Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bad News but no Good News! Shawn?

Yep, you read right.  This past Wednesday, Bob and I were able to sit with a group of men in the county jail and spend some time over the scriptures.  We opened up the scriptures and began to explain the new-birth and the Gospel.  I was well into using the Law (Ten Commandments) to show that every one of us/them is a criminal before His Holy and righteous standard and that by breaking His Law and knowing better (Romans 2:15) they were storing up wrath that would be revealed on the Day of Wrath.  Right about that time, the fire-alarm went off and the jail went into lock-down and we had to be escorted from the building … without being able to present the Good News. 


I was initially alarmed, but began to realize that God’s providence allowed/orchestrated the events of that evening; just maybe He wanted one of the inmates to stew over transgression of God’s Law and the pending judgment for a while  before hearing the Gospel.  We won’t be able to get back into that area of the prison until next Wednesday evening.  Pray.


Tonight, Bob and I (along with another gentleman, Vince) spent a couple hours with a fairly large group of inmates.  We used hour ten of the Word Pictures, “How God Converts The Human Soul” series, which Bob would stop every few minutes to explain.  Afterwards Vince and I had the chance to talk to them men.  I asked if some of the  believed they were born-again, didn’t know or simply were not.  There several responses some clear and others mumbled.  One man stood out; Shawn.  It seems that Shawn turned himself in, after feeling some conviction in church and looking to know His ways.  He thanked us for coming and said that tonight he learned what he needed to do next, to pursue God.  I was able to give the challenge to examine oneself whether they be in the faith (2Cor.13:5), looking at several of the signs mentioned in 1John. 


Had a very brief chance to interact with Shawn after we’d wrapped up & he was heading off to begin reading the New Testament that night.


Dear reader; I don’t know whether you’ve been born of God (Born Again) by repentance and faith or not.  If you have and you are not growing spiritually; is it maybe  because you are not feeling your spirit on God’s Word by reading and studying it?  Read it!  If you’d like some help,  I’ve found the Professor G. Horner’s Bible-Reading System personally helpful.  Email me and I’ll give you more information on this.



Saturday, November 7, 2009

Niagara Falls

Today we began the long trip back from Quebec to Alberta (4200km).  We’ve been gone for a month this trip and drove the distance in three days on the way out, wanted the kids to have more fun on the way back.  Today, we planned to stop by Niagara Falls for some fun.  We were done taking our picture and video and were getting ready to leave.  I began to walk back to the car with them, as everyone was getting cold from the mist, when I stopped.  It’s off-season but there were still quite a few people about.  I asked if everyone minded waiting for a few minutes.
Walking back to the look-out right in front of the falls I stood on a rock and began to preach.  I called attention to the spectacular example of God’s Creations we were seeing, but that many of them no-doubt refused to give Him credit.  I went on to point out the God’s Word says that the Wrath of God will be poured out on all those who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1).  I went on to talk of death, judgment and Law.  I spent time on the Cross, resurrection and the call to Repentance and Faith.  As I was beginning to draw to a close, I noticed that a new group had approached and was paying very close attention, listening to every word, so I backed up and gave a brief recap of the Gospel message.
After I’d thanked folks for their attention, Bill approached me and introduced himself as a believer and voiced appreciation for the message.  He introduced me to his family and chatted a bit.  He’s never met a street preacher before and encouragingly said as he left, ‘I want to do that some day’.  May our Lord help him to get into the harvest field.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Talking to Sue’s childhood Church

Last Lord’s Day I had the privilege to talk to the church my wife Sue grew up in.  I told them a little about what we’ve been doing, traveling and preaching the Gospel.  I wanted to tell them about the Open Air Campaigners sketchboard that we’ve been learning to use as a tool to share the Gospel.  It seemed like the simplest thing to do was setup my board at the front of the church and simply preach through a sketch that I use when preaching in the public square; which I did.  The response from the congregation was very positive.  I didn’t get a video, but have combined an audio recording with a photo of the completed sketch I took last night:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

[Following is an account of an evangelism experience in the Bahamas in April of 2009]

Though interruptions were regular, I’d pretty much settled into a routine of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the main downtown bus terminal in Freeport, Bahamas. Most work days, at around four in the afternoon, would find me standing on my stool opening services at the ‘Freeport Church of the Downtown Bus Stop’. [listen here]

As we began to make plans to leave Freeport for the Exuma islands further south, I began to dread leaving. You see, Bahamian people are used to visitors and are quite friendly, though it seems to take a while for them to really open-up (every outsider they meet soon leaves). Several men who regularly came to hear me preach had begun to open-up, showing signs of contrition and a tender conscience towards God. It was very hard to leave (still hard now these months later as I write this – I want to go back).

