Thanks to all of you for your interest, support, and prayers. As we near the end of summer, I wanted to share a couple summer highlights, and ask for your prayers for a couple of upcoming events. As always, your prayers are a blessing. There is also nothing I love doing more than encouraging other believers in the area of evangelism. So if you are encouraged by this, or if there is a way I can help you or your church in sharing the Gospel message, please let me know. Let me be an evangelism resource for you!
TINY HEARTBEAT MINISTRIES VISIT
Tiny Heartbeat Ministries is a pro-life group serving eastern Washington and northern Idaho run by my good friend Andrew Kerin. I met Andrew when he considered joining Open Air Campaigners, but God chose to call him to pro-life ministry instead. This year, for the second year in a row (and following a pattern we expect to continue) he brought his summer ministry interns down to the area for a time of training and outreach. I was able to spend some time giving them evangelism pointers, and then we went out to minister in San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Direct contact evangelism of the type we do is quite different than what they usually experience, but they did a great job adjusting. Every intern shared a numbers-game puzzle to draw people in as well as a sketch-board message, and they did a great job! There was also plenty of time for literature distribution and one-on-one conversation, and they did a great job with those as well. The pictures below capture just a small portion of everything that went on. One of my favorite parts was in Santa Cruz when the beach train was coming by, and several of the interns ran up to hand tracts to the people on board! Both days were great. I’m already looking forward to next year, and looking forward to seeing how God works through these young people.
ECHO RANCH BIBLE CAMP, ALASKA
A few weeks ago Becky and I got back from an amazing ministry trip. I had the opportunity to be the chapel speaker for Echo Ranch Bible Camp in Juneau, Alaska! I expected to love it for the weather (it’s nice to cool down mid-summer) and the scenery, which was as amazing as I expected. But working with the kids was even more amazing. Echo Ranch is a camp with a focus on the Gospel. It’s has all the fun things a kid could want from a camp, from field games to laser tag to horse-back riding, but the central goal is to make sure kids, many of them unchurched, hear the Gospel clearly presented. In fact, that’s why I was invited. Members of Open Air Campaigners have been coming to the camp for almost 20 years, and they keep inviting us because they know the kids will be engaged and that the Gospel will be clearly preached. We started with the nature of God and the creation of the world, went through sin and fall, touched on the ministry years of Jesus, and talked about the cross and the resurrection. It was amazing to see God work on those kids! Many heard the Gospel for the first time, and some prayed to receive Christ as well. What a blessing! These pictures can’t begin to capture all that we saw, but I hope they will encourage you.
On a side note, if you know a young person who might be interested in being a counselor at Echo Ranch for a summer, let me know. There are also a number of churches who send groups on short-term mission trips to work on the ranch. All the full time staff are faith missionaries like me, the counselors are volunteers and the kids pay almost nothing to attend (it’s often cheaper than daycare!), so maintenance and upgrades are mostly done with work teams who visit for that purpose. This is a ministry I would highly recommend and endorse, so please consider checking them out. Feel free to contact me with questions.
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
This is a fun video from my friend Cynthia Petross of Christian From Muslim, who ministers largely to Muslims and Sikhs, where she interviewed me and a couple others on our motivation for public ministry. I hope it encourages you! And check out her ministry web site. They are doing good work.
SET TRAINING PLANNING TRIP
SET, which stands for Sketchboard Evangelism Training, is a week long evangelism and paint-board training that OAC conducts a couple times every summer on the East Coast. It’s great training, and I’ve not only participated, but have been one of the instructors in the past. But Boston, Baltimore or Miami is a long way to travel for training, and we’ve been talking for a while about bringing the training to the West Coast.. Next week several other missionaries will be flying out to join me so we can plan and pick the best outreach locations, with the goal of having SET here in the summer of 2024! We have plenty of adult ministry locations to choose from, so the focus will largely be spots for kids ministry. Scouting those spots is not my strength, which is why I have help coming. Please pray for wisdom as we search for places that will be good for training and hopefully long-term kids clubs as well.
NEW VEHICLE IN THE WORKS
My ministry (and everything else) vehicle (a 2005 Grand Caravan with 200,000 + miles) is starting to slowly give up the ghost, so I’ve ordered a new Ford Maverick. I picked that small truck because they have great gas mileage and plenty of room for my gear. The challenge is getting ahold of one, since they are highly in demand. My order may not be filled for a year or more, so I’m hoping someone will drop a pre-order that I can buy. I’ve been in touch with multiple dealers, and am praying God will provide. Please pray God provides the right one soon!
Open Air Campaigners USA has branchs in more than 30 countries and on 5 continents. Our international conference is next year in Equador, and Becky and I are planning on going. We also have been invited to spend an extra week ministering in Equador. Becky and I area working on our Spanish and looking forward to going. Please pray for our learning process, our safety, and that God provides financially.
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.
Please pray for unsaved family members
As we head back into the school year, please pray that our High School and College Ministry will continue to grow, and I’ll be able to partner with more high school and college groups. I would also love to teach for another after-school kids club if God provides one.
I am still raising support so I can get rid of my part time work. I’m at about 80%, so it won’t take a lot to push us over the line. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us, or that others will, and let other believers know what we do.
Please pray for unsaved family members