OAC Norcal – Almost Normal! – Fall 2021

Out at San Jose State with the cross

Hello all! 
We’re approaching the holidays now, and it’s been a while since I gave an update. God continues to keep us VERY busy, and we are very thankful. Things are starting to feel almost normal, despite the masks, with a lot of our old outreach spots now open. What a blessing!! Check out the stories and pictures below.  I hope and pray they encourage you!As usual, I plan to do quite a number of outreaches this season at Christmas in the Park.  After being changed to drive-through only last year, it’s back open! I would love to have you, your small group, or a team from your church join me.  It is an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel, and one that I hope all my local brothers and sisters in Christ get the chance to experience.  If you’re interested, please send me a text or an email, or give me a call.

Our outreach booth at a downtown Campbell festival

Festivals are back!  Start planning now!!
When most people think of an art-and-wine or art-and-music festival, they think about craft booths, unhealthy food, a glass of wine or beer, and local bands belting out questionable cover tunes. When I think of these festivals I think of an amazing opportunity to reach out the the community around my church! After a year off thanks to the lockdowns, the festivals in Campbell near the Home Church, which I attend, were back up and running, and the church purchased a booth so we could spend the whole weekend handing out tracts and talking to people. Both weekends were amazing, with more good conversations than I could count. I missed this type of ministry last year, and I expect more communities to have their festivals back at full strength in 2022.But I’m not just thinking about my local festivals. I’m thinking about yours. Almost every city, even the small ones, have some kind of festival each year. And outreach events don’t get much better. I’d love to help you and/or your church reach the people near you. Do you have any regular community outreaches? Well, there’s not time like now to start one. If you’re interested in getting something like this going with your church, let me know. I can help you plan and put together the tools to make this kind of outreach effective. Check out the pictures below to see what this can look like!

University Outreaches
Local universities are FINALLY back open, with more students on campus. I’ve missed talking to students regularly, and they seem to be more open than previously. Tracts have been going out pretty well, and I’ve got a number of students, particularly at San Jose State, who have been stopping by to talk on a regular basis. Please pray for the seeds being planted.

Also, I would have much better outreach opportunities if I could partner with some of the Christian clubs on campus. If you know someone involved in campus ministry who might be interested in partnering with us, please let me know.

The main float at the Sikh parade in Yuba City

Seeking for Sikh Souls
Many of us know some of the basic beliefs of groups like Catholics, Mormons, or even a bit about Buddhists. But what about Sikhs? You know, the ones with the turbans and long beards you see around? The beard and the turban often have religious significance, rather than being a cultural fashion trend. I didn’t know that. Their faith is a compromise of beliefs from Islam and Hinduism, and came together about 500 years ago in the area of North-western India and Pakistan due to military conflicts that forced members of the two faiths to work together. I didn’t know that either.

Another thing that I didn’t know until recently is that Yuba City, just north of Sacramento, has the highest concentration of Sikhs per-capita in the United States. And their local Nagar Kirtan, a festival and parade where their holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, is placed in a golden float and parade through the streets of the town, is the biggest such event outside of India, drawing 100,000 people or more on an average year!

Another OAC missionary and I joined friends from American Ethnic Ministries for outreach during the parade this year. Dr. Cynthia Pettross, who heads up the ministry, is an expert in their faith and trained our team prior to heading out. We spent most of Saturday in preparation, and all of Sunday out along the parade route. What an amazing time! Thousands of tracts were given to participants, and quite a few were willing to talk, although it took some time to break the ice. I ended up next to a Sikh food booth (giving out free food is a big part of the event), and was boxed in on the other side by family members of those running the booth. I could tell they were very wary at first, but God opened the doors we needed, and by the time they were packing I was having a very in-depth discussion with several of the men. They are very kind and generous people, with huge hearts for family and community, and I really enjoyed talking to them. Please pray for the seeds that were planted.

But why should you care? Because they are people that desperately need Christ, and because they are the 5th largest faith in the world! No, I didn’t know that before either. I’d encourage you to get in contact with American Ethnic Ministries, to learn more about Sikhs, and consider joining us or supporting the outreach next year. And please pray for your Sikh friends. Don’t have any? Well, pray for some!

The Dwell On Truth Show
In our last update, I mentioned a new weekly radio show that Brenten Powers, my OAC ministry partner, and I were working on. Now that show, where we talk about God, the Bible, and the Gospel, as well as dealing with the most common objections to the Christian faith, has been going for several months. And things are going well! We are still broadcasting every Sunday morning at 11AM on KSCO AM1080 in Santa Cruz, so you can listen then, or find us on your favorite podcast app under Dwell on Truth. We’d love to get your feedback, and your questions, and we’d love to have you share the show with others, particularly unbelievers with questions and those new to the faith. They are our target audience. Just direct them to  www.oacnorcal.org. I’m also in the process of putting up resource pages for each show, so our listeners can go deeper. We’re going through the Gospel of John right now. Please join us in the journey!

Praise and Prayer
We are praising God for: Continued good street ministryFinancial provision The upcoming Christmas season, and the outreaches that go with itOur recently completed partnership classPlease pray for:People close to us who need to come to ChristGood memory and discipline as I continue learning SpanishMore kids ministry opportunity, and wisdom for weekly Sunday School lessonsOur weekly radio show, and that the Spirit will work through usMore ministry partnersA new missionary who may be joining our team in the Bay Area

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