Worth the Wait

How can I describe it to you? Friday night was basically an answer to one of my longest held prayers; it was the gracious gift of God after years and years of hoping and waiting. For what you ask? To see this happen: A group of about 22 Christian brothers and sisters (half local, half from out-of-town) and I gathered in a home to pray and then we went out on the streets of my city downtown. In small groups or pairs we headed out for witnessing conversations with people hanging out by the clubs, cafes, fast food restaurants and the movie theater. One very exciting thing about this outreach was that about half the people in our group had no previous experience in evangelism to people you “don’t already know”.

It was great to hit the same city blocks I have previously tread alone, but this time with so many young brothers and sisters. It was very exciting watching these young college students give out their first gospel tract, and share the gospel with someone on the street for the first time. Their nervousness turned to encouragement and joy when they realized they were speaking with a guy, or a couple, or even whole group of friends, who actually wanted to hear it. I am very sure one of the young men may end up a street preacher. This brother was quite filled with the Holy Spirit. I thank God He let me live to see a large group of English-speaking saints at last go out on the streets of my city to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, and to sow the written Word of God. I’m so glad I got to see some young believers give it a go for the first time-right in my city. It was awesome to see their compassion for people, their love for Christ, and their zeal to make Him known. It was wonderful to hear them witnessing and sharing the gospel on the street for the first time. I hope it happens again soon! All thanks, praise, glory and honor to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Book Table at the Festival

Friends witnessing to folks at the Arabic Cultural Festival at Union Square in San Francisco. One brother has a membership with the hosting cultural organization and thus was able to procure a booth at the festival. Another brother brought a dozen boxes of Bibles and Christian literature that he purchased himself. Believers from various cities manned the table and spent the day talking with all kinds of people and giving out tracts, gospels, Bibles, DVDs and children’s gospel literature. People were interested to find out that most of the materials were in the Arabic language. People from all over the world received the Scriptures and heard about the Gospel for the first time.

From the Streets

Here is a report from Larry DuBois who is traveling to various cities, witnessing and street preaching.

Seattle, Washington

September 15, 2010
I have been able to preach the Gospel several times here in the downtown area of Seattle. It has gone very well as I have favor with the police concerning the amp. I have experienced both friend and foe. The highlight was a gal named Jen who came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said that she was listening to me from around the corner. She shared about her addiction. I asked if she heard me share the part about my heroin addiction in the past and she said no. I prayed with her to be free from her heroin addiction and that she would be saved. Afterward she mentioned that she had seen me before. I wouldn’t know how since I have been down here a couple of times and the last time before that was last year. She then remembered that she saw my video on heroin addiction a couple of years ago. Small world or big God don’t you think. Please remember Jen in your prayers and me of course as this has been very exciting so far.

I have been doing some one-on-one evangelism as well as preaching. On Saturday night me and a friend came upon about 25 hell’s angels in Pioneer Square at a bar. My friend preached and I handed them tracts. They were very upset and didn’t receive the Gospel message. This was certainly out of my comfort zone. I also have been able to teach in some home Church groups too. So far this has been fruitful. Much more is happening but I just wanted to share the highlights.

God bless and thanks for the prayers!

Larry

http://lawrencedubois.wordpress.com/itinerary/



Teens Talking

This was sent in by Claire in Half Moon Bay:

Hey, I’m Claire. I’m 17, and I teach kids Bible clubs with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). I came to Covolo to teach the Sunday school class for the Faith Tabernacle Church on one Sunday. Afterwards, I was sitting in Loretta’s car with my friend and fellow teacher Tamara when Israel, a 19 year old guy we had just met a short while ago, came over and asked what we were doing. I responded “Just baking in the car”, because it was a really hot day, and although we had the car doors open, it was still stuffy. He asked if he could join us, sat in the back seat with Tamara, and promptly asked us what kind of drugs we were doing. I didn’t realize until later that “Just baking in the car” could be taken as a drug reference, so it’s important to watch what I say. After it was straightened out that I don’t do drugs we talked about church and how to get to heaven.

His understanding was that you won’t get into heaven if you do bad things. Of course his standard of right and wrong were relative and came from himself, not God. The conversation led away from morality, to personal life and I got to know a little more about him, but I was praying for it to transition back to God so I could give him the gospel. It finally did, and since he thought morality led to salvation, I took him to the law.

I pulled out my Bible and went over the 10 Commandments, in order to prove that mankind cannot be made right with God on our own. From there I explained how Jesus fulfilled the law, and died to take the punishment on Himself that we deserved. I used the example of a courtroom, with God as the judge, Israel as the guilty, and Jesus stepping forward to fulfill this undeserving teenager’s sentence. Loretta also helped explain the atonement, and how God is merciful to us, yet just because sin must be punished. It was hard to keep the conversation centered on the gospel because he was clearly interested in Tamara and myself, so we ending up talking for more than a half hour. He had a lot of questions which I did my best to answer, but I had to leave before I could finish the message of the gospel. We gave him a New Testament and encouraged him to read the book of John. I haven’t heard from him since then, but I keep praying. God brought him right to us, and I know what I said made him think. It was such a blessing to give him the truth in a confident, straightforward way! God is so good!!

5 Day Club Outreach in the Park

Here’s a wonderful way to get the gospel out: host a 5 Day club for children at a local city park. Jesse, Claire and Camilla (who happen to also be natural sisters), hosted such an outreach for more than 40 San Mateo children. Each day the young ladies led games and songs, and taught the gospel to the children. No this was not the Candy Cane gospel. The girls taught about sin, judgment, and the blood atonement and the love and grace of God. They preached Jesus Christ crucified for sinners– to the little ones! The kids learned scriptures such as, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

This summer, these young ladies also taught this same “5 Day club” outreach in Half Moon Bay and Oakland.

SF Outreach ’10

Tamara (on R) witnessing at Civic Center

I’m thankful I could go out this year for the annual SOS outreach in SF and Berkeley, (July 16-24) to work with other believers, bringing the gospel to the lost sheep. I did not get many pictures of the people on our team this year though. I mostly took pictures of some of the people we shared the gospel with– they (the people) are all so beautiful and I wait with joyful anticipation to someday know what shall become of the seeds that were sown. Let me know if this link does not work; I’ll post more pics.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=257288&id=561034376&l=bccca166e4

Street church: After the Bibles were given out, the conversations ended and the gospel proclaiming was done, worship with song and music finished the outreach. These two were walking by, stopped, sat on their suitcases and joined with us. Praising the Lord with reverence and joy!

Car Conversations

My car has become the site of some interesting witnessing conversations over the last year as I give my kids’ friends rides home from the high school and various teen activities. I am so thankful for this opportunity, as I fondly recall that God revealed Himself to me when I was in high school. Here’s a peek into some of the conversations in my car.

‘Susan’ asked me out of the blue what how I became a Christian and wanted to hear my testimony and the gospel. She then asked me heartfelt questions. Now she wants her own Bible to read.

‘Tony’ wanted to know what the difference between “going to church” or “church traditions” and a relationship with Jesus was all about and why.

‘C.J.’ questioned me about my belief in God, in a mocking- scoffing sort of way, as he is a proud atheist, evolutionist, modern intellectual.

Two boys on campus. There was a t-shirt wearing “outreach” event that the kids had at the school. The shirt features the Greek phrase, “He Gives”. So the kids are supposed to wait until someone asks them what the shirt says, and “what that means”, and then they can witness with their answer. (By the way, according to the instructions, they were not to be didactic or preachy, and only positive.) So two fifteen year old boys were wearing the bright orange “He Gives” t-shirts in the student parking lot. I was in my car waiting to meet up with one of my students, and so I gave the boys the opportunity to “practice” on me. I called them over and we chatted at my car window. I asked them what the shirt says, and then, what it means. I played “average inquiring person” for them, trying to get them to think and tell me the Gospel, until they figured out I was a Christian who was teaching them some doctrine. (So much fun!)

They proceeded to repeat the modern cotton candy gospel, which they have heard at church, Christian Club, and youth group. I kept asking them “why” Jesus was given. They were not really sure. They suggested felt needs. They told me part of the good news, but they were not sure why it was good news. My child was delayed in coming out to the car, so I had lots of time to tell these boys the “other parts” of the gospel, and teach them how to witness biblically. It was exciting to observe the lights going on. “Now it makes sense!” And they say you can’t evangelize on the high school campuses…

‘Cora’ was telling me from the back seat, how she is a “student leader” with a local parachurch youth ministry. I asked her some basic questions about her relationship with God and beliefs and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. She went on about all the fun they have in their group. I hope to chat with her again sometime.

