Our lives have never been more full of trial or joy. We’re on a beautiful adventure and we thank you for being part!
The seasons are changing, and we’ve been settling into old routines and developing new ones. Our weekly times of intercession, prayer, and youth ministry continue. However, we’ve incorporated some new techniques into our weekly outreach. We made a prayer sign and banner, encouraging neighbors to “stop” and “pray”. We’ve been setting this up at various intersections of the city, distributing sweets, water and prayer. I’ll also usually play my guitar and worship over our city. These times prove to be really fruitful, as we usually get to pray with many neighbors and distribute lots of love and materials.
On the way to set up the prayer table, my outreach partner and I witnessed a large brawl with about 20-30 kids on a corner. We quickly stopped and intervened the best we could and as a result got to pray with several teens and neighbors. Many neighbors were wondering why we would stop and get involved, and this opened a door of opportunity to share the Gospel and pray with them.
Later, after everyone cleared, I was able encourage many of the teens who were involved (including the winner of the fight) in Christ’s love and their identity and value to Him. I simply relayed the story of the Pearl of Great Price and the Treasure in the Field. “There was a rich guy who traveled the world looking for treasure. One day, He stumbled upon something that captivated Him. He desired this thing so much that He went and sold all that He had to possess it. That merchant is Christ. He saw you, and abandoned His throne to wrap Himself in human form and purchase you for Himself. He bought you with His blood because you are precious to HIm. He has amazing resources, yet surrendered all of His rights to purchase ‘you!’ with His blood on the Cross. You have worth and value to Him. You are worth more than you could imagine. Jesus loves you more than you could ever dream possible.” The brawler allowed me to pray with him, and was very thankful for my words and time.
Eventually we made our way to set up the table. We had many people stop in and receive prayer. One lady in particular was so captivated by what was going on, she chose to miss her bus to stay and talk with us more about the love of Christ. When we prayed, I asked if she could sense anything that the Lord might be trying to show her. She responded with a smile: “Yes! Love!”
We don’t typically engage much on Halloween. However, this year the Lord gave us an idea. We set up a canopy with lights and fire pit in our front yard, along with yard games. As kids would come through, we’d say “You trick or treating? You’ll for sure get a treat, but would you like to try a trick to earn extra candy?” How could they say no? All agreed to try the bean bag toss game, and this gave us extra time with each kid to share the message of Christ’s love.
One particular group stands out to me: a group of about 6 teens. As I was sharing the message of ‘spirits’ and who the Holy Spirit is, I could tell one had a particular interest in what I was sharing by the way he was looking at me. He was very intent on my words. As the others gathered their candy, I took 2 minutes with him and shared the entire Gospel (the 2 minute version). “In the beginning there was darkness…then God spoke and said ‘Let there be Light!’ and there was light! ”
I proceeded through the creation story, and described how God paid particular attention to creating man ‘in His image’. He BREATHED His Life into our lungs, and we became ALIVE! The same word for breath is also used to describe His Spirit. He put His Spirit in us, and we were born. We rejected God and sinned, and as a result lost His Spirit. The end of the story is that God provides a way for us to receive His Spirit again…to be Born Again. The Way He provided this was to send His own Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our disobedience. His death and resurrection made a way for us to have God’s Spirit living on the inside of us again.
This young man had never heard this story before. He’s about 14. I couldn’t believe he had never heard the simple Gospel before. There are so many young people who literally have no Biblical understanding. He allowed me to pray for him, and as we’re about to pray his friend jumps in and says “I want prayer too!” I’ve been making a habit to ask how the people I’m praying for are feeling when we’re through. This gives testimony to me of what the Holy Spirit might be doing. In his case, he stated, “I can’t describe it.” I asked if it felt like peace? A big smile crossed his face, “Yeah!” was his reply. I gave him a booklet describing how to know God personally and my personal contact info.
We had probably 50-75 kids walk through our hut, and many stopped to watch a bit of the Holy Spirit movie we were playing as well. While not all had a Supernatural encounter, all left with smiles and heard “Jesus loves you!” One parent made a point to stop her car and thank us for what we were doing in the neighborhood. We exchanged info and hope to meet up with her again soon!
THINGS ON THE HORIZON:
Isaiah 61 rings in my heart for this complex:The Spirit of the Lord [a]God is upon me,Because the Lord has anointed meTo bring good news to the [b]afflicted;He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,To proclaim liberty to captivesAnd [c]freedom to prisoners;2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LordAnd the day of vengeance of our God;To comfort all who mourn,3 To grant those who mourn in Zion,Giving them a garland instead of ashes,The oil of gladness instead of mourning,The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.So they will be called [d]oaks of righteousness,The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.4 Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,They will raise up the former devastations;And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.