This past Saturday, "His Feet on the Street" headed south to Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia to share the full gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to a community of lost souls. A weather system had been approaching in the days leading up to the Festival and it looked like Saturday would be a very wet day.
Friday, the night before the Festival, my ministry partner had come over to my house to help me go through our tracts and to make sure everything was in order for the big day. We had been praying for the last few weeks that God would use us to bring glory to His name.
Saturday morning I got up to a steady rain.
I feared that those who said they would/might come out to help us, would think better of spending the morning and part of the afternoon out in the rain.
Oh me of little faith.
Nine people in all (three of whom had never street witnessed before) were at the church parking lot ready to take the message of Christ to the lost.
Before we left the church parking lot, we circled up and prayed that God would use us mightily for His glory and for us to be meek as lambs but bold as lions in proclaiming the gospel.
When we arrived at the Park we were almost immediately picked out by an Atlanta police woman (My cross was an attention getter) who asked us if we were there to protest. We assured her in no way were we there to protest. She asked us why we were here at the Park and we filled her in with our plans. She looked us up and down and headed on her way.
We partnered up and headed out.
My wife (the strawberry blonde in the above photo)and her team-mate faced a little persecution with the first person they interacted with. After attempting to hand out a Million Dollar Bill tract, a young man told them that he didn't want their tract and that he was going to "beat the @#$* out of them all the way out of the park".
Not in the least deterred, they had several great conversations after the incident and handed out quite a few more tracts.
I had teamed up with my son and, along with the cross, we made our way along the perimeter of the park when we were approached by three young men. They asked us if we had "gotten one of these?" The young men knew why we were there and were having a little fun with us. They had spotted our cross and came over to ask if we were with Project Ezra group. After talking with them for a few minutes I asked if I could take their picture for our blog and they said absolutely as long as they could hold the cross in the picture.
These guys had just driven five hours from Charlotte, NC. to proclaim the name of Christ at Pride Fest!! Way to go guys!!!
My son and I spent the next hour handing out tracts while walking the Park until we came up to an area where vendors had set up their booths. In the near distance I saw my wife and her team-mate along with two other members of our group in what seemed like a discussion with an gentleman. As we got closer one of the team members came over to me and said that the gentleman that they were talking to was the Festival director. The director told us that we could not pass out tracts inside the Park during the Festival. He told us that 'Pride Fest' had a contract with the City of Atlanta and that no outside (non-vendors) groups or persons could distribute any materials inside the Festival.
He was kind enough to tell us that we were free to be inside the Park and mingle and have conversations with whoever we wanted and could give that person a tract during the conversation. We just couldn't stand around and hand them out. we were told that even the vendors had to conform to this rule (Vendors could only hand out literature or pamphlets from their booths).
Ok. That's fine. As a group we had probably already handed out a couple hundred tracts by the time we were told to stop.
We re-grouped and divided up again.
That's when I ran into Bill Adams from Revival-USA ministries.
Bill was standing at the corner of Piedmont and 12th street preparing to do a little preaching. Bill had told us that this was his 8th or 9th Pride Fest and has about seen it all there. Bill also had a lawyer on call and ready to help any one of us out if there were any free speech problems with law enforcement.
We also got to talk with Keith Higgins from "Saved From What Ministries"
What a blessing it was to talk to these godly men who dedicate their lives to the preaching of the gospel!
My son and I continued on our way toward one of the main entrances of the Park at 14th street. That's where we ran into a group from a church who was very wrong in their understanding of the Scriptures. This group was holding up signs in rainbow colors telling the people coming to the Festival that Jesus loved them and accepted them just as they are.
My partner in the ministry got a chance to talk to one of the members of this church. He talked for about an hour and told me about the conversation on the way back home.
My partner (the dark haired fellow) told me that this man didn't believe in the Trinity (Although, oddly enough, Trinity was the first word of the churches name). He didn't believe in Hell. He didn't believe the Bible was the inspired Word of God. He didn't believe that Jesus was God in the flesh. My partner told me that the current Bible study that this man was having in his Sunday school was about how the Bible was full of errors and was proven to be wrong (on different portions of Scripture) by some priest in the 16th century.
My partner refuted, corrected and rebuked (lovingly) from Scripture everything the man tried to throw at him.
Folks, know your Bible!! The more you study God's Word the more you can easily spot and refute counterfeit Christianity.
I'm real glad that my partner got to engage this man. My partner was able to take this man through the Law and share with him the magnificent gospel. One of the other members of the team said that he thought that hour long conversation served two purposes. One, the man got to hear the real gospel and two, he was hindered for about an hour from spreading his false message to the folks coming into the Park.
Speaking of the Park...this entrance on 14th street turned out to be a great spot for giving out the Obama Million Dollar Bills!! The Obama bills were a big hit. I overheard one woman tell another how cute Obama looked on bill. As she turned over the bill and starting reading the back she said, "Ugh..this has got something about Jesus on the back".
But you know what she did?
She stuck that tract right into her pocket book! Why? Because it had Obama on it. She was going to keep that tract because of who was on the front. Perhaps one day she may get saved because of what's on the back!
The picture below is the 14th street entrance to the Park. One of my team-mates called it the road that led to destruction - -
Rightly so I guess -
But here's the great thing...a lot of the folks that went into that Park went in there being warned that they were on the wrong road.
There are many more stories to tell and I have asked a few of the team-mates to put down their own words of the day and share them with you for encouragement.
So a big thank you to those of you who came out in the rain and gave up part of your day to share the good of the gospel with a lost community of people who may have never heard otherwise.
Thank you for being His feet on the street!