Christmas in SW Missouri and on Greyhound Buses
January 1, 2010
Proverbs 16:9 (New King James Version)
A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
I had a blessed time with family and friends during my annual Christmas visit. Despite the snow,getting bumped and delayed on buses going home, sick people, a water heater going wacko, and a screw in my dad’s truck tire; the Lord had his hand in directing me to the people needing a word of encouragement and a gospel tract.
God used these situations to lead me to the people needing to receive a gospel tract and/or encouragement. I prayed for God to go before me in any encounter during the trip and in the Joplin area. Several people at the various Greyhound bus stations picked up the Santa Million Dollar bill or the little bible book(a quarter size tract with various bible scriptures with an opportunity to repent and put their faith in Jesus.)
The mall evangelistic outreach was me. The snow on Christmas bumped people to reschedule their Christmas on the weekend. Others had the flu. Mom and dad had to babysit a water heater til a repairman came to the house.
So, it was Monday morning when the roads were safely cleared to do the outreach. I almost did not get to go out to the mall after taking my dad’s truck to the tire shop. He had a screw in a tire which was slowly going flat.(At the tire shop, I met a Christian family. The father and I started talking and it was an encouragement to me during my time at the tire shop. I left a gospel tract in the waiting area.)
Went to a bank to cash some Christmas moola and gave the bank tellers some Santa Million Dollar Bills. Left on the table a million dollar bill at a fast food burger eatery. Then FINALLY, I was off to the mall….AGAIN.
I prayed for the mall cops at Northpark Mall to be blind to the evangelistic outreach.(Never fun to have the mall cops(i.e. Paul Blarts) tell you to stop or throw away any tracts.) I was able to give out some Million Dollar Bills to mall shoppers.(This includes both those I did not know personally and those I did know personally.) I made sure every chair and bench in the mall had a gospel tract. I returned to some of the benches and put out more tracts that the previous tract was in the hands of a mall shopper. I did the fish feeding of dropping the million dollar bill on the ground and stand to the side watching shoppers picking up the bill.
The Lord gave me opportunities to talk with friends receiving the tracts. One of them actually thanked me and gave me a hug for giving them the “little bible” gospel tract. When you witness to friends, I did have the butterflies in the stomach more than I would a total stranger. There were at times I was hesitant giving a tract to acquaintances, yet the Lord gave me strength to overcome the apprehension .
I probably spent about two hours at the mall before heading out. As I was leaving, I just prayed and thanked God for the opportunity to share my faith at the mall. I hope many put their faith in Jesus. Yet, I was not done…….
It was off to Books-A-Million……(Thank you to Tony Miano for posting on his blog about book stuffing.) The bookstore is half the size of the one in Knoxville. Many popular titles and especially the Joel Osteen(Ostink) books received a free bookmark. I was able to make it over to the New Age and Witchcraft section and went to town with the Santa bills.
On the ride back to Knoxville, I was able to give out some of the bills, the new year’s resolution tracts, and the little bible ministry tracts to lots of people at the greyhound locations and on the buses.
The last bus taking me back to Knoxville was the most fruitful. After several of us got tired of hearing a man snore very, very, very, VERY loudly in the back of the bus, we moved to the front after many got off the bus at a stop en route to Knoxville. Who would have thought this snoring man gave me the opportunity to be reseated around both Christians and non-Christians. Those around me were interested in the gospel tracts. So many of them were given several to share with their family and friends. A lady old enough to be my mother was sitting next to me. She shared with me of her life and being remarried and having children and grandchildren. We got to the stop for our lunch break. She only had about sixty-five cents. I ended up buying her lunch and gave her a “little bible” gospel tract.(It had a happy face with “Jesus loves you” on the front and had the scripture explaining about what it means to repent and put her faith in Jesus. ) From the discussion I had with her, I could tell she had some spiritual background, but unsure if she was saved. So instead of automatically assuming she was a Christian, I still gave her a tract. The bus stopped at Knoxville and everyone either got on another bus or Knoxville was their last stop. Once we got off the bus, she gave me a hug and thanked me for the lunch and the gospel tract. I was definitely thanking the Lord for this encounter with this lady and pray for her salvation or strengthened her faith if she was a Christian.
So after I got back to the house and showered, I went to evening services at Calvary Chapel Knoxville. I was able to tell those about my adventures in witnessing encounters.
EXTRA: I was able to see my church family at Calvary Chapel Joplin. I gave the gospel tracts, “The Man of Salvation” to the prison ministry guy at CC Joplin, Ron Wright. Some will be given to the CC Joplin Saturday Evangelism team and potentially in the prison outreach after approval from the organization. He works with the organization, “Bill Glass Champions for Life”. Once they review the tract, Bill Glass may be potentially using “The Man of Salvation” So pray for this gospel tract to be used to the glory of God. It give scripture, why you need to be saved, repentance, and faith in Jesus. (all using the name of Jesus in an acrostic fashion) If you are interested in purchasing a pack of “The Man of Salvation” please contact Calvary Chapel Knoxville at 865-609-1385 (phone), (web) http://www.calvaryknoxville.org/ , (mail) 2864 Alcoa Hwy, Knoxville TN 37920, (email) firstname.lastname@example.org