Archive for the ‘Street Ministry’ Category

The prodigal daughter

November 22, 2016

Blessed yesterday to be back in downtown. We even got to do some preaching :).
Towards the end of the day, God brought “Brandi” by. My guess is that she was around 30 years old. She is your typical homeless girl bound by heroin. She was raised in Alabama in a southern Baptist home. She has two kids who are being raised by her parents in two separate homes.

We listened to her story. And as we did, the Holy Spirit gave us some insight into where she was currently at spiritually. We shared and encouraged her that God is not very far away. In fact, he is just camped out next door. He is just waiting for her to turn to Him. She listened.

We reminded her of the “Prodigal son” story, of which she had heard many times before. However, we put her into the story as the “Prodigal daughter”. The Father is there waiting with open arms to through a party upon her return, but she just has to get to the point where she “has spent all”, and “comes to herself”.

We also reminded her that she is indeed responsible for that which she knows. And of course being raised “Southern Baptist”, she knows about Jesus and the salvation that He alone brings. It was good for her to be reminded of this, because in her sharing, she has allowed some demonic influence to change her thinking, which is so very common out on the streets.

We asked her if we could pray for her. She smiled and said, “well, as long as I don’t have to stand here and close my eyes” . So we did.

She shared how she misses her kids. Heroin is no doubt nullifying the pain.

She seemed to have hope as we parted. Please pray for her. She could have been any one of our daughters. Thank you.

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Seeing and hearing

March 23, 2016

Like anything else in life, if we don’t use it or practice it on a regular basis, we can become less acquainted with that which we used to do on a regular basis.

This past Saturday, i was seeking God and wanting to go out again and be led of the Spirit to where He wanted me to go. This is a big part of the ministry that the Lord has given me and called me to over the years. I have seen some really divine moves of God into this realm of the Spirit. My heart craves for more of the Spirit of God to “see” and to “hear”, then to move into that realm.

As we were waiting upon Him, He soon gave us the route to take and the place to go. We were to head out on foot east, then turn north and walk up to the “Target” store. As we walked, we prayed, and at the same time looked around to see if there was any people around that He might be leading us to. During the approximate mile long walk, there was no one who we sensed we were to talk to. Soon we were at the Target store and walked into the restroom. Once inside, we spotted a young guy washing himself at the sink. We knew immediately that he was the one to speak to. However, not at the present time.

We left and went outside after hearing to wait out there for him to come out. After a few minutes, we looked ahead down the walkway and spotted him. Our immediate thought was “wow, he sure looks different from when he was under the lights in the restroom”. We proceeded to follow him. Up ahead, we saw him take a left into the store next door. We heard to wait there for him to come out. After waiting a few, he comes out, and we say to him, “Hey brother! Come on over here and tell me what God is doing in your life”. We saw that he had a shirt on that had a small cross on it and a ministry name under it.

He began to share his testimony of being saved right after getting out of prison, and being now clean for 30 days. He shared how God had delivered him and how thankful he was. I asked him if he has been tempted to use again since being clean. He said “oh yes”. I then heard that i was to pray for him regarding this help. So i asked him if i could pray for him. He smiled and said “sure!”. As we did, we really prayed for his protection. We covered him in the armor of the Lord, from his head to his toes. When finished, he was blessed and encouraged. We soon parted our ways. He went down the walkway, i took off to my left and went across the parking lot.

After about 10 minutes and turning to my right to follow the sidewalk, i look up ahead to the intersection and i see him and a guy standing with him at the light. As i walked up, i immediately noticed that the guy that was with him was the guy that i originally saw in the bathroom. I said to him, “Hey you were the one who i saw in the restroon”. He said that he remembered seeing me also. I then was amazed at what had just been revealed to me…..

Here i was in the presence of these two guys, one who i thought was the one from the restroom in which i prayed with, the other who i didn’t pray with which was the guy from the restroom. Just how did my “seeing” and “hearing” play into this all? Was God once again just showing his sovereignty? Would things of changed out differently if i were to of “saw” and “heard” differently? Was this just how it was all to play out, i.e. the guy that i prayed with was the reason why i was to go to “Target” in the first place?

I find it all interesting.

