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.

Book Table Outreach

Here is a photo outreach report for your edification. Back on October 11, I was able to join friends from the Arabic speaking church for a “book table outreach” at the Arabic Cultural Festival in San Francisco. Besides being a favorite outreach event, it is always a joy to reunite and share loving fellowship with these brothers and sisters. The table was loaded with free Bibles, gospel booklets, tracts and videos in several languages. All day long people crowded our little corner of the room, where believers lovingly and boldly witnessed and read the Bible out loud to anyone who would listen.

DSC01756 Pastor Yousef witnessed to these young men from Saudi Arabia who are here for college.

DSC01761Emir witnessing to more international college students!

DSC01763These young men are from three different North African countries. They have also come here for college. The young man on the left was very interested in hearing what Yousef had to say.

DSC01770This sister spent hours reading the Bible aloud to others and sharing the Gospel with many people. Here she is with this very curious young woman, who had questions (and wanted to debate) but ended up mostly just listening.

DSC01772Meanwhile, while our sister was reading the Bible aloud and preaching the gospel to the young woman conversationally, these men were trying not to look like they were listening intently.

DSC01773Eventually, she drew them in as they and several others listened to her share Truth from the Bible about our Savior. After this, these people went and stood around pastor Yousef while he talked about the Lord to them, and our sister went on to speak to others.

For the entire day, people were coming to the table to take tracts, Bibles and DVDs, and to listen to believers share the Gospel. Some folks were standing around reading their gospel booklets. The “Bible book table” was a very busy and crowded place all day. But on the other side of the room, except for the two hosts, the “Islam” table (stacked with Korans) stood vacant and quiet all day.

It is thrilling to see and meet these people from some very closed Muslim countries. Oh that God may add them to His Kingdom! He has brought them to this place that they may hear the truth about Jesus; that He is God, and that He is the sin bearer. He has brought them that they may hear of His mercy and grace towards us, in coming down to visit us..

To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Lk.1:79

Here is the photo album:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=161921&id=561034376&l=aadc7d26dc


Don’t Waste Your Life video- Lecrae

Lecrae & friends and Desiring God team up for this inspirational, exciting and beautifully produced video. The “Don’t Waste Your Life” theme is wonderfully demonstrated in this story of two friends who commit assault and robbery. One man gets caught; the other gets away. While in prison, Lecrae gets “apprehended by Christ” (someone witnessed to him!) and he is a changed man. His friend is on the outside, enjoying the “good life”. Lecrae sends his friend a package with a Bible and a long letter, in which he witnesses and pleads with his friend not to waste his life. He’s also declaring his desire not to waste his life anymore; he now lives for Christ.

The man is moved by his friend’s transformation and is convicted as he reads. The video ends as he picks up the Bible and letter, leaves his friends hanging out at his apartment, gets in his car and goes to visit his friend. As they meet in the prison visiting area, the man smiles at Lecrae and taps the Bible, showing that he has a humble attitude and wants to hear more.

Fantastic encouragement for witnessing!

Get Creative

Many of my favorite “low profile” witnessing ideas come from believers in countries where open preaching and evangelism is illegal. They choose to obey God rather than man; risking personal safety and liberty to obey Christ in the work of delivering the gospel. The laws of antichrist governments do not stop these saints as they are lead by the Holy Spirit to get creative in their witnessing.

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In China, “pastor Bike” travels around on his bike with his Bible and gospel materials in his backpack. He goes around the various villages sharing the gospel, distributing scripture and
pastoring the believers he meets. He has been arrested a few times by the Chinese secret police because he witnesses to children under 18, travels outside of his area and refuses come under the authority of the state run Three Self Patriotic Church. When he gets out of jail (no doubt he also ministers to those in prison), he gets right back on his bike with his backpack. You too can carry gospel literature around with you, and give it to people you meet throughout your day. Whether you have the time and opportunity to have much of a conversation or not, you can always give folks something they can read or listen to on their own.

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In Iran, “Rab” spreads the Gospel while driving his taxi. His cab is packed with Bibles, gospel literature, DVDs and audio tapes that he gives to those he shares Christ with while he drives. He knows the risk of going to prison or being killed for this, but he is unafraid and ready to face this challenge. He trusts in Ps.118:6; “The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Of course this can be done the other way around: give a gospel gift to your driver. Or, try playing “Reverse Cash Cab”: offer him $20 if he can name the Ten Commandments and then you can talk to him about the character of God, the Law and the Gospel.

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In another middle east country where Christian evangelism is forbidden, “Fari” rides in the back of the bus, sharing the gospel one on one to other women, within earshot of many others(men and women) who lean in to listen. She also gives Gospel literature to them- right there on the bus. Go ahead: get on public transportation just to share the gospel with someone.

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Believers in another restricted country send out “illegal” gospels and small Bibles to people through the mail. Give it a try! Anonymously mail someone the gospel or a small New Testament in a padded envelope. (This is how God saved me.) You can also mail bilingual or foreign language gospels to people in our country who speak a different first language.

A common way anywhere to sow the seed of the gospel in written form is to simply place gospel literature around in public places where people will find it. Yes, it’s true: “God uses tracts”, so you can too!

For more stories about the creative ways evangelism is done in restricted countries, get the Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.