OAC Norcal – 2023 Winter/Spring Update

Hello all! It’s been a long time since my last update at Christmas time.  Thanks for waiting patiently!  Thankfully, God has kept me very busy, and I have been very encouraged.  I’m also very encouraged that so many of you have been in touch, have supported us financially, and have joined me on the streets.  Thank you!  Your partnership has made the work of the ministry possible, and enjoyable.  If you haven’t had a chance to take the Gospel to the streets recently (or at all), reach out when you can.  I’d love the opportunity to encourage you and find an outreach that will help build your evangelism skill set. 

Since it’s been so long, and there is so much I could say, I’ll give some big picture encouragements from recent outreaches, and then some big upcoming events and projects you can pray for.  Feel free to contact me privately with any questions.

UNIVERSITY MINISTRY

I still love university ministry!  I spent most of the last few months focusing on the San Jose State and Stanford, and was asked by some fellow evangelists to make a few trips to UC Berkeley too.  Even though there have been a lot of evangelists visiting there, the atmosphere is tough, so the need is great.  I’ve very thankful to work with other who have a heart for college ministry.

I had a couple cool opportunities in this area recently.  First, a pastor friend of mine connected me with a group of kids from YWAM who were in the area looking for evangelism opportunities.  I was able to give them some training and spend some time with them at Stanford University ministering to the students there.  It was a very good day.  Pray that the kids are able to put what they learned into practice consistently.

I was also invited about a week ago to participate in a CHANGE MY MIND table on the Stanford Campus.  For those unaware, the idea is to post a controversial statement along with the phrase “change my mind” to encourage discussion (and often controversy).  In this case the statement was “Marriage is between one man and one woman”.  We had a variety of views represented, and a lot of students stopped by to talk!  I’m hoping for more of these kind of discussion opportunities at Stanford, and perhaps other local schools.

RECENT FESTIVALS – A Great Way to Reach Your Community

Good Old Days and Boogie Music Festival

We’ve already had two really good festival outreaches this season. The first, which Brenten Powers organized, was the Good Old Days festival in Pacific Grove.  I was there all day Saturday, but Brenten was there Saturday and Sunday.  Being the artist that he is, he took a very artistic approach, posting a story board and handing out coloring sheets so they kids could color their own version of it.  Very cool!  We had to make some adjustments as we went, but it went very well, and I hope we can go back next year.  Many people stopped to talk and many volunteers helped and were encouraged, so it was definitely worth the time.

The second was the Boogie Music Festival in Campbell, which took place last weekend.  It’s one of my favorite outreaches of the year, and what a great time we had!  The Home Church in Campbell purchased a booth for us. Thanks Home Church!  Both Saturday and Sunday were very, very busy.  Hundreds of tracts went out, and I lost track of how many discussions, which is common for this event.  There were two that really stuck in my mind.  The first was with a young teen girl, clearly with a church background of some kind.  Her grandma, who was a believer, brought her by to have her atheism challenged.  I was able to give her some strong evidence and challenge her on what she really believed.  The second was a young man who had grown up with a Christian background, had become a Satanist, and said now he was trying to find his way back to the faith.  The talk was great, and he took my contact information when I offered to sit down and talk to him more.  Please pray he reaches out soon.

HEART FOR THE LOST CONFERENCE

I had the privilege of being one of the speakers for the Heart for the Lost conference a few months ago.  The conference was sponsored by Calvary Chapel Yuba City, and was an opportunity for local believers to be encouraged and equipped to share the Gospel.  My assignment was sharing about evangelism methods and tools.  I talked about tracts, our evangelism flip chart, and mall ministry, while touching on a number of other topics and tools.  I really enjoyed the speaking, but had even more fun with the one-on-one discussions, encouraging people and getting Gospel tracts into their hands.  The church has since had a tract table in a mall near them, hosted by Brenten, and went very well, and several people were interested in buying flip charts.  The info is HERE if you are interested.  It’s a good reminder that regardless of your gifts or goals for evangelism, there are tools and techniques that will fit.  Send me a message if I can encourage you in that area, or if you would like similar training at your church or conference.

HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY – In the Schools and Out Into the World

I’ve asked for prayer for our high school ministry opportunities to grow, and that has been happening.  I’ve had several other opportunities to work with Decision Point, a ministry that supports student-led Christian clubs in local schools.  I’ve helped take several groups of students out on evangelism trips to local malls, the waterfront, and most recently to the UC Berkeley Campus. 