After many miles of sailing and numerous islands later, we found ourselves anchored at Staniel Cay (near where part of a James Bond film was made). Though we stopped in Nassau on the way south, I didn’t take the opportunity to preach there, but re-provisioned, visited a sister church to our church in Freeport and sailed further south. Handing out tracts in Nassau, I did meet a Christian woman who expressed a keen interest in learning to share the Gospel. She later emailed me to get a supply of million dollar bill tracts and a ‘Hells Best Kept Secret’ DVD.

In Staniel Cay, I was able to meet Berkie, the local pastor (& store owner, realtor ... even sold me gasoline). I talked with Berkie about setting up a ‘street meeting’. A street meeting in the Bahamas is a bit of an old-time traditional way of doing street preaching. Often the time and place is announced ahead of time and people are invited to come from the village to hear. Pretty often they are opened with music and maybe testimonies and then the preaching of the Gospel, followed my more music and testimonies and maybe more preaching. Berkie expressed interest in setting up a street meeting on Staniel Cay; we planning to get together in a ‘couple days’.

I can’t really put my finger right on it, but Sue and I both felt very uneasy and a strong pull to sail on, in spite of the pending planning of a street meeting on Staniel Cay. We sailed on that next day, a couple islands down to Little Farmers Cay.

The approach to Little Farmers Cay runs through some really shallow water, and surrounded by even shallower water (and rocks and reefs in a couple spots). We approached slowly and wound our way through a tiny opening into the anchorage and secured Seawing on a mooring in the harbour.

After ensuring we were secure in the harbour, we launched our dingy and headed for ‘town’. ‘Town’ on Little Farmers Cay means a tiny little settlement on an island about one mile long and a fraction of that wide. We’d been ashore for a very few minutes, when I overheard a conversation between two folks sitting in front of the general store; they were talking about Pharisee-ism - legalistic religion vs. Real biblical Christianity. As it turned out, one of the people I overheard, was Rowena (sp?). Rowena grew up in the Bahamas; in her youth felt God called her to proclaim His Gospel. She began to take her Bible and walk village-to-village on Long Island (the Bahamian island she grew up on) proclaiming the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rowena eventually married and moved to south Florida, where she raised her family. She often yearned to be a missionary among her countrymen once again; she promised her Lord she would go once again, after her children were grown.

A couple of years after her youngest left home, she said ‘well Lord, I guess I can go now’. Rowena flew to the Bahamas and stayed with her uncle (the pastor on Little Farmers Cay) ‘till she figured out what to do, and where to go. Two days later, we arrived to overhear her on a conversation in front of the General Store.

Rowena responded very positively to the idea of open-air preaching of the Gospel on the island. She encouraged me to preach and agreed to meet with me on the water front 8am the next morning (Wednesday). The next morning, as many were beginning to walk about and start their day, Rowena took my microphone and introduced me and I stood on my stool and preached the Gospel [listen here] of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That evening at 6pm I was once again on my stool preaching [listen here] with Rowena for encouragement. This time, quite a few more people stopped to listen. A couple men, Julian & Areese (sp?) asked if I would preach again the following night. They suggested they announce a street meeting to the whole island & bring the sound system from the church.

Thursday night, a whole lot of people showed up, some casual and others dressed up for the event. The Street Meeting got underway with music and singing, prayer but the local pastor (& others). Finally, I was introduced and stood up and began to preach, with a boldness that I believe the Lord gave to me. The audience grew as I preached; some arriving in boats, buying beer at the little liquor store and sat down on the grass to listen. Not everyone stayed, but most stayed for the over-an-hour that I preached [listen here]. I didn’t know I was preaching that long; but the Lord seemed to bring many things to mind more than were in my notes.

Afterwards, many came forward asking for prayer. I had numerous serious conversations with those who hung around after to talk.

The next afternoon, we felt that rather than preaching again, we would spend some time getting to know the people. We spent most of the afternoon and evening sitting in front of the General Store with a Pepsi, chatting with new friends and getting to know them better. As we sat and talked, our new friends began to open-up and we learned much of the hurts and damaged lives on this tiny little island.

