For any individuals or families local to Des Moines who would like to come to part or all of the Testify camp as a Day Camper, see the above schedule and click here to register.
The Testify Training Camp (August 9-13) is coming up very soon. If you live in the Des Moines area and would like to come to the camp as a “Day Camper” without spending the nights there, you are welcome to do so. The only cost for a Day Camper is for meals – $6 per meal. You will still need to register by August 1st and let us know which meals you will be joining us for. To attend as a Day Camper, register here.
The deadline for registering for the Testify Training Camp (witnessing training at Willowbrook Bible Camp and the Iowa State Fair) is two weeks from today. We’re excited to see what the Lord has in store for this year and grateful that Bryan Osborne from Answers in Genesis will be teaching several sessions! See more information here!
Let us not forget to obey Jesus’ instructions to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2) The harvest is definitely plentiful, and the laborers few!
Together we passed out a couple thousand short patriotic gospel tracts on the price of liberty. But we also prayed for good conversations with people, and really saw the Lord answer that prayer.
“Hey, I’m taking a short questionnaire about freedom. Do you have a couple minutes to answer a few questions?”
1) What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?
2) What freedoms are you most grateful for?
3) Who said “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free”?
4) What is that “truth that makes us free”?
(This last question leads into the gospel.)
The exciting thing is that when you have a whole team of Christians witnessing with these questionnaires, you can reach a lot of people in just a few hours! Together we had personal gospel conversations with somewhere between 100-150 people (many in small groups).
Afterwards, we came back to “home base” and discussed how things went. Here my dad is talking with Aaron, a friend who came to our recent “Just Men” conference, and then came back to join our group for witnessing.
At our “home base” we had coolers, blankets, chairs, and — most importantly — people praying! As you can see, the ladies on the left are praying for some of the names of people we had just shared the gospel with. Teamwork!
Here are a few quick reports:
– Aaron talked with a guy who, after about 30 minutes of meaningful back-and-forth discussion, said, “I used to do a lot with church but I’ve been straying the last few years. I really appreciate you guys coming up and talking with us.”
– Chris had a conversation with an atheist who said he got him thinking.
– Sarah talked with a girl who said she was from a non-religious family, but she had started reading the Bible because she was interested in learning about God. Sarah gave her several tracts, as well as a suggestion of where in the Bible to read.
These are just a sampling from the stories I’ve heard (there are many I haven’t heard yet).
Praise the Lord!
Some conversations go better than others, because some people are receptive and some are not. But it’s worth doing, because some are receptive and super grateful. What a thrilling experience those conversations are. And for those who don’t act receptive, we still know the Lord is powerful to use His Word in their lives.
… And the exciting evening ended with a front row seat watching fireworks, celebrating both our freedom and the joy of having been His ambassadors, delivering the greatest news on earth, together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our next big outreach will be at the Iowa State Fair. The Testify Training Camp (witnessing training and fellowship) will be August 9-13. We’re praying that the Lord works in big ways and excited with anticipation about what He will do. Thanks to any who are joining us in prayer.
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary” (Psalm 107:2).
We are very excited to have Answers in Genesis speaker Bryan Osborne teaching at our Testify Camp this year! I interviewed Bryan last year for the Will Our Generation Speak? video series that we’re making, and below is a clip from that interview. We’re looking forward to learning from him and seeing how the Lord works this year.
For more information about the Testify witnessing training camp click here.
John Rogers was the first martyr in Queen Mary’s reign. He was burned at the stake at Smithfield, Feb 14, 1554. I have been really touched by the poem that he wrote to his children shortly before his death and thought today was an appropriate day to share it.
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs says this: “His wife and children, being eleven in number, ten able to go, and one sucking at her breast, met him by the way, as he went towards Smithfield. This sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood could nothing move him, but that he constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience, in the defence and quarrel of the Gospel of Christ.”
It’s difficult to read stories like these. Yet, it is also greatly faith-building to read of how the Lord sustained His people in past generations, even through unimaginable circumstances. And it reminds us: ” … since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Here’s the poem he wrote to his children shortly before his death:
GIVE ear, my children, to my word,
Whom God hath dearly bought;
Lay up his laws within your heart,
And print them in your thought.
