Category: Witnessing Conferences

Witnessing Conferences

Josiah and Grace, Witnessing Training Travels

Last weekend Josiah and I had the excitement of teaching a weekend of witnessing training sessions to a couple dozen youth at a church in Indiana. It was a great encouragement to us to be with them and see the spiritual fervor and love in their local church body.

Josiah sharing about the simplicity of the gospel

Sharing stories after we went out witnessing at a Christmas event downtown

Josiah and I especially enjoyed participating in the 1 1/2 hour prayer meeting that this church family has every Sunday afternoon. It was special to see the joyful participation of so many young families who stay together all day for spiritual fellowship.

We were invited to speak at this church because we got acquainted with a man and his wife who attend the church at the Alliance Homeschool Leaders Conference in September where Josiah and I did the same training course with the group of teens. Below are a few photos from that event.

 

There are challenges to traveling and teaching with a one-year-old, but thankfully Hosanna loves making new friends.

Josiah and I organized our teaching in such a way that when one is sharing, the other can watch Hosanna. Our teaching sessions are short, sprinkled with video clips, and ending with discussion and interaction. Topics include overcoming fear, articulating the gospel with accuracy and power, eliminating excuses, using gospel tracts, listening yet leading, having pure lives, and living with our eyes set on the Bema (judgment seat of Christ for believers).

Announcements/Testify Training Camp/Witnessing Conferences

Testify Training Camp: Registration Open

Registration is open for our upcoming two Testify camps at the Iowa State Fair and Willowbrook Bible Camp. Because of space limitations, we decided to do two camps this year. Camp 1 will be August 8-12 and Camp 2 will be August 15-19.

It has been a thrill to see the Lord work and bless at these camps in previous years, and we anticipate Him to do the same in 2019 as we pray. Speakers will include Bryan Osborne, Micah Tuttle (Bryan at Camp 1 and Micah at Camp 2) and Tony Ramsek.

Register here. You can register as a day camper if you’re local, or for the full camp (which includes housing) if you’re coming from out of town.

See PDF of flyer.

This video, made after last year’s camp, gives a taste of what the camp is like!

Testify Training Camp from Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc. on Vimeo.

Additionally, this video shows more detail about the booth that Answers in Genesis does at the Iowa State Fair–which is an aspect of what we do at the Testify camp.

Ark Encounter/Testify Training Camp/Witnessing Conferences

Iowa State Fair Gospel Ministry Video Reports

There is so much to describe about how the Lord worked at the Iowa State Fair gospel booth outreach and Testify Training Camp that it is easier to communicate through videos. Thank you to all who have prayed for these ministries.

Our hearts were filled with gratefulness to the Lord as this year’s Iowa State Fair outreach wrapped up, and we look forward to what He has in store for next year!

The Testify Training Camp is described in the video below. We are tentatively planning on running two Testify Camps in 2019: one on August 8-11 and the second on August 15-19.

Testify Training Camp from Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc. on Vimeo.

This video shows the Answers in Genesis gospel booth, inside the Varied Industries building at the fair:

Answers in Genesis Outreach at Iowa State Fair from Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc. on Vimeo.

Announcements/Witnessing Conferences

Do Dinosaurs Disprove the Bible?

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.

Do Dinosaurs Disprove the Bible? from Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc. on Vimeo.

Witnessing Conferences

Iowa State Fair Outreach – 2017 Report

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!

We were super encouraged by the group of young people and adults who attended the camp and helped at the gospel both. There was so much enthusiasm and great fellowship!

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.

Sometimes people will sit down on our folding chairs inside our booth to have lengthier discussions with us.

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.

It was exciting to have the opportunity to put into practice that very day at the fair some of the things we learned from the sessions.

Brianna and Abigail, using a Noah’s Ark million dollar bill to begin a gospel conversation with this couple who stopped by the booth.

As you can see, our booth is pretty big (20×20), but it is still definitely not enough space to have our 50-60 campers witnessing inside it all at the same time. So, we came up with a little system…

Dividing into four teams with this schedule helped us greatly in keeping everything organized and operating smoothly.

It amazes us just how many deep, heart-to-heart gospel conversations we are able to get into at the fair, by God’s grace and provision!

Bill was a fantastic part of the booth. The children flocked to him to see his tricks, and then he’d share about Jesus.

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:

Answers in Genesis Outreach at the Iowa State Fair from Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc. on Vimeo.

Announcements/Witnessing Conferences

Testify Training Camp 2018!

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.

