Monday, March 2, 2009

Fishing In a Barrel

I don’t even know where to start with this story…there were so many good encounters. Actually there were over 30 GOOD encounters. The reason I know this is that during set up I had a pad of paper on the table as so that I could make a note of what we had and what we needed for next time. After the first young man came up I wrote his name down so I would remember it when I prayed for him. I guess other people wrote on it during the night, because there was a long list of names at the end of the night with comments like, "hard to see his mother dying-will think about it" and "hates us-very angry!". Also one that read, "Daniel-came to Christ 2/13/09-Praise God!".

Dennis and I decided not long ago to order some of the banners from Living Waters. We procured a booth space at a downtown festival and started setting up the tent we got from Sam’s. We also got some blue LED lights since it was going to be a night time event. I will warn you now-there are no great pictures of the crowds. No one had time to take any!

As the Lord would have it we got a space directly in front of one of the most popular restaurants downtown. We were really excited about it!! From the very moment we started attaching those beautiful banners to the sides of our tent we felt the atmosphere changing. The bigger than life question ‘Are You A Good Person’ seemed to be too much to swallow. We were about 10’ from the outdoor diners. Some people even stopped eating! The Friday Fest was slated to start at 6pm but people began right away to approach the booth. This picture was taken before the event ever started.

As we were setting tracts on the table our first ‘guest’ decided to ‘try his luck’ at taking our test. For most of the night people were actually lined up 2 and 3 deep to take the Good Person test!

We had various reactions: people got mad and stomped away-mostly people who claimed to be Christians; others walked away troubled. Some walked away in thought only to return later. One man wanted to pray while standing at the booth!!!

A young man named Troy was troubled and walked away thinking after we talked. About an hour later I heard Jonathan say, “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Jennifer.” When I turned around I saw Troy standing there with Jonathan. Troy was asking for ‘about a hundred Million Dollar Bills’ so he could hand them out! I pulled him aside and told Troy it was a nice thing to do but that it would not get him into Heaven. I asked him what he was going to do with the message on them. We talked a bit more and I asked him why he wasn’t sitting down talking with the Lord. He told me that he “didn’t want to have a nervous breakdown, right here.” He told me that his car had broken down beside the highway earlier that very day. He said, “A man came along and saved my life-I almost got run over by a car!” I said it was the grace of God that saved him that day because if he would have died he would have woken up in Hell! He reached into his pocket and tried to give me a big handful of change. I refused-thinking it was all he had. He said it wasn’t but I told him that he should go home and talk to God right now. I saw him walk away-Dennis saw him crying as he walked.

Students from a recent class came and we put them in the booth to administer the test. They got a great chance to administer this test as people walked up and asked to take it!! As a prize we gave out tracts!! Their choice. No one left without tracts and they were asking for them. They would walk up and say, “What do I have to do to get one of those?” while pointing to the Giant Money tracts or a 10 Commandment Coin.

Groups of people would walk up together to watch one of them take the test-it was easy to speak to them all at once.

Our new pastor, John Forsythe was such a blessing as he administered his ‘sobriety test’ using the Red and Blue tracts. He told them if they were sober they should look the same!! It was a hoot! He also got an opportunity to talk with a young Hare Krishna who was shocked to learn a few things about Jesus that he had never known.
Everyone who was there was blessed and all agreed that we have never ever experienced a night of evangelism like that one.

Luke 5:4-9 And as He stopped speaking, He said to Simon, Launch out into the deep and let your nets down for a haul. And answering, Simon said to Him, Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Yet at Your word I will let down the net. And doing this, they enclosed a great multitude of fish. And their net was being torn. And they signaled the partners, those in the other boat, to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they were sinking.
Luk 5:8 And seeing, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord. For he and all who were with him were astonished at the haul of fish which they had taken...

It was the closest experience we will ever have to fishing in a barrel! If you'd like to try it-get them here

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