‘Lily’ is a “pastor’s kid” (…her mother is the pastor…)and I’m not sure she’s heard the gospel. I asked her some questions about her view of God, and she admitted that she is not sure she “has a clue” or “gets it”. She started crying due to news that a fellow classmate and friend of hers died in a tragic accident during a music department trip to Canada. I think we made relational contact (and I hope, seeds were planted) as she listened to me relate my testimony of how this exact situation– a classmate dying in a tragic accident when I was in high school–was what God used to ultimately bring me to the place where He revealed Himself to me as the REAL, saving, forgiving, redeeming, healing and powerful God.

Most teenagers in our culture have not been taught or told much of anything real by parents, schools, campus ‘Christian Clubs’, churches, youth groups, and even many “Christian leaders and ministries”. Most ‘churched’ kids have not heard the true gospel. They are being brought into youth groups for fun,”belonging to the group” and socialization. What they really need is the real Hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Related post: Educate Me

Witnessing at a Park

Betty in Texas sent this in:

Witnessed at park with Katie tonight. We got to talk with some young children and a teen. We used my blown-up IQ tests which they had fun with, which led to the Gospel. They heard Law and grace. Said they had Bibles but the older teen didn’t -gave him the NT in my bag. They got tracts. Pray for them .

Walked and tracted. At a table were a group of teens-boys and girls. We used the IQ’ s again and then some stimulating questions. At that point I decided to ask if we could record for podcast they said yes. So we got to share the Law, God’s righteous judgment on sinners, and they found they were guilty criminals in God’s courtroom, with no escape. Headlights came on, and hearts seemed churning!! Katie prayed, I shared, when they had no hope, the hope to all-brought near to the blood of Christ. Oh pray that they would lay their head on their pillows and cry out to the God who gave them life and breath for thanksgiving for provision of salvation in His beloved Son Jesus! I did not neglect to share that God has given proof of judgment of sin by raising Jesus from the dead-the only satisfactory substitute-He gets our filthiness, we get His goodness! AND-He is coming to judge the world-He MUST COME. He WILL COME!! They were silent. Praise God for ears that seemed to hear. Pray for hearts to break in sorrow over the One sinned against that it would be toward their salvation! Thank you so much. Betty and Katie
PS: Who’s coming out with us next?

Fellow Laborers in My City

On Sunday morning I got up, packed my bag and walked downtown to work among the Guatemalans. First I talked to two men sitting on the front porch steps. Then I hung out with a large group of men sitting on a retaining wall on the street corner. Next, I went into a local family shop and talked to a young mother working the front counter while her whole family- husband, father, children, cousins- listened. All these people heard the gospel and got Spanish bibles to read.

Then as I was walking up the avenue, I approached a group of people hanging out on the corner. When I saw that they were all holding bibles and passing out the same Spanish tracts I was giving out, I rejoiced! “Preach the Gospel to me!”, I requested as I approached them. They were also out ministering among the Guatemalans. We all rejoiced and had a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement there on the street corner. We talked about the Lord Jesus, the Gospel, and the unreached people our community. It was a joyful time of street church with my Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s a Beautiful Thing

Let me try to describe the picture that was the scene on the street corner yesterday afternoon. I was standing there talking with four men from Guatemala outside the 7-11. Conversation about their situation at home (family is there), and their situation here (looking for work) turned to the spiritual as they considered the question, “What is the most important thing of all” (besides finding a wife, a job, and partying on the weekends)?

“God”, one correctly said. So began a 45 minute conversation about breaking God’s Commandments, lawlessness, sin, self (works)-righteousness, false worship, God the righteous Judge, and the good news of the Gospel of grace, and mercy and forgiveness through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, the only righteous One!

I went home to stuff my bag with Spanish Bibles. When I got back to them, there were five men waiting for me. As I handed out the Bibles and Spanish Gospel tracts, they all opened them up and began reading, (some out loud), John chapter one, right there on the street corner, in view of all the traffic (including a police car of course). The main man I was talking to (he was translating for the other four men) was tearing up and rejoicing with me and praising God, as the Word of God was working it’s freeing, bondage breaking Truth in his soul. I looked again at them, and thanked God for this memory He would give me, of five men standing on the street corner, holding open Bibles, intently reading the Gospel in their own language.

It was a beautiful thing.