exhortations from the Kingdom of heaven

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:15

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 2Tim.2:8

Sitting on the 3rd floor balcony of my motel room, having a morning cup of coffee, I saw her walk into the parking lot below and enter the trash bin shed. There she changed clothes and re-arranged her packs of stuff, then started rifling thru the trash, collecting paper takeout boxes of discarded leftovers and putting them in a plastic bag.

She saw me and walked over towards me and spoke first. She was physically vulnerable. She was humble and gentle. She was homeless. She was a middle-aged female. She was like the kind of person that many would disregard as completely insignificant and of no value to “society” whatsoever. She spoke as a child. Some would say she sounded “crazy.”

“Watch out for my husband, if you see him!” (she described what he looks like.) “He is a pedophile and an abuser, he gave me AIDS. I met him at Church and he fooled me and hurt me and my children bad. Be careful and watch out for the fake Christians.”

Then she said,

“Remember Jesus Christ.”

She identified herself as in Christ, to me, first. She bore witness to me and gave me exhortation before even first knowing that I am her sister.

We spoke a few things to each other, I up on the balcony looking down at her with all her belongings in bags, her day’s food someone else’s discarded leftovers.

I told her, yes I will. (I will do what she told me. I will be careful of the fake Christians. I will remember Jesus.) She started blessing me in the Lord and telling me she will pray for me in Jesus name. I told her I love her and she told me she loved me. We said a few more things to each other and she went on her way.

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!

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.

“I Haven’t Kept the Rules”

Today I had a long conversation with “Dennis” on the street corner downtown. He was on his bicycle waiting to turn the corner as I was crossing the street in front of him. I started up a chat with him which quickly became a conversation about his readiness to enter eternity and stand before God.

As I was inquiring as to his relationship to the Lord , he said with great discouragement in his voice, “Oh I haven’t kept all the rules.” He then told me all about how he was disqualified because of all his sins and his failure at “keeping the rules”. He was humble, confessing his sins to me as well as his fear of God and his belief in Jesus Christ. Apparently, this man was quite aware of his sins. He told me he had repented of his sins to God. This man was feeling condemnation and was quite discouraged because he thought it was religious “rule keeping” that made a person right with God. So this was a blessed opportunity to tell the wonderfully good news of the the atonement made for our sins by Christ on the cross, and the righteousness of Christ that is a gift of God by His grace through trusting faith in Jesus.

Then we talked about confession and repentance in the life of a believer (1John1:9, Psalm51), developing a close friendship-relationship with the Lord through prayer and the Word of God, and I encouraged him to read through the New Testament in that Bible he says he has at home. He greatly misses the wife of his youth, to whom he was faithfully married almost 40 years before she died. I told him of the sweet promise of God in scripture that if he is (like his wife who was a believer) in Christ by faith, he will see her again at the Resurrection of the Just.

Thankful for Street Church

On Saturday I went downtown to where I was going to meet my husband later for a dinner and movie date. I went for a walk to get some much needed sunshine and exercise. Suddenly, the Spirit told me to go home and get some tracts. I went home and put 6 tracts in my bag and went back downtown. I don’t remember who I gave the first tract to, but after walking for an hour I sat down on a bench right in the middle of a major “hang out” area. To my right was a group five of high school boys and young men. Upon seeing them, I was overcome with great affection for them, and an overwhelming desire to share the Gospel with them. But how was I going to start a conversation with them?

Well as they started to leave, the last boy dropped a candy pack on the ground and as he turned around to pick it up, I caught his eye and motioned for him to come over to me. I gave him the five tracts for him and his friends. It turns out that 4 out of 5 of them are brothers in the Lord and we ended up having the most wonderful “street church” for about an hour and a half. They were so excited! We talked about Jesus, the Gospel, prophecy fulfilling, the Christian life, growing in discipleship, the coming persecution, faithfulness to Christ, Christian leadership and evangelism. Interestingly, it was they that brought up all these topics! We quoted scripture to each other to encourage one another. It was a sweet time of fellowship, edification and joy in Christ. Although a couple of these boys and young men know their Bibles back and forth, they all desperately need a mature male leader to disciple them, and also a local fellowship to meet with regularly.

Later after my husband and I met for dinner, we ran into them again on the street and I introduced them to my husband. We spent another half an hour talking with them some more and I could tell they really need someone like him in their lives for guidance. Later my dear husband told me they were a gang… I did not realize… Come to think of it, they did ask permission of “the leader” to go to the bathroom at the theater, and he told them to come right back to him, which they did. Later, one of the teens told me they originally came all the way up to here (from East Palo Alto) to beat someone up, but after talking with us, they then knew that God did not want them to do that, (and they didn’t!) but to forgive the guy they were mad at. They said the Lord sent us to them like He sends His angels.

So who is going to disciple these young men? Where are they going to find encouragement and Biblical instruction from mature believers? Who is going to teach them how to reach their friends with the Gospel?

How about you and your church?

Street Church= my term for worship of Jesus, rejoicing together in Christ, mutual edification and encouragement, sharing the Word of God with one another, serving one another and joyful happy fellowship with any fellow saints I meet on the street or anywhere in public, outside of “a church building” out in the real world.