I leave you here a little book,
For you to look upon,
That you may see your father’s face,
When he is dead and gone,–
Who, for the hope of heavenly things,
While he did here remain,
Gave over all his golden years
To prison and to pain;–
Where I, among my iron bands,
Enclosed in the dark,
Not many days before my death,
Composed for you this work.
And for example to your youth,
To whom I wish all good,
I send you here God’s perfect truth,
And seal it with my blood;–
To on, my heirs of earthly things,
Whom I do leave behind,
That you may read and understand,
And keep it in your mind;–
That as you have been heirs of that
Which once will wear away,
You also may possess that part
Which never will decay.
Keep always God before your eyes,
With all your whole intent,
Commit no sin in any wise,
But keep his commandments.
Abhor that arrant whore of Rome,
And all her blasphemies,
And drink not of her cursed cup;
Obey not her decrees.
Give honor to your mother dear;
Remember well her pain;
And recompense her, in her age,
With the like love again.
Be always ready for her help,
And let her not decay;
Remember well your father all,
Who should have been your stay.
Give of your portion to the poor,
As riches do arise;
Arid from the needy, naked soul,
Turn not away your eyes.
For he who doth not hear the cry
Of those who stand in need,
Will cry himself; and not be heard,
When he does hope to speed.
If God hath given you increase,
And blessed well your store,
Remember you are put in trust,
And should relieve the poor.
Beware of foul and filthy lusts;
Let such things have no place,
Keep clean your vessels in the Lord,
That he may you embrace.
You are the temples of the Lord,
For you are dearly bought,
And they who do defile the same
Will surely come to nought.
Be never proud, by any means,
Build not your house too high;
But always have before your eyes
That you were born to die.
Defraud not him who hired is,
Your labor to sustain;
But pay him still, without delay,
His wages for his pain.
And as you would that other men
Towards you should proceed,
Do you the same to them again,
When they do stand in need.
Impart your portion to the poor
In money and in meat;
And send the feeble, fainting son,
Of that which you do eat.
Ask counsel always of the wise
Give ear unto the end,
And ne’er refuse the sweet rebuke
Of him who is your friend.
Be always thankful to the Lord,
With prayer and with praise,
Begging of him to bless your work,
And to direct your ways.
Seek first, I say, the living God,
And always him adore,
And then be sure that he will bless
Your basket and your store.
And I beseech Almighty God,
To replenish you with grace,
That I may meet you in the heavens,
And see you face to face.
And though the fire my body burn,
Contrary to my kind,
That I cannot enjoy your love,
According to my mind,–
Yet I do hope that when the heavens
Shall vanish like a scroll,
I shall see you in perfect shape
In body and in soul.
And that I may enjoy your love,
And you enjov the land,
I do beseech the living Lord
To hold you in his hand.
Though here my body be adjudged
In flaming fire to fry,
My soul, I trust, will straight ascend
To dwell with God on high.
What though this carcass smart awhile?
What though this life decay?
My soul, I hope, will be with God,
And live with him for aye.
I know I am a sinner born,
From the original,
And that I do deserve to die,
By my forefather’s fall.
But by our Savior’s precious blood,
Which on the cross was spilt,
Who freely offered up his life,
To save our souls from guilt,–
I hope redemption I shall have,
And all who in him trust,
When I shall see him face to face,
And live among the just.
Why, then, hould I fear death’s grim look,
Since Christ for me did die?
For king and Cesar, rich and poor,
The force of death must try.
When I am chained to the stake,
And fagots gird me round,
Then pray the Lord my soul in heaven
May be with glory crowned.
Come, welcome, death, the end of fears,
I am prepared to die;
These earthly flames will send my soul
Up to the Lord on high.
Farewell, my children, to the world,
Where you must yet remain;
The Lord of hosts is your defense
Till we do meet again.
Farewell, my true, my loving wife,
My children, and my friends;
I hope in heaven to see you all,
When all things have their ends.
If you go on to serve the Lord,
As you have now begun,
You shall walk safely all your days,
Until your life, be done.
God grant you so to end your days,
As he shall think it best,
That I may meet you in the heavens,
Where I do hope to rest.
Shortly after our Testify Camp last year (witnessing training camp at the Iowa State Fair), we took off for conferences in Mexico and so I never posted a report. Finally, here are a few pictures and reports of what the Lord did last August!
