I shared in my last post I’ve had a difficult week. By Thursday I was feeling pretty drained. Friday is my usual day off. It gives me a much needed breather before a busy weekend of ministry. However, as it turns out this Friday was the biggest outreach of the year for our church. It’s ‘Midnight Madness’ in Howick Village – the main street is closed off, the shops stay open till late and there are people EVERYWHERE. So it’s all hands on deck.
I remembered Ps. 147:10 – “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” and I put it into action. I prayed throughout the day, “Lord I really don’t feel like I have the strength to do this tonight. You’re going to have to do it for me.”
He did. Because He likes these kind of prayers. He always comes through.
At 7pm the troops ‘mustered’ in our main auditorium. We sang, read some scripture and prayed. A large group stayed back at ‘base camp’ to welcome in visitors, serve coffee and some home-made goodies, and talk with them. The rest of us hit the streets. We paired up – those less experienced with the more experienced. Everyone has their own approach, but basically we just want to engage people about spiritual things, and then move the conversation toward the gospel. If nothing else, we just wanted to get a tract in their hands.
Here’s Ricky holding a clipboard with Carlene (on her left). Ricky is new to our church and hasn’t done this before. She’s taking a ‘spiritual survey’ with a couple. It’s a good approach – not too confrontational, and opens the door at the end to talk about Jesus. Lisa (another one of our ladies) later told me she had some wonderful openings with this.
Here’s Bruce sharing with a couple with a baby. This doesn’t come easy to Bruce either. He said to me later, “I was talking to this person and he was actually INTERESTED. I thought, ‘O no, I need to know what to say next!'” Yep – know the feeling Bruce.
Here’s Joshua on the right sharing with a young guy. Joshua went out with me and was a bit nervous about the whole thing. I kept praying for an opportunity for him. God gave him one. He was so encouraged. He said, “THAT was cool.” I said, “Joshua, keep that one for the next 20 that turn you down.”
Then Lew Meyer came and joined us with his team from OAC. He brought his sketch board. We all watched him with great interest. People stopped and watched him paint, and he started talking to them. He also took the occasional ‘spiritual survey’. I like Lew’s approach. I think we’ll try to get him back next year.
Here’s Carlene with a group of teen boys. Three years ago Carlene came to us and said, “I have no idea how to do this, but I’m willing to try.” That’s all the Lord needs – our availability. Now she’s as bold as brass. Great job Carlene – you had a time of your life last night.
Meanwhile back at the church there was plenty going on. I wish I got more pics, but I got to snap this one coming in the door. Here’s Cheryl, walking a teenage boy through the gospel. There were a number of others who got into great conversations. What a night! It was a great reminder to me how urgent the hour is and to share with people when and where we can. And can’t do it on our own. We need each other.
I couldn’t help, in reflection about Paul’s words in Romans 10:
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom 10:14-15)
Thank Jesus for making our feet beautiful last night.