pastor Mike is from Fresno, but in D.C. for a year to serve as an intern in the Capitol. He moved back to California and pastored the PC youth group for a few years, and then moved to work with the students at Northeast Assembly Church.
In 2010, God led him and his family to National Community Church, a multi-campus church in D.C., where he served as a campus pastor for a year. In January of this year, Pastor Mike and his family returned once again to Fresno and to PC Student Ministries.
For years, Pastor Mike has dreamt of taking a group of students back to Washington, D.C. with a mission to serve the district, to pray for America and to learn about our nation's Christian heritage.
As the trip neared God placed a copy of The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn in my hands. He used this book to rekindle a desire to pray for my people. As I read I wanted to journey to St. Paul's Chapel, near the site of George Washington's first inaugural address, in New York City. In it he placed our country in God's hands. Since then, we have forgotten God. I wanted to repent there and ask our Father to forgive and heal us.
Our trip seemed the perfect chance to make this journey. The pastor agreed, and on July 16, I left Washington D.C.'s Union Station at 8:45 p.m., bound for Penn Station in New York City.
As the train traveled north I read in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. In this last book of the Old Testament, God promises to send the prophet Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Otherwise, he will come and strike the land with a curse. I was asking God to turn the hearts, our hearts, and to remove the curse.
He assured me that he would open the way for me on my excursion.
"While God offers us help through his word preached in the churches on every corner, over the radio waves, across cables, in cyberspace and in book stores; we sleep, then wake up long enough to spurn His advances and then our head slips forward again. We don't want to hear him." --Matthew Weimer, fourth grade teacher
At Penn Station, two police officers directed me to the subway as the best transportation to this church, which lies just east of Ground Zero. Their help was Heaven sent. I emerged from the Metro and turned to my left to find I was looking into the cemetery of St. Paul's.
As I walked, I repented and asked God to remember mercy as he meets out judgment. I crossed over a pedestrian bridge to the World Trade Center and prayed there, too. I also asked God to let me know that he had heard my prayer.
At 2 a.m., I descended back into New York's subway system, praying that God would put me in the car where he wanted me to be.
I entered what I thought was an empty car and was accosted by a terrible smell. I looked around to see what was causing it and saw a figure drooping in the corner. As this person's head bobbed I thought I could back out unnoticed, but I didn't think that is what Jesus would have done. I sat down and began to pray for this woman as the subway headed uptown.
Being unsure of the system, I decided to break the ice by confirming that this was the correct train, but she did not answer. I sat down closer this time and prayed. I noticed her dark, swollen and streaked legs, and Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan played through my mind. I couldn't just sit there and get off at my stop.
I approached her again and this time she roused.
"Miss, let me help you," I said. "Let's get off and get you cleaned up. We'll get help for your legs."
Weimer rode the Metro from Union Station in Washington, DC, to Penn Station in New York City, taking the E-train to St. Paul's. There, he encountered a woman on his way back from St. Paul's.
"Get away from me! I don't want your help," she said.
I sat down and prayed again. Then I knew that God had heard me. This woman was a picture of America. We sit dozing, head bobbing, dangerously obese and with our legs and feet gangrenous and worse than we even know.
While God offers us help through his word preached in the churches on every corner, over the radio waves, across cables, in cyberspace and in book stores; we sleep, then wake up long enough to spurn His advances and then our head slips forward again. We don't want to hear him.
I sat down distressed, and nearing my connection at the station. I tried once more at 34th Street. "Miss please let me help you. We'll get you up off of this train and find some help."
"Get the f*@% away from me. I don't need your f@*#%!$ help," she said.
I walked over to the Metro Transit Authority booth and asked the attendant to help that woman. She said she couldn't make the lady take help, nor could she force her off the train unless she posed a threat to other passengers.
I climbed the stairs, thanked the helpful police officers and asked them to help the lady on the train. The policewoman responded that everyday people come to help those who even look homeless, offering them meals, a place to shower and help them get cleaned up. If the lady wanted help, it is available, but she couldn't make her accept it.
From two women I had heard about the gift of choice. God gives us that same choice. Do we want blessing or curse? My prayer remains that God will turn our hearts back to Him. In wrath, may he remember mercy.
For more columns, read the Aug. 15 article, Indiana University expands senior's journalism skills.