Last week a group from a church in Maine came to the OAC Boston office for evangelism training and experience. I believe they were “baptized in fire” as there were quite a few “intense” moments last week. The team did fantastic. We had a number of great adult evangelism times, as well as many evangelistic kids meetings.
I’ll let the photos do a lot of the talking. Here are photos from last week. They each have descriptions. Please click on them to enlarge.
We had some intense situations and I’d appreciate it if you would please keep the following people in your prayers.
A Muslim Dad and his Children: We drove up to a small courtyard where there were about 6 kids out playing. We started setting up our sketch board when a Muslim dad approached us. He did not seem happy. He had three young daughters (about ages 6-10) and all three were wearing Muslim head-pieces. He asked us what was going on, and I said, “We’re having a free kids club where we have games, a Bible lesson, singing, it’s fun.” Then another adult came out and said, “This is about the Lord? Then go ahead!” And she called her own kids out to come and be a part of it. (It turned out that the woman who gave us the okay didn’t even live there! But it was a good thing she was there.)
We setup and began the meeting, and the three young Muslim girls attended! (Their dad sat by the side listening in.)Not only did they attend, but a bunch of kids came out, so that we had about 25 children! Once Eric began teaching that Jesus is God, and that He died on the cross, was raised from the dead, and is the only way to God, I thought for sure the Muslim dad would shut us down. But God protected us and it didn’t happen that way. We even got to stick around for quite some time after the club was over playing with the kids and walking them though gospel booklets! There are plenty of photos of this club above, including of the three Muslim girls.
Nevaeh: We spent an afternoon in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a diverse city next to Boston. We were with a great church that is reaching out to the community, First Baptist Church of Chelsea. We were able to run two fantastic kids meetings!
I had the privilege of sharing the gospel message at the first meeting, and a sweet 6-year-old girl named Nevaeh come up to me afterwards and asked if she could keep the painting. So I wrote her an evangelistic note on the back and gladly gave it to her. She was with her Aunt and I had a nice chat with her and told her what a nice little girl Nevaeh is. Please keep this precious girl in your prayers.
Daniel the Intellectual: We spent one afternoon evangelizing in Harvard Square. There were some kids in their early 20’s who projected themselves as intellectuals, but when I began to ask them simple questions to justify their positions, they got louder instead of smarter. (Generally speaking, when someone gets loud and angry, it’s because they don’t have a sound argument to make.)
The main speaker was a young man named Daniel who insisted he had “read the Bible many times” as well as the Koran, and Torah. I chatted with him for a long time, asking him questions to justify his positions, and he was frustrated.
Please Note: I strongly believe in following Christ’s example when defending the Christian faith. Jesus was involved in many arguments, and His end goal was not to “win the argument” but “win the person.” Though Daniel was not nearly as intelligent as he projected himself to be, and he contradicted himself a number of times and made logical fallacies, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would enable me to point out his errors with meekness, love, and compassion, and not smugness. I believe God answered that prayer.
When it is pointed out to you that your worldview is inconsistent and you’re standing on quicksand, your two options are to humble yourself and stand on the solid rock of Christ, or get loud and angry. Sadly, Daniel opted for the second choice.
In a telling moment, he lifted his shirt to show me a tattoo on his chest that said in Latin, “servant to nobody.” I pointed out to him that being a servant to nobody is not an option. I said, “We’re all a servant to somebody. It’ll either be Christ, who is good and has our best interest in mind, or we’ll be a servant to ourselves and our sin, and eventually our sin will overpower us.” I quoted a Bob Dylan song I hadn’t heard in 15 years that said, “Everybody’s gotta serve somebody.” Daniel smiled and said he likes Bob Dylan.
After showing Daniel that the foundation for his beliefs are full of contradictions, I invited him to turn to Christ. I showed him that he can know with certainty that Christ is true because without Christ, you can’t prove anything. (Please see Dr. Jason Lyle’s book The Ultimate Proof of Creation for more on this powerful and Biblical apologetic approach.)
Sadly, it was time for lunch and I had to go, so I left Daniel with my testimony tract and invited him to contact me anytime.
But this is GREAT! About a half hour later, just when we were finishing our lunch, I saw Daniel walking down the street and approached him. I told him that I could tell our conversation was intense and that he was a bit upset, and if he didn’t mind, I’d like to buy him lunch as a way to show him that I care about him. He refused at first, but took my $5. I said I had to leave with my group, but please get something to eat on me. He gave me a hug! And he let me get a photo with him. It’s in the group of photos above and also to the right!!! Praise Jesus!
Roger and friends: There are many interesting people to meet and talk with at Harvard Square. Roger is a homeless young man traveling around with friends. I got the impression that he was homeless by choice because he liked the freedom of going where he wants to go. He was also traveling with a pet dog and a pet rat (both cute.)
Roger was very cordial and we had a nice conversation without it getting contentious or heated. He also listened to my open-air preaching. Please keep him in prayer.
Natasha: Often when preaching in the open air, God not only uses us to challenge non-believers, but also uses us to encourage Christians. After I was through preaching a message in downtown Boston, Natasha came up to me and she was obviously so very excited! She said she is from Russia, just visiting the US for a short while, and back home she is part of a team that evangelizes using a paint board just like we do! She was very excited and thanked us for being there!
Linda and Jesse: I started chatting with Linda because we both had in common that we had adopted a child from China. But it turns out we had more in common. Linda is a follower of Christ, but looking for a church right now. So I offered my help to help find her family a good place of worship. It’s not uncommon to meet Christians who are “in between” churches, and so it’s a privilege to help find solid churches for them to attend and become part of.
Mary Joy: When I was preaching in the open air in Harvard Square, there was an older African woman who was listening attentively. We chatted afterwards and it turns out that she runs an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! What are the chances! I told her that we’re in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia and will be flying into Addis Ababa, and she was so excited. She pulled out a folder with photos of her orphanage and the precious children there. We were both encouraged.
Dana, a Jewish woman: Dana was also from Harvard Square. She was paying close attention to the message I was sharing, and I noticed she was wearing a Jewish Star necklace. I engaged her directly a few times in my preaching and she was smiling and seemed amused. As she left, I went up to her and said, “Dana, please take this. It’s an article I wrote. I’m Jewish too, and when I tried to disprove Jesus, I learned that He is the Jewish Messiah. Please read this.” And she took it! Please pray that she will read it and come to know Jesus as Savior.
I am certain there were many more people we talked to who are deserving of prayer and mention, but I have to stop this blog post sometime. It was a super week of ministry. God is so good!
If you’d like to schedule a week to bring your church to Boston for ministry training and the opportunity to try it out, please let me know and perhaps we can schedule a week for your church next summer!!!
I thank God for you, for your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support, without which, none of this would be possible!
All for Jesus,