I also had the chance to speak at a charter school lunch meeting here in San Jose last month.  The room was packed!  We had probably about 70 kids, many of whom came up after the presentation to ask questions, even after we had done a Q and A time.  One young Muslim man came back to ask questions three times!  More and more kids are being raised with no spiritual foundation, and it is such a great thing to be able to connect with them.  Please pray for more opportunities over the summer, and more club visits in the fall.  And if you’re looking for another evangelistically-minded ministry, Decision Point is definitely one worth checking out!

MALL EVANGELISM – Could YOUR Mall Be Next?

I’ve done a lot of mall evangelism over the years, and It’s one of my favorite types of public outreach.  A few months ago I started to go to the Great Mall in Milpitas ever other week, and plan to continue that going forward, summer and winter.  Even during the day in the middle of the week, when most other shopping centers are quiet, there is still a steady flow of traffic here, and lots of good conversations to be had.  What a blessing!

I’m also hoping to expand our mall outreach to other local centers, but would rather do so while supporting local churches.  I’m already talking with a church in Milpitas about partnering with them, but would love to set up at Valley Fair, Oakridge, Eastridge, or Stoneridge.  If you want a great opportunity for yourself, or your congregation, I can help you put all the pieces together.  Let me know if you’re interested!  You can check out an article I wrong on the topic HERE.

VISITING RAY COMFORT AND LIVING WATERS

OK, this may not interest everybody, but for some it will be very cool.  While in southern California for a Calvary Chapel missions conference, Brenten and I got to stop by and spend some time talking to Ray Comfort and the team at Living Waters.  So cool!  It is through the ministry of Living Waters and their Ambassador’s Academy that I got started in public evangelism back in 2008.  I’m still amazed it’s been that long!  Ray took the time to give us a tour of the facility, including their new radio and TV studio.  He is seriously one of the nicest, most generous guys I’ve met, and the rest of the team there were amazing too.  I can’t say enough good about the ministry, and the work that they do.  Check them out, if you haven’t already.

UPCOMING EVENTS.  PLEASE PRAY!!

ALASKA EVANGELISM TRIP

I’ve been invited to be a Bible teacher for Echo Ranch Bible Camp at the end of July.  The camp focuses on evangelism, and many of the kids (elementary age for this camp) will be unchurched, so I’m really excited to participate.  I’m also excited that the camp is right on the water in Juneau Alaska!  Both the camp speaking and the location are very exciting, and Becky will be able to join me, which makes it that much more exciting.  Please pray for the details of the trip, and particularly for the messages I will be developing for the kids.  I want to pour as much Gospel truth into them as I can!

NEIGHBORHOOD VBS

We are working through the details for a VBS/5 Day Club that will be at a park in Campbell. Please pray all the details come together. Also, I would encourage you to shift your thinking from the standard Vacation Bible School format.  A 5 Day Club can be a simple, fun, Bible focused event that really reaches out to the local community, and doesn’t need to cost a lot of money.  My church will be partnering with Child Evangelism Fellowship for this one, who have a thought-process similar to Open Air Campaigners.  I’d encourage you to consider something similar for your church.  Keep it simple, and keep it Gospel-centered!

Next Summer We Go To EQUADOR!

Open Air Campaigners is an international affiliation of ministries, covering more than 30 countries on 5 continents.  Our international conference is next year in Quito, Equador, where our international president and his family live, and Becky and I are planning on going.  This will be the first time out of North America for both of us, so it’s a big deal!  We also have been invited to spend an extra week after the conference ministering in Equador, which is very exciting, but means we REALLY need to work on our Spanish between now and then.  Becky and I have both been working on learning Spanish for a while, but we’ve got a long way to reach anything close to fluency.  Please pray for our learning process, our safety, and that God provides financially.

Additional Prayer Requests

Please pray for unsaved family members

Please pray that our High School and College Ministry will continue to grow, and I’ll be able to partner with more college ministries.

I am still raising support so I can get rid of my part time work.  Pray I’m at full support soon!  There is so much going on, I really need to extra time to focus and prepare.

https://www.oacgive.org/

West Coast SET Training – We want to host a sketch board training in the area soon.  Some of our management staff will be coming out this fall, and God-willing the training will be August or September of 2024.

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