Half the time was spent in witnessing training at the camp, and half the time spent putting it into practice at the fair!
After each afternoon/evening of witnessing at the fair, we’d come back to the camp and share stories. These times were a highlight as we got to hear how others were stretched but saw the Lord open doors for gospel conversations. There were some amazing stories, and much rejoicing.
One of the alluring aspects of the Answers in Genesis gospel booth inside the fair is the drone footage from the Ark Encounter on flat screen TVs on both sides of the booth. This attracts much interest and discussion. After answering a few questions about the Ark, we try to transition the conversation to their spiritual beliefs and the need we all have for Jesus — our true Ark of salvation.
During our times at the fair, we’d divide into four teams and we always had one team praying in a back hallway. This was also a time to share prayer requests and discuss how things were going. Prayer is a huge aspect of witnessing. If God isn’t working, nothing happens.
The girls on my team <3 Tim Chaffey from Answers in Genesis was one of our speakers. His sessions on apologetics were awesome.
Brianna and Abigail, using a Noah’s Ark million dollar bill to begin a gospel conversation with this couple who stopped by the booth.
The Lord arranged and coordinated a thousand things; I could never list them all. Believers from all around the country found out about the camp in so many different ways. The Lord provided opportunity for countless gospel discussions with unbelievers. We are so blessed to be servants of the Most High God who works intimately in our lives, and in drawing the lost to Himself.
If you are interested in joining us for this year’s fair, see more information and register here. We’re very excited that Bryan Osborne, speaker from Answers in Genesis, will be joining us this year. See a 2 1/2 minute video of Bryan speaking here.
This video I made a year ago, describing out 2016 outreach and advertising our 2017 camp. If you haven’t seen it yet, it will give you a further taste of what this outreach entails:
We are excited to announce a “Strong in the Lord” Conference in our town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa! The conference will take place on July 10-11 at Cedar Valley Bible Church, and is for girls ages 8-14 and their mothers. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Lord works in lives and would appreciate your prayers. We’d also appreciate help with spreading the word if you have friends who would be interested! More details are on the flyer:
Note: A “Speak Truth in Your Heart” Conference for older girls will be happening in the same place July 13-14.
I’m excited to announce our 3rd annual witnessing training camp, scheduled for August 9-13. Last year doubled in size from the first year and it was a super exciting time. There was a mix of young people, middle aged, and older people, and the four days were pretty packed with fellowship, learning together, and doing outreach together. I’m excited to see who God brings this year! Feel free to spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested.
This year Bryan Osborne, speaker from Answers in Genesis will be joining us. He’s an awesome speaker and teaches apologetics in a very understandable way. See a short video we made of him sharing about using dinosaurs in witnessing here.
If you haven’t seen the video that we made promoting the camp last year yet, you can view that here. (It will give you a feel for what the ministry at the Answers in Genesis booth at the fair is like!)
Space is limited. Register here.
It has been a while since my dad has run a “Just Men” conference. He has scheduled one for next month (June 22-24), and we are excited to see how the Lord will use this event. It is for young men starting at age 16, as well as for men of all ages.
Below is information from my dad about his vision for this event. Feel free to share with those you know who may be interested.
The need in our day is for a new generation of young men to rise up who are “just” and whom God can use for His glory and His Kingdom. “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” (I John 2:14b)
• Build and strengthen the future leadership of the Body of Christ
• Establish a growing fellowship group of just men who have a working relationship together in the various ministries God gives them
• Strengthen future marriages and families by laying essential Biblical foundations
• Be instrumental as the Lord raises up and sends forth laborers into His harvest
• Encourage and train young men to be disciple makers
Topics that will be explored and reviewed:
• Biblical concepts of the Christian life and of being a just man
• The importance and function of the church, the Body of Christ
• The enemies facing the church, the culture and us as men
• Important issues and battles of our day
• Ministry and leadership
For: Men of all ages (16 years old and up)
Friday 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Register free here.
Conference will be held at both Cedar Rapids Bible Chapel and Noah’s Archive Christian Bookstore.
Housing in homes is available for out of town attendees.
Evening meals and Sunday lunch will be provided. Saturday lunch will be at Chick-fil-A. Breakfast in homes.
For questions, email or call Harold Mally: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office phone: 319-377-6728
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9).
“He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning … ” (2 Samuel 23:3).