Christmas Ministry Ideas/Family News/Witnessing Conferences/Witnessing Stories

Dad Witnessing At Christmas Tree Farm

After my dad and I picked out and cut down our Christmas tree this afternoon, we began talking about how we should witness to the guy who was working there. We thought that a good strategy for getting into a conversation would be to ask what he thought the second coming of Jesus would be like.

After my dad tied the tree to the top of our vehicle, he remembered he never paid for the tree. 🙂

When he went to pay, he asked his question about the second coming and they ended up talking for 10 – 15 minutes. I joined part way through.

“How’d that conversation go?” I asked dad as we were pulling away.
“Great,” Dad said.
As he began to explain the story to me, I pulled out my camera and started recording, hoping it might spark some new idea for others who might get into discussion this Christmas.

Dad Shares About Witnessing to Christmas Tree Farm Workers from Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc. on Vimeo.

Announcements/Witnessing Conferences

Testify Training Camp Registration Deadline: August 1

(To see this flyer englarged, click here.)

The deadline to register for the Testify Training Camp at the Iowa State Fair is August 1st, just a few days away. We’re excited about the group God is bringing together, and we are looking forward to an exciting time of ministry and fellowship. We saw the Lord work in so many ways last year.

Click here to register. If you have not yet seen the 3 minute promo video we made last year, view that here.

Local Option: For those who live in the Des Moines area and would like to be a part of the camp as a “day camper,” you are welcome to do so for no fee. However, if you’d like to join us for any meals at the camp, that will be $6 per meal and we’ll need to know which meals you will be joining us for by August 1st. (If you won’t know until the last minute, you can bring a sack lunch.) To register as a Day Camper, please email me and let me know if you are planning to come for the whole time or just part, and if you want to eat any meals with us. I will be posting a schedule for the conference early next week.

Witnessing Conferences

Iowa State Fair Report and Invitation!

I was backlogged on blogging last summer and so I never shared a report of what God did at the Iowa State Fair. That was too bad, because it was an amazing time. I’ve helped with a lot of gospel outreaches, but this was, perhaps, the pinnacle of them all so far. 🙂

First, I’ll share about the Answers in Genesis gospel outreach at the fair.
Second, I’ll share about the witnessing training camp which we helped to run to coincide with the outreach.

Answers in Genesis was asked to “take over” a Creation gospel booth (pictured above), previously run by an association of Baptist churches. Ken Ham placed our friend Tony Ramsek in charge of this outreach, and we were thrilled to jump on board with this opportunity–grateful it was so close to home.

Pictured above is Kaylee (in black shirt), passing out Noah’s Ark Gospel Tract to the swarms passing by the booth.

It was amazing to see SO. MANY. PEOPLE. swarming past the booth every day! About a million people come to the fair each year, and our booth was in the main building. Sometimes the flow streaming past our booth was so thick that one person could distribute 100 gospel tracts in 10-30 minutes! Praise God, over the course of ten days we passed out over 75,000 gospel tracts. (That’s 750 shrink wrapped packs we had to open. I mastered the art of tearing them open quickly with my teeth. Haha.)

Good thing the Lord provided some enthusiastic little workers!

We had volunteers from young kids, to a couple in their seventies. Some volunteered for just one morning, some for all ten days of the fair. Many came just during the four days of our witnessing training camp.

The flat screen TVs on either side of the booth displayed impressive drone flyover footage from the Ark Encounter, showing the majestic size and appearance of the Ark. People would stop, stare at the TV screen for a while, and then turn to us and ask a question.

After explaining about the new Ark Encounter in Kentucky, we’d then use the Ark as a springboard into the gospel. This wasn’t difficult because Noah’s Ark is a clear picture of Jesus and salvation from coming judgment.

As you can see in this picture, our booth also had a scale model Noah’s Ark, and kids LOVED the trains that ran underneath it. So while the children were infatuated with the trains, we’d give their parents a gospel tract and explain to them about the Ark. Oftentimes a longer discussion emerged. Most people at the Iowa State Fair aren’t in a big hurry.

Our goal was never to be pushy with our views or make “converts” (only God can do that), but simply to have friendly discussions. Many expressed spiritual questions and appreciated the cordial discussions. Over the course of the ten days, we had hundreds of discussions with people about Jesus.

It was encouraging to see so many youth soaking up the message of the gospel with seriousness and interest.