Though I am not free to discuss details of conversations we had in this public forum, we have reason to be encouraged that the Lord indeed directed us to this place and that He gave me specific things to speak on that we only later learned how appropriate they were. I believe it’s been a long time since a clear, simple and Biblical Gospel was preached on Little Farmers Cay. A month or two later, we were privileged to once again visit this island community, and the Lord graciously open opportunities to speak to some issues that had been bothering us since our first visit. Our brother Julian leads a Bible Study on the island and was quite positive when I offered to send the evangelism ‘Basic Training Course’ from Way Of The Master. Fellow Ambassadors Alliance member Craig Miller very kindly bought a copy of this DVD course and when visiting the Bahamas this past June put it on a boat to Little Farmers Cay (in the safe keeping of the boat’s captain).

Please pray for the Lord to wake up the believers that are on this island (Isaiah 52) and bring a true understanding of the Christian Gospel to the many religious people and out-and-out rebellious in this dear little community. We look forward to visiting again, as the Lord allows us to travel (currently some roadblocks).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All Backed Up

Hi all.  It seems that I’ve rather gotten behind on blogging … sorry.  I must admit I was rather surprised to log on and find my last entry as January of this year.  Okay, so I’m getting busy and writing now … there’s been a bunch happened between January and now.  I’ve been making notes and will be blogging, but blogs from these past experiences will be mixed in with current ones.  I’ll try to be sure to note when these happened so it’ll make sense.

The Lord has blessed us with a small business that provides a basic income for us.  Some of the upcoming ministry things we are planning will need some extra funding.  Consider if the Lord would put it on your heart to assist in this ministry.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Red Mile

Last night a friend (Andrew) from church, and I, went down to the Red Mile in Calgary to share the Gospel. The ‘Red Mile’ is the nickname for the 17th Avenue bar district. This area is not exactly a family-friendly area; with a mix of street-people, rough-n-ready and affluent party-goers.

Andrew came with brave-face, but not at all comfortable with the idea of going out to share the Gospel in such an environment. He did great!

Very soon after arriving, we met a man from Ethiopia. We talked of death and the Day of Judgment; explaining the Sin of man … including his personal sin. It seemed, after talking for a while, that this man had never really considered death and what comes next – and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Finally, incredulous, Andrew asked the man how old he was; forty years old. Andrew asked him, in forty years, he’d never considered these things … never considered what comes after death? I think THAT did make the man think. We talked a little more and encouraged the man to seriously consider his pending death; and what comes next.

Handing tracts to two folks, sitting on a park bench, I asked questions about what they thought happened to someone when they died. Pretty quickly, we began to focus on judgment and justice of God. One man didn’t want to talk, but the other did … figuring he was good enough for God. After showing him the Law and what God says about it’s requirements, he finally blurted out that maybe he was going to Hell after all. We talked more of that & explained the Good news; that if one will Repent and trust only in the Blood of Jesus Christ alone to be Justified, God can make him born again and remit his sin. He was thinking … but once again, this might’ve been another example of the person you are talking to is NOT the one you are preaching the Gospel to. I’ve observed this many times, where I perceive the one I am actually preaching the Gospel to is the bystander and not the one I am directly speaking with.

After walking up and down 17th Avenue for a while handing out tracts and talking to people, I handed tracts to a couple, who stopped to talk. The young-man seemed proud and unconcerned at first, but began to show concern and some emotion as we began to show his sin before God, answering a LOT of questions and explaining things he didn’t understand. He girlfriend suddenly said, ‘wait, five minutes after meeting this guy, you are concerned but after I’ve been talking to you five years, you weren’t?’ He said she’d just not put things in the terms I had. I personally think it might have had something to do with her testimony, as she was standing there in a shirt that read “XX Porn Star” … how is it people think they can live a vile, sinful lifestyle and still legitimately call themselves Christians? Finally I turned to the young man and asked, "Do you judge yourself worthy of eternal life?" (referencing Acts 13:46). He hung his head and replied, "No". He was saying that before God he is unworthy (not the focus of the verse, but conviction was setting in). He was struggling and beginning to argue (i.e. when people feel the heat, the look for things to divert from the heat) and ask lots of questions. I finally told him that the scriptures say that some are vessels of honor made to show God's mercy, while others are vessels of wrath made unto the day of wrath (see Romans 9). This got to the young man & briefly, he forgot the argumentation and began to see that he wished to be a vessel of honor ... a vessel of mercy. He eventually left, very emotional and somewhat agitated ... pray for him.