Then the guy introduces me to the other guy. He quickly shares his testimony of being saved and how he was also clean from addiction. He lit up as he was sharing about God’s power to save and keep him. They were both there that day to also collect money at the intersection for the ministry that they were a part of. All three of us rejoiced at God’s goodness and how our divine appointment all transpired.

Someday we will see clearly, see completely. Until now, i endeavor to “see” and “hear” more clearly as i approach the gates of heaven.

Homeless can collector gets his teeth stolen

December 19, 2014

Had a bad day? How would you like to be homeless and collecting cans for a living, and then have someone take your coat which had your dentures in the pocket?

I just got on to the train platform from the bus today when i noticed him sitting at a bench and then jumped out of his seat in anger. He was very upset about something for sure. He kept talking out loud as he went through his backpack in hast looking for something. I walked behind him and went down a little and prayed for him.

Over the last two years we have had some good conversations with him. He is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and knows the Bible better than most I’ve seen. I will never forget one time about a year ago. I was on the back of the bus talking to a young guy about his need to be saved, when all of a sudden this homeless friend jumps in with all the right scriptures. I just sat back in amazement as to how the Holy Spirit orchestrates at just the precise time with just the right scriptures and the right people. This friend captured this young guys attention by not only sharing the scriptures, but by giving his testimony that made the guy really listen to him.

So after standing there and watching him in his frustration, I walked over to him and said “Hi”. He immediately calmed down and shared with me what had happened. He said that two days ago he was doing his usual thing of taking his cans to a local Walmart to get money. While he was there, he took off his coat which unfortunately had his dentures in the pocket. After he had finished putting all his cans into the counter machine, he turned around to get his coat and it was gone. Somebody had lifted it. Its winter here and stealing from everyone is a common way of life for most of the homeless. He was the victim.

After telling me what had happened, he began to change and thank God for what he still had. The clothes on his back. His shoes. His health. He also gave testimony about a couple of healing’s that God had done in the past for him.

After listening to him change by remembering how good God has been to him and what he has done, I asked if I could pray for him and could we believe that God would bring his teeth back to him. He also shared how there might be a possibility of getting a new pair through the place that he had got this pair from. He said that he is checking into it. We then prayed and believed that God was going to be glorified through this provision.

The train soon came and we both got on. We continued to listen to him share about his life and how it fails in comparison to the apostle Paul. He brought up all kinds of scriptures that related to the apostles trials, testimony’s etc. He then shared something with me that didn’t surprise me, but I didn’t know it about him. At one time in his life he taught the scriptures to other believers in his church. This didn’t surprise me because I knew from past experiences with him, that he indeed did have the gift of teaching.

I mention to him the scripture that says that “the gifts and callings of God are without repentance”. His eyes began to water and he wipes them with his hand. God is reminding him of his love for him. I just assured him that all he has to do is turn back to God at times like these and be obedient to what God shows him.

While he was getting encouraged and excited by sharing the scriptures with me, his stop comes. He shakes my hand and says goodbye, then goes out the door only to turn right around and come back in. He said that he couldn’t leave. This was too good. So for the next few more stops we continued to be blessed together. Finally, he gets his pack together and leaves out the door on the next stop. As he leaves, he says, “Wow! Every time you show up, God really gets a hold of me!”. I point my finger up and say, “It’s all God! He loves you!”. He smiles, and off he goes.

Please pray for him.

Chasing dreams, or?

May 6, 2014

Just like God….
Yesterday morning, i was given this thought….
“We can spend our whole lives chasing our dreams, or we can get filled with God and begin to find out what we were created to “Be” and to “Do” while we are living here for a few days on this planet.”

Then i get on the bus….
I see a guy coming down the aisle to the back. He appears to be uncertain or lost. Then he does a little spin around before he sits down.
I say to him, “hey! How’s it going?”
His reply? “Good! Just having a “Dreamy life”. Bing!

Then i shared with him what i had received, “We can spend our whole lives chasing our dreams….”
So we spent the next 25 mins. in conversation about dreams, God/Jesus, the need for a spiritual birth etc. He also mentioned how he used to have a “Gideon bible” and enjoyed reading it. Bing!
I had one in my back pocket, which i graciously gave him.