Sarah told us of three teen guys she talked to who were especially interested.
“Is there anything keeping you guys from trusting Christ?” she asked them, after explaining the gospel.
“No, nothing,” they said.
“Well when are you going to make that decision?” she asked.
The indicated that they wanted to get right with the Lord right away, and Sarah encouraged them to get alone and talk to the Lord, and ask Him to save them. They showed clear agreement with this advice, and one of them said his name was Noah and he knew it wasn’t a coincidence that he was at our booth. 🙂

We could tell story after story of all the encounters God coordinated. Some people came back multiple times to our booth, wanting to talk more. One teenager, who claimed to be gay, emailed Tony a week after the fair with these words:

“Hello. It’s [name withheld] from the state fair. I just want to say thank you for sharing the light on me. I wasn’t ever accepted until I met all of you great people. I decided to go to church this morning and I’ve never been so happy. My eyes water when I think about how much I missed out on out of fear, but I learned to accept Jesus and myself and to take your advice to repent and make peace with the Lord.”

Praise the Lord with us for all the lives that HE touched.

CREATION EVANGELISM TRAINING CAMP

Just ten minutes from the fair grounds, about forty campers enjoyed a haven of fellowship, witnessing training, and rest at Willow Brook Bible Camp. This camp took place during four days of the fair.

Each morning, we had times of witnessing training and prayer before going over to the fair to put into practice what we were learning.

It’s not very often that you’re with a whole group of people who are all eager to grow in witnessing.

Here’s just one example of the type of interaction we appreciated: During dinner one night, Seth mentioned to Craig a little tip he likes to use in helping people understand the severity of their sin. That night, Craig used that very tip in two different witnessing conversations! What a blessing to be able to sharpen each other as we work together.

Because not all forty campers could witness from the booth at the same time, we had 1/3 of the campers praying, 1/3 eating + witnessing outside, and 1/3 witnessing from the gospel booth. Then every two hours, we’d rotate. It worked beautifully. Praise the Lord. We were in awe of what He did.

This was an interactive Bible study on Romans 3, led by Tony

Because there were people literally EVERYWHERE at the fair, the best place we could find to pray was in this air conditioned hallway. It was exciting to pray, knowing that at that moment there were about 20-30 people in the vicinity sharing the gospel. And it was encouraging to be witnessing, knowing that there was a group at that moment upholding you in prayer.

Maddie Crawford (in picture above with striped skirt) told us that she shared with two 15-year-old girls who thought they were saved by Christ + good works. One girl seemed especially troubled by her sin. When Maddie explained that we are saved by Christ ONLY, a look of realization came across her face. “No one’s explained it like that before,” she told Maddie enthusiastically.

Seeing people have those “light bulb moments” about the gospel is priceless.

Addie (left) had several good conversations with girls who came to the booth, praise the Lord.

Seth (teal shirt), from India, was an inspiration to all of us. He was witnessing to people until the minute we had to get into the van to go back to the camp!

While Seth was sharing the Noah’s Ark Million Dollar Bill tract with a few teen guys, their mom came up, asking, “Who are you?!”
“I’m sharing about the million dollar question,” Seth said.
“What’s this million dollar question?” she asked.
“If you stand before God on judgment day, will you be innocent or guilty?” Seth replied.
“Oh I know that. I’m innocent,” the mom replied. “I have the sinner’s prayer in my bag, so I pray it all the time.”
(She must have been referring to a little card or something!)
By her words, “I pray it all the time,” Seth perceived that she didn’t actually understand the gospel.
“Do you mind if I tell you one thing about the sinner’s prayer?” Seth asked politely.
“Yes, go ahead,” she said.
“Ma’am, the sinner’s prayer cannot take you to Heaven.”
“It can’t? I didn’t know that!” she said, “My pastor never told me that.”
Praise God that Seth was able to explain that it is by faith in God by His grace that we go to Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).

[Note: I’m not saying that people never get saved at the time they prayed a sinner’s prayer. Many do! But it wasn’t the specific words they said to God that saved them, but their faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for them on the cross. Ephesians 2:8 says, “it is by grace you have been saved through faith” not, “it is by grace you have been saved through prayer.”]

Nicole (beige) had a good conversation with this guy. He seemed to really appreciate the discussion and shook her hand warmly as he left.

I’m sure you can imagine that there were many, many stories to be told during the campfires at the end of each day. We were blown away by all the Lord did. I can’t wait for the 2017 Iowa State Fair! The camp dates will be August 10-14, 2017. Click here to see flyer. Click here to register. Please mark your calendars!

Note: Prior training or experience in witnessing is not required for this camp. We have teaching times with practical instruction, and when we go to the fair those with less experience can team up with those with more experience. Many told us that their favorite part of the camp was the coaching in real life situations that they received from those more experienced.

If you’d like to listen to the sessions that Tony Ramsek taught at the camp last year, Tony put all of his up on his vimeo channel here. Here is one of them: