WNY Pray: Praying Over Buffalo
This month we have been gathering stories for our Prayer Initiative as a way to show people how the power of prayer has impacted our area. We asked Ryan Kozey, who has been director of strategic initiatives at The Chapel for the past four years, what he has been doing to advocate change in Buffalo.
“God put the city on my heart,” says Kozey, who is from a city that is similar to Buffalo—Cleveland, Ohio.
While some people poke fun of the weather, the people, and the lack of economic development in this region, he saw it as an area that had more to offer.
So, a couple of years ago Ryan began around UB’s south campus, where he and his wife and their three school-age daughters live, to pray for his neighbors. He also walks through the neighborhood and prays for the people in each house as often as he can when he’s not traveling for work.
“God has brought people out of their homes, and they ask me ‘Hey, what are you doing?’” says Kozey. “This gives me an opportunity to build relationships with them and to proclaim the gospel.”
He tells the story of an elderly couple who live across the street from him. He and his wife check on them regularly. Ryan felt compelled to write the woman a letter, telling her of his faith journey. She responded favorably, telling him that although she is Catholic, she too knows Jesus. Ryan takes comfort in knowing that they will share eternity together.
“God has brought people out of their homes, and they ask me hey, what are you doing? This gives me an opportunity to build relationships with them and to proclaim the gospel.”
Sometimes God calls him from his car. Once recently in the South Ward he saw a young woman at a bus stop with a baby in a stroller. He got out and asked her if she was all right. She said yes. But God gave him an opportunity to tell her “God loves you.”