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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day - Savannah - Update

Friday and Saturday Vernon, Evan, and I were blessed to preach in Savannah to an estimated one-million revelers. We had great conversations, sermons, and responses and the exhortation of the Apostle is more true than ever, "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)

The following are the prayer requests I sent out to my beloved church, with pictures added. Most of these pictures are courtesy of Vernon. I must apologize for not being much of a photographer on this trip, I missed some great conversations Vernon had. Pray for the youth pastor of a local church there, he definitely knew the true gospel, and was striving for ways to arrest the descent he sees of so many youth into the animism and paganism that is overtaking Savannah; we encouraged him, Vernon with the message of Patrick the evangelist to Ireland, and myself with a copy of "The Way of the Master".

Friday, and Saturday Morning:

We've had a great first day here in Savannah. On Friday we set-up on River Street, and almost immediately had people stopping to ask questions. My best conversation was with Neil, a South Korean student who grew up Catholic and rejected God for the religion of evolution. After taking him through the law, he admitted to believing there was a god, but that it couldn't be the God of the Bible. We had a long discussion on evolution and creation, and I kept bring it back to the law. I concluded with, "'Till sin be bitter, Christ will never be sweet." He took my card and I'm hoping to hear from him again.

After this, the sky opened up and everyone ran for cover. We ended up in a massive impromptu party in a tunnel with our crosses, just standing there garnered us all sorts of glares. After about an hour the rain let up and we headed back out.

As I was preparing to preach, a Jewish Evolutionist came by and said, "One question: how old is the earth?" I responded with just a tad over 6000 years. He didn't like this answer, nor did several others walking by. This led to a great long conversation; the argumentative people kept changing with new people entering all the time, and we kept going over the gospel. At the end we got mired into a discussion with an Emergency Room Surgeon named Zackary who thought you couldn't be a scientist and a Christian. He didn't want to even consider his conscience, but I kept bringing him back to his conscience that he had sinned against the Creator God who holds the universe in the palm of his hand. Finally as we were going nowhere fast I left him with the same thought I left Neil, that until sin is bitter, Christ will never be sweet.

Finally I stood up and preached on the foolishness of the cross to the perishing. We had some very angry hecklers who started dancing and screaming, but they drew a massive crowd and I didn't finish preaching until the police came to shut the hecklers down because they were on the verge of violence. At that point it was almost 2am and so we called it a night. The only act of violence was minor, a drunk threw a beer at Evan but in his inebriation missed and only hit the very bottom of Evan's cross.

The parade this morning drew thousands of people, we quickly handed out our 1500 Patrick specific tracts then headed to lunch. On the way we passed a big park with many people in it, so stopped to share the message of Christ with them. Preached on the law which promised life, but brought death when transgressed, and now leads us to Christ.

Keep praying for us, there are lots of inquisitive lost people here, as well as angry hardened people, pray for our boldness and for the word to go out and call lost sheep home.

Saturday:

Thank you for your prayers this weekend, they most definitely were answered. One of my favorite proclamations of the gospel is, "He is Risen!" because in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ he has proven to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Saturday we proclaimed to Savannah that Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life, that there is eternal life for the one who turns from sin and trusts in the gospel. We received many different responses, but indifference was rarely one of them.

The parade started at 10:15am, we very quickly handed out 1500 St Patrick's Day specific tracts. We watched the parade from a restaurant, then headed out to engage people with the gospel. We brought two crosses, they say "Repent & Believe" and "Foolish to the Perishing" on the front and both say "He is Risen" on the back. Almost instantly we had crowds gathering around us asking questions. The most common question was, "Why are you holding a cross?" My answer is usually, "I'm hoping it will start conversations." Frequently the follow-up question is, "Has it started any?" To which I reply, "If you died tonight, do you think you'd go to Heaven?" Many great gospel presentations ensued.

Pray for David, a young soldier who may have some serious mental and/or demonic issues. We talked for about half an hour and during that time he claimed to be both an atheist and a born-again Christian. He was certain that he was not just a good person, but a great person. Pray that the seed planted will take root and call David out of the darkness into the light of Christ.

We talked to three young men, 20 years old or so, one was so convicted after the law that he walked off without saying anything. I tried to get him to stay for the gospel, but he wouldn't. The other two stayed and were intrigued by the gospel, but both had grown up in dead churches and told sad stories of hypocrites who showed no fruit of the Holy Spirit, and so both denied any power in Christianity to change lives. I implored them to trust Christ and that God is true even when every man is a liar.

Afterwards we set up with our crosses at Ellis Square, a mid-sized park that became a major hangout as the day progressed. It was far too loud anywhere to preach, but many stopped to hear the gospel. One man was so furious that he spent several minutes screaming at me, he kept saying things like, "You're a fool!" "You're an idiot!" I pointed to the cross which says the message of the cross is "Foolish to the Perishing" and explained that God has chosen the foolish things in the world to shame the wise. He was finally escorted off by a man who was easily seven feet tall; Vernon affectionately named this reveler the "Jolly Green Giant".

Evan spoke with a young lady who seems to be in a church that is preaching the truth, but she does not seem to have yet repented. Pray that their conversation will call her to repentance. I spoke to a similar girl who has been through "The Way of the Master" training course but has at least a toe still in the world. I exhorted her to tell someone about Jesus that night: history has several examples of evangelists saved under their own preaching.

The son of a pastor came next, he asked if I believed in predestination. I said, "the word is in the Bible." He said he believed he was predestinated to not be saved. I said that sounded like a wicked excuse to sin. We talked for a while longer and he seemed convicted and ran off. He left his girlfriend though, and we continued the gospel conversation. She said she wasn't a Christian, but that I was definitely sharing Christ in the wrong way. I asked her how she was sharing Christ and she said she wasn't. I replied that I liked the way I was doing it better than the way she wasn't. She went away thinking.

The last good conversation of the night was with a Catholic young man who asked to take a picture with the cross. He then asked, why are you doing this? I said, so I can ask you if you're going to Heaven. He said he hoped so, but after the good person test he showed visible contrition. Pray for him, because his girlfriend told me his motives in taking the picture with the cross were not good at all, but we know that what was meant for evil God can easily turn for good, that many are saved.

We've had a great evangelistic time here, and great fellowship. Thank you once again for the prayers, continue to pray for those who heard the message of the cross, that it would not be foolish to them, but the power of God to salvation. May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of his suffering!

1 comment:

Paul Latour said...

What a great testimony to the work of God through the likes of you, Vernon and Evan. Wonderful stories! I'm praising God with and for you in regard to the seeds that were planted that day and the already planted seeds that were watered. Glory to God in the highest! Good work, men! Jesus bless you.