Monday, September 22, 2008

Seeds planted in unreached Shamokin tribe

I visited our local skate park in Shamokin alone last night with 7 Bibles in hand to give away. Last week a group of 17 of us cleaned up their park again and served BBQed burgers and dogs, but I think we overwhelmed them and felt we invaded their turf. The Lord showed me last week what I needed to do to plant some seed. Going alone was the right thing last night.
As I got out of my car I approached a group of about 8 youth in the parking lot and asked if they wanted free Bibles. They were suspicious and unreceptive and said they did not need a Bible. I was glad there was another group over by the skate ramps or this trip would have been a bust in 30 seconds flat!
As I approached the group by the ramps I was glad I had called for prayer support from my wife Faith. I could feel the Lord's hand on me. Cold call evangelism is not my style, so I was glad when some of the kids recognized me from our previous clean up trips.
I asked them if they would like a free Bible and they all said "sure". I then asked if I could read a chapter to them and they said "no problem", and started asking me questions about heaven before I even got started. I was concerned that one wise guy would dominate and distract the group with silly questions, but his questions turned out to be sincere. He even told me that he gets afraid sometimes that heaven is real and he won't be there.
There were 7 kids at first, all boys, but then a few others came over to see what was up. We talked for 40 minutes and I got to look into their eyes and see a lot of pain and hunger. I told them that connecting with God was the most important thing, we talked about repentance and drugs and demons and miracles. Some of them knew quite a bit about the Bible, and you could tell which ones knew right from wrong. The focus was on Jesus and what He came to do on this earth. I left when it got dark and told them I would be back soon. I need more Bibles...
This was one of the most exhilirating times of evangelism I have ever had. I think it was because of the uncertainty. I like security and usually try to make any ministry opportunities a "sure thing" with no room for error. I don't think Jesus operated that way. He was on the edge all the time. It did not make Him nervous, but it gave the disciples fits!


Cynthia R. said...

Pastor Earl,

I just got done reading the book, "The Shack" and what you did last night depicted alot of what the minister that wrote in the book depicted exactly the way Jesus was. He did not have a set of rules or guidelines to go by, he just did it, letting his Father be his guide.

I think this is awesome and what this hurting world needs, especially teens. Being a mother of teens myself, who have suffered more in their short life time then some men have gone through if they lived to be a 100 they need real men to relate to their real pain, and not give them some box idea about God. They need to know Jesus understands their pain and need answers to very hard questions , like where is God during tragedies that beset our teens today.

It is easy for us to preach in a building , wearing our Sunday best, it is harder to get beside someone on their level and relate to exactly how they are feeling, for unless we walked in their footsteps, how can we truly know. Only God can give us that deep wisdom to reach the unreachable, to relate to others like Jesus did, looking past our own judgements and looking at the heart of others.

I am praying for your Pastor Earl and your family as you have the heart sincerity that this hurting world needs to be reclaimed back to our loving Father, and I pray for Gods angels to protect your family and for the wisdom, guidance, strength and courage for all of you to continue to keep fighting the good fight.

Thank You Pastor Earl, you are a inspiration to us all.

Cynthia Rubendall

Karen said...

I am so happy to hear that you are reaching the youth of Shamokin. I remember working at the school district years ago and having a "showdown" with the skin heads. The Holy Spirit gave me the courage to confront those kids that day and I hope and pray that some seeds were planted that will give root to their futures. God bless you and keep you Pastor Earl.