Planting a seed in Arkansas
Kayla Walsh, Short-Term Project - YWAM Elm Springs, Arkansas, Summer 1999
The YWAM Elm Springs short-term outreach project was really intense, I felt I was convicted of many things, but I knew God was only preparing my heart for Mexico.
One thing that really touched my heart was going to Dickson Street. This street was mainly made up of bars and dance clubs, and also had a satanic church. Well, we all were split down to 3 in a group and we were suppose to go street evangelism. At the end of our mostly positive night, a bunch of summer band students came out of a big building. I mean these kids were just streaming out, and I felt God call me to witness to somebody here. Me, and a couple of my STP friends spotted this girl waiting with one of her friends and Pam (A girl in my group) told me to go up to her and talk to her about God.
So, I did and pretty soon Pam and I were in an in-depth conversation about Jesus and we just shared all the things that Jesus has done in our lives and that there was an empty spot in her stomach that only Jesus could fill and that she could have that love that we have, filled in her heart also. This young girl said that she was a Buddist and at first acted very stubborn and very sure of her beliefs, but as Pam and I kept telling her how great God was and all the awesome things he's done for us and others, tears just started to flood from her eyes. She looked so unsure of her future, so needy for a hope that I just wished I could talk to her all night and show her that she HAD a hope, that she could have a eternal future. But her bus was leaving and she had to go. we kept her as long as we could. when we said goodye, we gave her the book "More then a carpenter" by Josh Mcdowell. And gave her our addresses and phone numbers if she need to talk. We asked if we could pray for her, and through her tears she nodded. We prayed, and prayed, and before she left she told me she would read the book and think about what we told her that night.
Those words just brought joy to my heart, because I know that my group and I had just planted a seed for Jesus. Hey, she may not have accepted Jesus that night, but I know not to get discouraged because those same words that we planted, I know that somone else in her life will come along and water them. knowing that I did this, made me want to do it a lot more. It really made me look forward to my soon coming trip to Mexico. After that week in STP and the two weeks in Mexico, I really am looking into being a Missionary and going to DTS. I learned that, God knows exactly what he is doing and that if you do just what he asks, if you just plant that one seed, God can use that and Harvest it someday.
One night during the very last week of our outreach we were in a village ministering through drama and sharing. One of our girls, Wendy, wasn't feeling to well so she stayed in the back of he truck that took us to our ministry location every night. As we were sharing our faith with the villagers Wendy was praying for us when all of a sudden she saw in the Spirit. While she was looking at us witnessing she saw beams of light going through all of us but connecting us together. Wendy also saw Jesus walking along with us as we talked.
That is an amazing story but what is more powerful is the fact that 21 people gave their lives to Jesus that night! Every outing before this night we saw salvations but not to this extent. Our next two outings we saw a total of 39 more people come to the knowledge of Christ. So in our last 3 outings a grand total of 50 people we saved!! God moved powerfully in our last week of ministry proving that in our weakness He is strong and able to do His most powerful work in and through us when we empty ourselves out into the lives of other people.
God leads a team to a great evangelism opportunity
LaRaine W. - Honolulu DTS outreach to Fiji, 1998
On a DTS outreach, we worked with a Fijian church in Suva, the capital. We taught the youth our evangelistic dramas and went out witnessing door to door and in the city streets.
One day we felt the Lord directing us to walk over to a plain non-inviting office building across a city park. When we got there, we discovered it was an Indian radio station, the largest one in the nation! (Half of Fijians are of Indian descent). Within 20 minutes of the time the Lord directed us to go, we were ON THE AIR speaking to literally tens of thousands of Hindus about our God's faithfulness and His loving desire to carry their burdens!
|While in Calcutta we decided to do an open-air performance of songs, evangelistic skits, testimonies and gospel preaching in a park area right in front of the Victoria Memorial, a prominent museum building in the Maidan park in the center of town.|
We quickly acquired a crowd, and did our songs, dramas and testimonies. But during the open air we noticed around a dozen men there wearing green suits, who spread out amongst the crowd. The final part of our open air was a gospel message by a member of our team. As he was near the end of the message, an angry man started loudly arguing. "You should not be here!" he said, "This is a public park! You should not be preaching your religion!" There was then a loud discussion between him and our translator, cut short by an official who blew his whistle and dispersed the crowd. The men in the green suits left the park immediately, and we went across the street and got to talk and share our faith more with a few people from the crowd who followed us.
We found out later that the men in the green suits were from a pseudo-Christian cult. They were dispersed amongst the crowd during our open air because they were planning to talk to people after we finished, to draw them into their skewed beliefs. Fortunately their plan was foiled by God who can even use an angry spectator for his purposes.
In Sikkim (a state in north India) I was diagnosed with jaundice (I thought only babies got that!) but my yellow eyes confirmed it. I was given medication and told to stay in bed.
The first day the team left, I burst into tears and complained to God, "Why won't you heal me? I want to be with the team, telling people abot You!" Then there was a knock on the door.
A small Indian girl stood in the doorway clutching a fistfull of picked weeds and maybe a few flowers. She came in and I found that she spoke English very well. She told me that her name was Donka and she was 8 years old. She had heard that one of the foreigners was sick and wanted to visit me. She laid the flowers on my bed and pulled some Indian comic books from her bag and gave them to me. She was precious.
Every day, after the team left, Donka came to my bedside. She always brought with some Indian sweets, or a book to color, or some small gift. Sometimes I was so ill that I couldn't talk very much, but she would sit with me quietly and read. I asked her a lot of questions and found out about her family. I learned that she was not a Christian.
After 5 or 6 days, I was well enough to walk to the next building where our team performed an evangelistic drama called A TALE OF TWO KINGDOMS. Donka came along and she sat on my lap during the 35-minute pantomime show. As she watched, I explained to her the details of the gospel and who Jesus was.