As i have said many times, “God is all about people”. He will daily lead you to people, or bring them right to you. And if, we are not off in our own little world, and have the blinders removed, we will see the realm (kingdom) of God come here on earth.

A Cannabis bus ride

November 22, 2013

Sittin in the back corner and here comes a guy with a “Cannabis” hat on and sits right next to me in the center seat. I asked him if he knew a guy that i know that gathers signatures for legalizing it. He said that he has seen him at the square.
That led into him sharing for the next 20 minutes about his Cannabis life. I listened to him talk about the upcoming legalization of it and how its going to be marketed etc.

I soon told him about my “pot smoking days” in my earlier years. We had common ground and this guy was really into it. He even pulled out of his backpack, a very detailed binder with all kinds of technical info., pics etc. He was a third generation expert in the care of, the study of, and the actual growing and selling also. Soon he even broke out his jar and showed me some of his finest.

I saw my stop coming up the road and was telling the Holy Spirit how i really needed his help in causing this guy to stop for a second so we could leave him with something.
He did.
I thanked him for sharing and gave my testimony of how i used to be all into that, but after about six years, i was born again and soon that desire was taken away and replaced with the power of the Holy Spirit. I told him that i can honestly say that experiencing God as you are living in the Spirit is no where even on the same planet as being temporarily high.

He had this look on his face as i smiled and shook his hand and handed him a “Born of the Spirit” card and said, “God bless you!”. And off the bus we went.

God the ORCHESTRATOR

September 3, 2012

Another orchestration of God for his glory.
Last week, I’m heading down on the bus to Milwaukie. This time, I figured that I would sit in the middle seat at the back. Something that I used to do all the time. As the bus made its stops and people got on, I noticed that no one was coming to the back seats to sit. I thought it was strange. Did I look that ugly or what?
Finally after a few more stops, I jumped over to the corner seat. The next stop, one guy gets on. Guess where he sits? You got it. Right in the middle seat.

I immediately thought that there must be something to this. So I strike up a conversation with him. Come to find out, he just got out of the “drunk tank” in Portland after spending the night there. It wasn’t long before he begin to be sorry as our conversation turned to God. He knew that it was no happen chance that we had met. He once walked with God, but had strayed in recent years.
God had allowed him to spend the night in a cold cell with a chrome toilet, to get up the next morning and get on a bus and meet someone who would remind him about Himself. What a God! The ORCHESTRATOR!

People in a needy area

June 14, 2012

This morning the Spirit showed me that He wanted me to visit a part of town that I haven’t been to in over six month’s. When I first heard this, I really didn’t want to go. I was just not enthused about going there this time. However, I have learned that it’s not about whither I want to go or not, it’s about what He wants to do.

After getting off the max train, I started to walk in a different area to get to this part of town. This time, I came from another direction. It was from the west. All the other times that I can remember were from the north, either walking or by bus.

After about a block or two, I looked to my left and noticed a man standing outside of a place of business and looking at his phone. Quickly the Spirit had me focus on his shirt that he was wearing. It said, “I’m in a boat”. Then I heard the Spirit say, “the boat, ah, you know what to do with that”. I smiled and said, “oh yes”.

A brother and I, will sometimes use “boat” in reference to sharing Christ and telling them that they need to “get in the boat” with Jesus.

So I walked over to the guy and said, “hey, I like your shirt!” He smiled and said, “thanks”. I then proceeded to share with him how that many times I will share Jesus with people and use the “boat” as saying, “are you in the boat yet?”. I then asked him if he was familiar with the story of Noah and the Ark. He said that he was. I then said that it’s the same today, God is trying to get people in the boat before it takes off. He listened and was receptive to what he heard. Another reminder, another seed.

After that encounter, I went by the “Polish Association” building. As I was passing by, I noticed a billboard and a map of Poland. As I stood there looking at it, my mind went back years ago when the Wall was still up and we went into Poland, taking with us something that the brothers and sisters counted as priceless. I will never forget. Blessed again with the reminder.

As I approached the area, I was once again reminded that one of Satan’s main tools is “preoccupation”. Whatever and whoever he can use to distract from them receiving from their maker, he will do. He is doing a very good job of it. In fact, I would say that he is getting better all the time at the art of preoccupation.

Soon we were onto the main street of this area. I am well familiar with this area, having been here many times. We went into a prayer walk immediately as we walked down the sidewalk. A ways down the road, we were hit with the word “Perversion”. It came strong and continually as we spent the next couple hours in walking and sitting in prayer.

I can honestly say that since the last time I was here, the increase in “iniquity” which is perversion, has dramatically increased in as little as six months. Yep, only six months.

Continuing in prayer, I kept hearing “twisted”. I know that is a popular “cool” word, but this had some depth to it. When I got home this evening, I went into study again on “Iniquity”, “Perversion” and the like. I will not take all the time here, but a few things might be a good reminder.

Iniquity in the Hebrew means, “perversity ie (moral) evil, fault. Along with some other meanings, it also means “to distort”. After much study, I came to the Webster definition of Distort. It means, “to twist, to twist out of the true meaning or proportion, to twist out of a natural, normal or original shape or condition, pervert.”

So when the Spirit gave me the words “perversion” and “twisted”, He wasn’t far off.

So now we are in prayer ever more so for the people of this area. And, asking when we are to go back and what we are to do. They need Jesus, like really bad. It’s one of the “core” areas of this city.

 

“No thank you. I have no need”

May 31, 2012

In street ministry, we get to see first hand how the masses respond to the Gospel. Most times, those who appear to be well off, pass by as to not even acknowledge our existence. I could be handing them a card and there would be no acknowledgement whatsoever. Not even an eye contact when looked at. It would seem that they already know what you are trying to give to them and they are not interested. On some occasions, they pass by so close, that they knock the card out of my hand.

We are thankful for the words of Jesus that says, “No one comes to the Father, unless he draws them”. We do acknowledge that it even takes the Father moving on their heart for them to even reach out and take a card. There is great contentment in knowing that the Father is always in control.

Today, we were in the NW part of town. It’s an area that we frequent about once a month on the average. It, like all the different parts of town, has its own type of people and spiritual darkness that goes with the territory.

It was a sunny beautiful day with lots of people out for a weekday. One corner that I usually stop by to hang out, has a drinking establishment on all four corners of the intersection. When the weather is nice, this makes for lots of people sitting around eating and drinking.

Before long, I notice that the response is practically nil. There is no “preaching” going on this day. Just standing there and holding out a card with a few occasional words. Many pass by, with most, there is no interest whatsoever. Maybe, one in 20 take one.

Then, guess who God brings by? An older homeless man. Yep. And what do you think he did when he approached me? He took a look at the card. That’s right. He noticed the card. He said, “I wish I had glasses to read it. I lost mine”. I briefly shared with him what is was about. He smiled and said, “God bless you. Thanks for being out here”. (Do you think he might have known a little about the neighborhood?). He thanked me again and proceeded across the street.

Soon, two scriptures come to mind.

“For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt.9:13b) Those who think they have no need of a Savior, he did not come for. But, those who are “needy”, he came for.

“But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matt.19:30) Those who might think that they will be first, will end up being last. Those who appear to be last, will be first.

Soon, we left walking down the sidewalk. Maybe one in four, took a card. We came to a restaurant, and there was a young girl who was a waitress, going back inside. I said to her, “hey, can I share this with you?” She took one look at it and said, “no thanks”. She then looked me right in the eye and proceeded to tell me why she didn’t need Jesus. (I am noticing more and more, that the younger generations are getting more bold in telling you why they don’t need Jesus. The spirit of anti-christ is surely raising up.)

While listening (Key) she said the words, “lost soul”. The Spirit said to me to “go for that one”. When she stopped for a second, I proceeded to talk to her about being a “lost soul”. Our meeting was all to remind her once again that she is lost without Jesus. She had said in our conversation that she had others tell her that she was a “lost soul”. Conformation for her again?

Took off to the well-known “bookstore” in town. The Father brought some by there. Good day.

“That man changed my life!”

May 11, 2012

Someday we will all be very surprised as to who God used to reach people that he was calling.

Today I heard an awesome testimony from a young guy who I hadn’t seen in almost a year. I remember that we had some good God conversations along the way. He showed up with a friend on a corner where I was hanging out. After talking a while he said, “hey do you remember that guy that sat on that corner over there (as he pointed) last summer that had those scriptures on a cardboard sign?”. I paused for a moment as my mind searched for that time. Boom, I remembered.

