Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Notes from the Harvest Field, Vol. 1, No. 2

("Notes from the Harvest Field" will be an on going series of evangelistic encounters primarily from the Neighborhood Outreach ministry, Placerita Baptist's Spanish ministry and personal one-to-one encounters I may have during the week.)

"And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Luke 10:2)

Newhall, Saturday morning July 12, 2009,

Open air preached Rom. 1: 18-20; Conversation with Pablo/Saulo.

There was only one team that went out on this Saturday which consisted of Ricardo, Juan, and myself. All the other members of the Newhall ministry were either out of town due to vacation, mission trips, or taking classes. I was able to preach from Rom. 1: 18-20 in the open air to two small groups of men.

To my surprise, one of the men in the first group was Pablo/Saulo. Pablo recognized me and was happy to see me. I met Pablo about a month ago along with another team member named Mario who translated for me that day. We met Pablo and a few other men at the gas station on San Fernando Road. I preached to them that day while Mario translated for me. Mario started to talk to Pablo in Spanish and he translated their conversation to me. Pablo at that time was concerned about his brother Jose who was missing for a month. Pablo and Jose were living together and had a falling out because of Jose's job situation. Pablo was concerned about Jose because Jose was involved with drugs, and he feared that he would find Jose dead somewhere in the streets. He feared this because on a previous occasion Pablo found Jose half naked wandering the streets with a needle stuck in his arm. Mario and I prayed for Pablo and his brother. While we were praying for Pablo, Pablo was in tears. We told Pablo at the time that Esparanza church would help him out if he needed help finding his brother.

Pablo now told us that he found his brother, and that his brother was off drugs. I told Pablo that I was praying for him and his brother, and Pablo told me that he knew that God answered our prayers. After I preached my sermon on Rom. 1: 18-20, Ricardo and I spent some time talking to Pablo. Pablo still is a staunch Catholic, and believes that all religions who claim Christ are good including Roman Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses. We explained to Pablo that Christ is the only way to salvation, and even if a person believes in Christ, but still believes in good works for salvation that person is not a true disciple of Christ. We also explained to Pablo that all the religions in the world believe in some type of works salvation except for true Christianity which teaches salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.

We encouraged Pablo to read his Bible and the materials we gave him and once again invited him to visit Esparanza Church. Please pray for Pablo and his brother Jose.

Newhall, Saturday morning July 19, 2009

Open air preached James 1:1-12 and Rom. 1: 18-20; Conversation with Carlos

I was originally going to preach on the passage that I was studying for which was Rom. 1: 18-20, but I decided to change it to James 1: 1-12 after Ricardo asked the men we were witnessing to, "What question would you like to ask us?" Their response was something like, "How can God help us to deal with the fact that we are having a hard time finding work?" I knew that I had to change the original sermon that I had prepared for since the passage in Romans did not deal with the issue they wanted answered.

The problem was that I didn't study the James passage, so I read James chapter one a few times, and just trusted the Holy Spirit to help me deliver the message to these men. I started with a brief introduction of the book of James, some information about the author, and some historical background. I also emphasized the fact that James in this first chapter was writing to Christians and telling Christians that the way to deal with the trials that they are currently facing in their lives is by faith. A faith which they have received from God. Moreover, I explained to the men that they shouldn't rely on the things of this world because they will soon pass away like the illustration of the rich man that James describes in the first chapter. The only thing that man can hope for and have faith in is God.

I asked the men if they had the same type of faith that James describes in the first chapter. I then told the men that the only way that they can have this same faith that James describes and endure the trials that they are facing is if they have repented of their sins and put their trust in faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was at that point that I explained the Gospel to them.

One of the men named Carlos was very interested in what we had to say. He told us that he was addicted to drugs, and that he knew that what we were telling them was true because he intentionally avoided us when we were there on previous occasions so he wouldn't have to hear the preaching. (In fact, Ricardo would tell me later after our encounter with Carlos that Carlos was giving them a hard time the previous weeks because he was playing dice with the other men while the message was being preached, so Ricardo was surprised by his reaction.)

Carlos told us that he wanted to repent and believe, but he couldn't because of his drug addiction. We told him that he couldn't be saved by his own power, his own strength, or his own will, but he needed to simply come in humility to God and ask the Holy Spirit to save him. Ricardo explained Isaiah 66: 1-2 to Carlos. It was a very encouraging encounter with Carlos. Ricardo told me this past Saturday that they spoke to Carlos again ( I wasn't able to go), and Carlos told them that he would be attending church the following Sunday. Please pray for Carlos.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...