Hello brothers and sisters. I wanted to give a quick update for Open Air Campaigners Bay Area. I hope this encourages you. In case we don’t see each other or talk, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! I pray the rest of the holidays are fantastic, and that God blesses you in 2021.
Christmas Changes and Christmas in the Park Outreach
Christmas in the Park as we’ve known it, a San Jose tradition for over 40 years and my favorite outreach location for over a decade, was gone this year. It was weird to drive through the center of downtown and not see the displays, decorated trees, carnival rides, and crowds of people. But to their credit, the folks who run the event did their best to adjust to the times, and moved the displays to San Jose History Park, making it drive-through only. It’s not the same, but they did a great job. The setup is fun, the price is affordable, and Melody, Becky and I really enjoyed driving through.
Since the event changed to drive through, so did I. I made a sign with a giant QR code that can be scanned by smart phones, painted up a Christmas sketch, and I’ve spent several evenings out near the vehicle entrance. The signs point toward a Christmas message I posted on my site. You can read it HERE. So I’ve been walking the line of cars with the sign so those waiting can see it and scan it. Many have, and since they are only allowed around the corner 5 or 10 at a time virtually every car sees it. With 300 or more cars driving through for hour, and at least four people in each car, a LOT of people are seeing the signs. I don’t know what the long-term results will be, but I’ve been getting hundreds of web site hits every time I’m out. Please pray that more people will visit the site and get in contact with questions about the Gospel
Waterfront Outreach and a Great Conversation
Brenten (our other local missionary) and I have had the challenge of figuring out the best places to share Christ with people during the pandemic, and waterfront areas have been some of the best, and most particularly near the Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. Every time we go we have at good crowds, good presentations, and great conversations. One particularly good conversation happened about a month ago. It started with two young lesbian girls, and more conversations followed. Brenten filmed the whole interaction, as well as my message that led up to it. I think it gives a very good picture of what our ministry is really like, and the kind of interactions we have. The video is below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’ve never been a fan of online outreach. It seems to me that conversations on social media tend to degenerate quickly into arguments and end up unfruitful. But a friend encouraged me to visit a Muslim Facebook group that professes to have questions Christians can’t answer. Sadly, most are easily answered, if those asking were willing to listen to those answers. I’ve been doing my best to kindly and respectfully reach out to those there, but it’s challenging. Your prayers are appreciated.
I’ve also noticed that the Mormon Church has been doing much more work online, with several Facebook groups (which are seldom labeled as Mormon) where people can ask questions about the Bible and Jesus. I have been talking with a couple missionaries online and will actually be meeting with two of them in Palo Alto tomorrow to talk in person, so please be in prayer.
Finally, I’ve just signed up for a site that reaches out to seekers in closed countries. People respond to online ads, and then are connected to believers who can share the Gospel and disciple them. Once I have worked through some conversations on the site I’ll share details, provided it seems affective and Biblically sound. But the upshot of all this is that technology can be a blessing and a gift if it is used effectively. So see what you can do!
On a side note, I’ve also been updating my What Abouts (answers to commonly asked questions) page on my site. Check it out HERE. There is a ton of information there, and I’m adding more links regularly. If you have a question you don’t see the answer to, let me know.
Our Support Page
I’ve just updated the Support page on our website. I would ask you to consider adding us to your planned giving for 2021, or consider us if you make a year-end donations for tax purposes. There are also other ways you can give. Check it out!
We have a few outreaches left this year. Please pray for us. I’ll be posting our schedule for January, 2021 soon.
Kids Club in Santa Clara Central Park – Tuesday, December 22nd, 10:30AM
Christmas in the Park Outreach – Wednesday, December 23rd, 5:30PM to 9PM
Monterey Waterfront Outreach – Saturday, December 26th, 2PM to 6PM
Sunday School at Home Church – Sunday, December 27th, 9:30AM to 11AM
Christmas in the Park Outreach – Sunday, December 27th, 5:30PM to 9PM