Last summer there was a homeless man who sat on a very busy corner downtown. He had the usual homelessness gear such as a pack, sleeping bag, dirty clothes and worn out shoes. But, this guy was different from most. This guy was a minister of the Gospel. He sat there with his bible from which he would occasionally read out loud. And yes, he did have a hat sitting there for money.

My mind went back to the couple of times I visited with him that summer. I remembered that he knew the scriptures very well and would engage with a lot of people while sitting on the sidewalk. What I remembered about him the most was this big old cardboard sign that he had taken a marker and wrote some scriptures on it. He had it propped up for all to see passing by. He was a soft-spoken guy, but big and burley. I remembered, I liked him. I did give him some money, but can’t remember how much. A truly different kind of minister for sure. One that most people would pass by and think, “give me a break, get a job” or “sorry, but how are you doing any good?” or “your no better off than all the other homeless bums out here that beg for money”. So goes the story……..

Then we fast forward to our brother who shared what had happened when he had met the man. He said that one day he walked by and stared at the guy, then took a glance at his cardboard sign and walked away. Then, he heard the man yell out, “hey come back here for a minute!”. So, around he turns and heads back to the man. Soon, he takes up a seat on the sidewalk right next to him as people go rushing by.

My friend didn’t go into all the details that happened thereafter, but he did tell me something that I will never forget. He said, “I WAS “BORN AGAIN” THAT DAY“. That man changed my life!” Wow! I thought. I was humbled. Bless God! We will never know completely, all those He uses and how He uses them. Beware less we think, “Oh how can God use that person? Look at what he is doing”.

The bottom line is: God has used and will use anyone he wants to use. And not only that, but how he wants to use them. We dare not judge.

Radical Meth addict has change of heart

April 19, 2012

I have known this guy for about six years. He has battled Meth and pornography ever since I have known him. He shared with me how the last time he was high (approx. 90 days ago) it sent him over the brink. It was the one high that scared him enough to want to start to change and to continue.

Of course, one of the major effects of Meth is “paranoia”. And, it gets worse and worse with each use. His last time using, he was on one of the commuter trains in the city and saw this guy who he taught was staring at him. Then his mind (through the demonic spirit of the drug) told him that this guy was after him and was out to kill him. This night, my friend had taken a knife with him. Now, he was contemplating slitting this guys throat. He was just seconds away from going up to some innocent man and doing him in. It was all played out in his mind.

THEN GOD STEPPED IN

The next stop, the train security boarded to do their usual ride along. This of course took on a major turn in his paranoia. The next stop, out he bolted and took the back alleys home. He basically went back to his apartment and stayed inside the rest of his time while still high. God had him locked up inside until he came down.

A couple of days later we heard of this story.

He shared how this had never happen before. Never was there such deception and fear. This time he was truly fearful. He had never thought it would get to this point. So close to something that would change his life forever. And, the guilt that he would have to live with the rest of his life.

This brother has always had a heart for God. He would come around when we were preaching, passing out tracts, or just talking to someone about Jesus. On many occasions, he would ask for tracts to pass out himself. Most of the time when he wasn’t high, he would be seen walking or sitting around downtown. Many have prayed for him for a very long time.

And now, I am blessed to say that he is 90 days clean. He is coming to our Tuesday night mall gatherings and we are seeing great advancement spiritually. God is doing an incredible work in this mans life. He has had enough. He truly wants change. His last time was enough to scare him into change. That is God’s love in real action! Loving him enough to allow this to happen, to allow it to get to this point to where he would change. What a God!

Just to share a testimony of how his heart has been changed since. Last week, he was walking down the sidewalk, he heard this girl screaming. He looked across the street and this guy was beating this girl to a pulp. So, he ran over there and jumped in to help. He got between the car door and the girl when the driver punched the gas and it knocked him over the door on to the road. Later, all bruised up and bloody, he saved the girl. The police, the paramedics showed up, and they went to the hospital. A bystander was able to get the licence plate number, and by now, hopefully they are locked up.

Here is a guy that once used prostitutes. Now he was saving their lives at the risk of his own. Now that’s heart change!