Weekend Trip to the Creation Museum!

We are so excited by how we saw the Lord working this past weekend!!! We just returned home from a Friday-Sunday trip to the Creation Museum. We had 16 in our group, including friends from Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, and China, as well as several young people from our town.

20140321_142813_26208 Watching Evolution Vs. God on my laptop in the van on the way there. (They really enjoyed it, as you can see!)

20140322_152306_26244 Here’s our group along with the Ramsek family who hosted some of us.

20140322_151735_26241 Discussing some of the encouraging conversations of the day.

My dad spent most of his time with a new friend from Iran who came along. They had a wonderful time together. My Dad said it’s the longest conversation he has ever had — a three day discussion! They talked for the entire 10 hour drive to Kentucky, all through the museum, and the 10 hours back! One time dad even missed his exit because of the interesting conversational topics they were discussing. [smile]

20140322_161724_26247 Concluding the day on Saturday with a great lasagna dinner at the Ramsek’s home!

20140322_162959_26254 This gave us the opportunity to have a time of sharing as a group — a special conclusion to the day at the museum.

20140323_070715_26315 The Dewald family for hosted half of the group of girls.

It was very encouraging to me to see the Lord truly ANSWER PRAYER this weekend. We were very blessed by three families who hosted us: the Dewalds, Ramseks, and Philips. We praise God for how all the logistical details fell into place and for how much our friends enjoyed the trip. Each of the international friends expressed strongly that they were glad they came and want to remain in touch. Our friend from China exclaimed with a bright smile, “This was the best three days of my life!”

We think the 9 hour drive was a blessing in disguise because of all the good van conversations on the way there and back. If you have a weekend you can get away, I recommend that you take some friends to the Creation Museum and see how the Lord works. [smile]

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night” (Psalm 92:1)

Great Things He Has Done

We are praising the Lord for the wonderful time witnessing at the parade yesterday! There is such a thrill in sharing the gospel and seeing the Lord’s little miracles along the way. NOTHING else compares!

“Those conversations are so fun,” my dad commented to me as we were walking back to the van afterward.

It’s grieving to think of all the times we fail to take opportunities to share the gospel. We miss out on *so much* when we aren’t out there witnessing.

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Praying before we started.

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Luke (the guy without the hat) sharing the gospel with this group. Luke comes witnessing with us frequently, but he does it much more on his own! It’s always exciting to hear his “latest story.”

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Nickie and Bekah went to a different street to passing out tracts and have conversations with people.

My dad had a great conversation with some Hispanic college students and two students wanted to pray and trust Christ to save them! Apparently, they had some previous Bible knowledge and yesterday “it all came together” for them. Praise the Lord!

I used a St Patrick Questionnaire which made it easier to start conversations quickly. I think the questionnaire makes people feel more comfortable and willing to talk.

My favorite conversation was one with Josh and Ciarra, a brother and sister who looked about 18 and 20. They just soaked up what I was telling them about salvation. No hesitation, no resistance, just pure openness and excitement about the good news of the gospel.

Ciarra had thought one could get to Heaven because “God forgives.” I told her she was partially right, but that there was more to it.

“If a criminal stood before the judge and said, ‘Will you just forgive me?’ the judge couldn’t just do that; he wouldn’t be a good judge.”

Ciarra and Josh really agreed with that.

When I explained that God provided JESUS to be our substitute and take our “death penalty” so that we could walk out of God’s courtroom free — yet God still be just — it seemed to click with them. As Romans 3:26 says, “So that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

“Actually, two guys talked to me about this in the mall last week,” Josh told me.
“Really? How did they start the conversation?” I asked, wondering if I would know who they were.
“Well, I was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘God is the only one who can judge me,’” and they complimented it.
“Ah, neat!” I replied. “What did they say?”
“About the same thing you said,” Josh replied.

“Well, I think that means that God is reaching out to you!” I told him. “I think it really shows His care! I mean, since that just happened last week, and now here I am talking to you – out of all the people here at the parade!”

Josh agreed enthusiastically, and seemed very surprised by all this himself. I had already given him a Bible a few minutes earlier as I sensed his eagerness. (I had given Josh a Begin, which has some of Genesis as well as John and Romans). He and Ciarra said they’d be interested in meeting up with us to study the Bible.

As I was recounting this story afterward, my friend Luke said, “Oh yeah, I talked to him at the mall Friday night.”
“Oh, that was you, Luke?!” I said.
“Yeah, I’ve been praying for him and we’ve been e-mailing,” Luke replied.
“That’s neat you’ve been praying for him!” Sarah said, “That’s probably why God caused Grace to talk to him today.”

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and there were 10,000+ people at the parade. The odds of me having a conversation with Josh are not high! Sarah reminded us that just a few days ago, we saw the Lord arrange another one of these “miraculous connections.” What an undeserved privledge that we are God’s “fellow workers” and get to watch Him work (1 Corinthians 3:9). It’s not surprising that we should especially see His hand in matters of reaching the lost.

20140317_023746_26190 I walked up as my dad was talking to these guys. After my dad laid out the gospel, one of the boys said, “Wow, that just blew my brain.” He was pretty excited about what he was learning.

20140317_024129_26198 There were also two girls sitting on a bench listening. After a few minutes they joined in and all four asked question after question … making the conversation go on and on. The girls were resistant initially, but really began to warm up as their questions were answered. [smile]

As we left, the guys thanked my dad warmly. “Thank you SO much,” they told him.

These teens had a lot of real questions. They were acting silly and argumentative, but only on the surface. They were laughing and having fun, just as we were. But they were also learning a lot. That is something they didn’t expect, but appreciated!

If Christians don’t get into talks with unbelievers, how will our world ever hear Biblical answers? They apparently don’t hear them anywhere else, and so they think there aren’t any answers.

What a privilege to be involved in their lives.

Ready to Give an Answer

Baby with WOGS

I received this picture last night from a friend with this message: “I thought you would enjoy some pictures of our little daughter … preparing for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in St. Paul. She is only 4 months old, so may or may not be able to actually go this year (depends on the weather and how cold it is)…:-)”

In just a few years, maybe we will be able to get another picture of her out there passing out tracts! When children begin passing out tracts when they are young, they avoid the “fear stage” that most adults have to go through in learning to passing out tracts. Tract distribution is simply a way of life and you don’t know any different [smile]. (Not to mention, being cute is a big advantage for them!)

When our family speaks on “family ministry,” we stress how important it is for children to get a taste for ministry. When a child realizes “God used me today” that is very significant in their lives. Nothing else compares.

Passing out tracts with my dad on St Patrick’s day is my first memory of evangelism, and a few things stand out in my mind. 1) What we were doing was really important 2) I knew that somehow I could do it as well as big people 3) I knew my dad was pleased.

I think those three things made me want to keep doing it.

“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength” Psalm 8:2

St. Patrick’s Day is Two Weeks Away!

Two weeks from now is St Patrick’s Day! Here’s the video we put together after the parade last year.

For some ideas of ways to be a bright light this St. Patrick’s day, see last year’s post. You may also want to take a look at our St Patrick’s Day tract and questionnaire.

May we, by God’s grace, have St. Patrick’s attitude, who said: “I am ready [to give] even my life without hesitation; and most willingly for His name. And I choose to devote it to him even unto death, if God grant it to me.” – St Patrick