Later, we went on got my stool & setup in front of a store and after prayer, began to proclaim the Gospel. Many people laughed or scorned while I was proclaiming the truth, but some listened and a few even came asking for tracts. A couple policemen walked by while I was preaching and only asked how we were doing & kept walking. I used them as an example, ‘if you break the law here in Canada, these two fine men will come arrest you, so with God …’. I am always amazed, that while many scorn few stop, more people than you’d imagine listen from a bit of a distance.

While I was speaking a young man approached Andrew and began to talk.  After I was finished preaching and climbed down off my school I was privileged to meet this fine young man. He told us that when he came around the corner and saw us, Andrew handing out tracts and me preaching, he was praying that we were doctrinally sound. I trust he judged that we are. It was very encouraging to meet another with a passion for evangelism on his own out sharing the Gospel; he and a backpack full of John Piper literature out talking to people. Pray for Mark; he seems to be a real man of God.

There were numerous others that I've forgotten about now, but these are some of the highlights. If you are in the Calgary area, come join us ... if not, I encourage you to take your Bible and go tell somebody of the coming judgment, what the Bible says Sin is, the Amazing Work of Christ on the Cross, Jesus rising from the dead and God's call to Repentance and Faith.


Missing Evangelist Returns After Eight Months

Hi. Sorry to have been neglecting my blog & not keep you all apprised on what I’ve been up to. I just realized that my last post was in January of this year. Since then, I’ve preached in three countries, many different islands, towns and cities & talked one-to-one with many, many, many different people. I will endeavor, over the next while, to write of some of my experiences with the hope it will encourage some of you to become active in sharing your faith; warning the Lost to ‘Flee from the wrath to come’.



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Preaching through Discouragement

This afternoon, I (a little later than usual) drove downtown Freeport (Bahamas) to the main bus stop to my preaching spot. I was a bit discouraged, as I’d arrived late & the normal crowd of people were no longer at the bus stop. I stood back at my car & watched….I guess looking for an excuse to not go.

After a few minutes, I realized I had been pacing back and forth in front of a taxi; I guess looking somewhat weird. I stepped up to the passenger window of the cab and began to talk to the cabbie. I asked if he was a Christian man (not such a weird question here in the Bahamas). Because there were not that many people there, I was asking for ideas of another place where I could preach. This sparked an interesting conversation.

This cabbie was from Eluthera and had come here at the request of his brother & for work. He began attending the Christian church his brother had been attending for some time. After he’d been here a short while, his brother died. He went to the church for help in burying his brother and was put off several times; he went to the Catholic church and they ponied-up and buried him….he’s turned to the Catholic Church….we talked about this for a while & he then was called away.

Encouraged a bit, I gathered my stool, amplifier and back and began to walk towards the bus stop. I walked by a food stand and a group of people standing around drinking beer. I handing them all Million Dollar Bill tracts…the first one refused, so I gave them to all the others. One of the men followed me over to the bus stop and as I was setting up, began to go into a rant….seeming to vacillate back and forth between thinking I was a demon and liking the idea that I might preach the Word of God.

I stood up and began to preach and I finally got a Bahamian heckler…but a little too timid, he walked away after five-minutes or so and waited to talk with me later. I began to preach and thought that few were listening….but the crowd hanging around was much larger than I’d originally thought. I preached for a while, opening up judgment, law, the wrath of God and the Gospel. I talked for quite a time on evidence of being born again and false-converts. Several standing in front of me had their attention fixed on me the whole time.

When I was done, I encouraged those listening to swallow their pride and come and get a “Are You Good Enough To Go To Heaven?” tract, take it home and compare to their own Bibles. Amazingly, quite a few people came forward. Most of a group of young men that had been standing half facing away from me, came forward and got tracts.

A young man names Lavardo took a tract and talked to me for a LONG time. ‘Vardo’ seems to have had a horrific family background. It turns out that Vardo lives with a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses but is burning to follow Jesus Christ. He reads his Bible very often & is very concerned about sin. He mentioned that he has no one; that it would be much better to have a Christian buddy to hang with…to teach him and keep him in line. He seemed very, very concerned with his personal struggle with sin. I drove him home and agreed to drive him to church this Sunday….we’ll see if he comes.

I’ve been kind of discouraged lately; today was a great encouragement.