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Page 3 Volume 7, Issue 1 Testimony of Missionary Phil Rizzo Editor's Note: The Phil Rizzo family are with Reseeding America and are presently raising support to start a church in Hoboken, New Jersey. Phil will be starting City Baptist Church in the fall of 2012. New York City—Spiritually speaking, is there another city in the United States that seems to be in greater need? New York City has a population that is roughly equivalent to the combined populations of Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. These are America's second, third, and fourth most populous cities. However, with this many people in such a small area it is amazing to think that NYC is not the most densely populated city in the country. It is ranked 5th right behind Hoboken, a neighboring city in New Jersey. It is to Hoboken that God has called my family to plant an independent Baptist church. With over 50,000 people living in 1.28 square miles, it is a very “tight” community. Filled with young families and singles, Hoboken is very social. Numerous restaurants and bars line the streets with friends and families enjoying what they believe is a fulfilling lifestyle. God has burdened my heart for these people with the words of our Lord in Luke 17:26, 27—And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. With the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks behind us, we will forever remember the images of people hysterically running in any direction they could. The days following, there was a spiritual awakening within the US as people flocked to churches searching for answers. But just two miles from Ground Zero, where many of the victims of the attacks lived, there was a void. Without a church that stands on the truth of God's Word available to the people, that spiritual awakening did not produce lasting fruit. My heart breaks for these people. Like the man at the pool in Bethesda looking for healing and comfort cried out, “Sir, I have no man,” the people of Hoboken were yearning for help. Many, who for the first time in their lives sought answers, found no man who would point them to The Answer, the Lord Jesus Christ. My education and career background are similar to many who live in this fast-paced city. I was born and raised in northern New Jersey in a Christian home. As a little boy I was taught that the Bible was the Word of God and was reliable and relevant for all of life's issues. I never doubted the absolute truths found in God's Word, but the connection was never personal. In 1999 after graduating from Villanova University with a degree in Business Management, I began working with my family in real estate management and development. By the time I was 23-years-old, an outsider could look in at my life and surmise it was quite under control. The hidden truth, however, was that my life was filled with vanities. It was on August 15, 2000, in the quietness of my bedroom I prayed to God that He would forgive me of my sin. That night I trusted in the truth that only Jesus could give me a new life and grant me salvation. As an earthly father safely leads a son, God has led me for the past 11 years through the truths of His word. On October 25, 2009, in a Sunday night service, the Lord confirmed my vision to plant a church in Hoboken. Sixty-three days later my family moved to Connecticut to train at New England Baptist College. I received my masters degree in May in Pastoral Theology. Under the wise counsel of my pastor, Dr. Jim Townsley, we are partnering with BIMI and Reseeding America as we make plans to start the church next fall. I have been humbled by those who have already partnered with us by supporting our efforts to fulfill the Great Commission. Our threefold prayer is that other pastors around the country will share our burden, be moved with compassion and invest in reaching souls in New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey. The majority of people who live in Hoboken travel everyday into Manhattan for work.