The next day, when Donka came, she told me that she wanted to become a Christian. We held hands as I introduced her to Jesus for the first time. It is amazing what God can do through us even when we're sick!
Christian tracts are not always necessary|
Joe R. - Discipleship Training School (DTS) team to China 1991
Tracy was a Chinese girl who was a friend of a DTS student. This Discipleship Training School was in China for a language study program at a University. Tracy came to my room to ask some questions about God. I pulled out my four spiritual laws tract that was in Chinese and began to ask some questions.
Suddenly she looked up and said, "He is in the room. He is in the room." I thought, 'Who is in the room?' Then she said, "He is coming toward me... He is touching my head... Oh, I have never met anyone so kind... I have never met anyone so gentle."
After sitting quietly for a few minutes, I asked Tracy what was happening now. She responded with "I think I am opening up my heart to HIM." It was Jesus who came into the room. She became a Christian right in front of my eyes, and I did not even get to share the four spiritual laws with her!
Sharing with a Buddhist Monk in Central Asia
David Pierce, No Longer music (Steiger 14 Ministries) rock concert outreach, Ulan Ude, soviet Union - ~1990
We were asked if we would like to visit the only Buddhist monastery in Soviet Central Asia. I had been told in Holland to be very careful when a visited a monastery. "I know people who have gone to a Buddhist Monastery and it has taken them days to recover," I was warned. "This is not something you should do for sightseeeing. These are spiritual strongholds."
I took their advice seriously and was almost paranoid when we entered the monastery. We were led into a temple that was full of idols and other religious objects, and I saw a Buddhist monk in a saffron robe sitting at a table.
As it came time for us to leave, I suddenly felt a strong impression that God was saying, "David, I want you to go back to that monastery and give a Bible to that monk."
I thought to myself, That's just me. That's not God. And I ignored the thought. But the impression came back even stronger. I want you to give a Bible to that Buddhist Monk."
So I told my wife Jodi to wait in the bus, and asked the translator to return with me to the monastery. We walked through the gates and headed directly for the temple where I found the monk still sitting behind his desk.
"God is very pleased with you," I told him through my translator.
He stared at me with a puzzled expression.
"God is so glad that you want to know him and are seeking him," I continued, "It makes him so happy that you want to know who he is. And he is really pleased with you."
I could tell that he was extremely humbled and embarrassed by my words.
"That's why I want to give you this book," I said. "It's the Bible. And I believe this book will help you in your search for God."
He took the Bible from me and asked me if I would sign it for him. I could feel the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.
Our team of six hopped on a train from Bangalore in the south and rode all the way north to Varanasi. We had been on the train for a day and a half and saw so many Indian faces at every stop along the way. I joined two of the students in search of the wonderful Indian tea they call Chai during one of the long waits.
We were surprised to see a white face looking at us through the sea of dark faces. We walked up and introduced ourselves to this 19-year-old from New Jersey. His name was Gadallia, or "G" as he suggested we call him, and he was studying religion at a university in southern India.
We talked about why we were there and shared our faith. I was somewhat taken aback with his response as he calmly replied, "Forgive me for saying this, but that's ridiculous!" Immediately I remembered 1Corinthians 1:18, "The cross is foolishness to the perishing one, but to the one who is being saved it is the glory of God." For the first time in my life I really understood it. we talked for a while and said our good-byes, never expecting to see him again.
While in Varanasi, we felt the Lord was leading our team to go to Kathmandu, Nepal, to evangelize. Soon we were on a bus. At the Nepal border we stayed the night and had to rent a jeep the next morning. As we were tying our luggage onto the top of the jeep, "G" suddenly appeared. He was also going to Kathmandu and needed a ride!
For the next four days we did everything together. "G" was a quiet, yet intent observer. he began to soften and his attitude changed.
In parting, he said something that amazed me... that he started to understand what our faith was about by watching our lives. He didn't commit his life to Jesus while we were there, but I trust that someday he will. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of "G's" life.
"How do I become a missionary like you, Jane?" I stood in the shadows of idols in a Buddhist temple, awed by God's clever maneuvering, I bit my lip, laughing at the question the young person in the blazing orange toga had just asked me. I turned slightly to find sincere eyes meeting mine.
I responed, "It helps to become a Christian and be introduced to Jesus first, Air." "How do I do that?" he asked as other young monks began to surround us.
I had asked Air many questions about his faith in Buddha. Some of them stumped him and made it clear to me that the spiritual veil he was wearing was heavy. The funny thing was that every time I asked him questions about his faith, he hit back with several questions about Christianity! "Who is Jesus? What do you mean, He died for me?!"
I was on my way out of the temple when the Holy Spirit clude me into what He had been working on through me all afternoon as Air toured us through the temple. "Give him the invitation, Jane!" came the Spirit's call after Air asked how he could become a missionary like me. "But Lord!" Ireplied, "Come on, can't You see that I am standing in a temple, and he is a monk?" "Give him the invitation, Jane!" came that inner voice a bit stronger. I asked that sincere monk in front of me among all of his peers, "Do you want to live for Jesus?""Yes!" I asked a needless three more times to be sure that I had heard right.
Leading him outside, away from all of the altars and statues, I gave Air a simple sinner's prayer. He asked me if I could say it for him and I explained that it was something he needed to do on his own.
I began to give a mere example and could hear that he was repeating everything that I was saying! I saw how God was moving and took it as the greatest honor to escort Air through the gates of Heaven at my side just as he had walked me through that Buddhist temple only hours earlier. We said "Amen" together and a cool breeze blew over us in a hot city called Bangkok.
Next outreach stories - Evangelism stories part II
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