What Are You Thirsty For?

By Jackie Bledsoe

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” - Psalm 42:1

“I just could not shake the question.”

This is what Dr. Anthony Graham said after sharing what the Lord asked him years ago. Graham went on to say, "That was a turning point in my life."

At the time, the church he pastors, New Hope Family Worship Center (NHFWC) in Brooklyn, New York, was doing well. It was growing and more than 100 people had placed their faith in Jesus that year. Yet every time he prayed, that question came up: “What are you thirsty for?”

Graham was guided to Psalm 42:1 and realized the importance of a consistent and continual thirst for Christ: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”

This same thirst is evident at NHFWC and is lived out daily in prayer, evangelism and discipleship in the church of more than 1,000 attendees.

Hurricane Sandy devastated Coney Island in 2012, and a Wesleyan church disbanded due to the destruction. After the Penn-Jersey District leadership worked to restore the building where the disbanded church had met, Graham and NHFWC were offered its use for their ministry.

Today, “We have a beautiful mix of Haitians, Caribbean blacks and Russian Anglos who meet Sunday after Sunday and ministry is taking place on a daily basis,” said Graham. This is not your typical makeup of a multiethnic ministry, which makes it even more beautiful.

Stories of lives being made new through this ministry are beginning to accumulate. Jackie is just one person at NHFWC who has surrendered her life to Christ.

“She had been engaged in the things of the world at an early age,” said Graham. “Then one Sunday morning she heard the gospel and surrendered her life.”

Since that morning, Jackie’s life has been transformed and the impact of her salvation is affecting others, including her children and family she brings to church.

Now Jackie, her family and others in Coney Island have this same thirst for Christ—one that’s satisfied by drawing closer to Christ through consistent prayer, intentional evangelism and continual discipleship.