Friday, February 02, 2007

Back in the Saddle

I have missed a couple of weeks out on our regular Friday night fishing expeditions. But, tonight, I got back out there. Tony, Joey, Haig, Jerry and a bunch of new people met up at the Valencia mall. I was a little apprehensive of stealth witnessing inside a mall, especially one with Westfield security. But, my fears were unfounded as it was a great fishing area. We barely broke up from opening prayer and Jerry and Haig had started a conversation with a young man. I asked a couple of kids standing around if they had seen a million dollar bill, and they said they saw one last week. They hadn't gone through the 'good person' test, so I went right into it. One young lady said she was scared to die, and was really interested to hear what Jesus had done for her. Wow, not five minutes into the night, we were all engaged in one to one witness encounters. Praise God.

We traded partners a little later and I went out with a young man, Brendon, who at 14 years old was willing to engage people with conversations about God's Law. Tonight's recording was me "throwing" Brendon into the waters. He wasn't sure how to start, so I walked up to a group of people and asked them if 'my friend Brendon here' had given them the million dollar question. I then sat back and watched him go. He sure was a lot more brave than I would have been at 14, and he did an awesome job. A little quick to the end, and then looked at me as if to say, "Um, what now?" So, I jumped in and went over it again with the people. I was coming up with some analogies that I hadn't ever used, but these kids seemed to have a lot of questions.

I noticed that in a group of people, usually one or two will be interested, while their friends try to get them to walk away. Each time, I notice the person who I am talking to asks their friends to wait, as they really want to finish the conversation. By talking to this one person, the whole group gets to hear the gospel presentation. Ironically, sometimes the one who is most engaged might not be the one with the softened heart. Sometimes a friend nearby is really the one that God is convicting of their sin, and they go home squirming over what they heard. I try to speak so everyone in the group can hear the whole thing. Then, I pray that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts so the gospel seed will sprout.

Later in the night, I saw a group of about twenty kids standing outside the food court. I walked into the middle of them with a wad of millions and started passing them out. Next thing you know, I was doing a mini 'open-air' right at the mall. They were completely glued to the spot, and most of them hung on my words as I explained to them their necessity for a Savior and what Jesus had done for them. It was quite a crowd and mall security came over and watched me for a while. They didn't say anything, as I really wasn't doing anything more than talking. By the time I finished I didn't see them their anymore. I want to make sure to have us rotate our locations regularly enough so that we don't draw too much security attention.

Well, like I said, I have missed a couple of weeks, and tonight I really wasn't feeling up to going out and sharing my faith, but I did it anyway. And, you know what, once I took my eyes off my own feelings and put them on Jesus, I felt much better. I came home feeling much better than how I felt leaving the house. God is able to bless your faithfulness. Please pray for the hundreds of kids who heard the gospel tonight at the Valencia Town Center. And, if you haven't been blessed by sharing your faith with a group of strangers, I pray that you know what that feels like soon. If you need help finding someone to go out with, please let me know, and I'll help you get paired up with someone who can help you step out in obedience and faith.

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