As many of you might know, my daughter, Vivienne, is a student at Word of Life Bible Institute in Up-State New York.
Word of Life wanted to do something brand new this year. They were going to bring the whole Freshman class of over 200 students to New York City for a few days of Street Evangelism. And they invited me to lead one of the Evangelism Groups!
I said YES of course, but I had one condition – I wanted my daughter Vivi on my Evangelism team. Hey, I am her Daddy after all, and she lives 5 hours from me, and this would be a chance to hang out with her and serve Jesus with her.
I was a bit nervous though. I mean, I have plenty of experience leading Evangelism Teams, but not in New York City, and that place is CRAZY BIG! The subway system was engineered by inmates from an insane asylum! The buses and trains make no sense. And it’s easy to get lost, ripped off, or just plain robbed. But God was good! It ended up being an amazing time!
My favorite part was that ALL the students discovered the hidden secret of evangelism… Want to know what it is? The hidden secret of evangelism is that most people are very open to talk about eternity, and evangelism isn’t as hard as you fear it is.
The plan was for our group to be out for two solid days of Evangelism in the city, plus one day of “sightseeing.”
The students did most of the Open Air Preaching, but I got to preach a couple of messages too. If you’d like to see them, they are below.
The Titanic in Times Square
This message is one of my favorites to preach, but I got an unexpected surprise. A very precocious kid (about 8-9 years-old) engaged with me throughout the message. He had a BIG personality!
Who Do You Say He Is?
This message was well-attended and lead to fruitful one-on-one conversations afterward. This message is shorter and gets right to the point.
Before I jump to the photos, I should say something that’s sensitive. Many people know that I’ve had an Anxiety Disorder since I was around 12-years-old. It was at its worst about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been getting better ever since. (If you didn’t know about this, or want to read about my anxiety issue, I wrote about it here: http://luke-15.org/2018/09/on-being-a-christian-25-years/)
New York City would be a BIG TEST of how well I was doing. Just about every anxiety trigger you could think of in one place! Long days. Exhaustion. Spiritual Warfare. Overloaded with audio and visual stimulation. Different foods. Being gone all day. Being in charge of people who depended on me. No bathrooms handy. Long drives. Not being able to get away if I had to. All triggers. But I give glory to God that despite all that, I had nearly 0% anxiety. None! Zip. I praise God for that!
As for the rest of the trip, here are some photos that tell the amazing stories of what Jesus orchestrated…
I thank Jesus for an excellent few days of evangelism with these outstanding College Students.
Please pray that these students live a life of sharing Jesus with others. Praise God!
We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!
Thank you so much for your prayers, financial support, and notes of encouragement, without which we would not be able to reach the Lost for Jesus Christ!
And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!
All for Jesus,
Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella