1 Corinthians 3:7 – “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”
What a week we had this year during our annual crusade! We had three churches from Arkansas that came to help us in this labor of love: First Baptist Church of Branch, Victory Baptist Church in Backgate, and First Baptist Church of Paris. 594 people made confessions of faith in Christ Jesus to the Glory of God! Our Lord said, “Say not ye, ‘There are yet four months and then cometh the harvest’? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)
We lifted our eyes, and by the grace of God saw the ripeness of the fields. God gave us a great harvest. He was already moving ahead of us as we set up our film and sno-cone locations.
At one particular apartment complex there was a miscommunication between managers about whether or not we had received permission to be there. We were initially met with slight hostility by the Muslim property manager. However, after simply apologizing for the misunderstanding and explaining that we had come to share the love of Jesus, she seemed excited about what we were doing. In fact, she invited us to return for their back to school bash! Praise the Lord for tearing down walls and moving this lady’s heart to be open to our ministry.
One night, I met Cordell who said he just happened to be passing by when he heard someone say, If you’re 18 or older go see Luke.” He explained that when he heard those words he was curious about what we were doing. There were also three Latinos standing there who seemed to want counseling. I soon found out they didn’t speak English. I began to share the gospel with Cordell and then awkwardly attempt to translate into Spanish. My less than proficient translating required me to simply ask Jesus to take control. As I led Cordell in prayer, I could hear all three of these Latinos praying. With limited understanding it was still clear to me that they were lifting Cordell up before the Lord. They were praying he would receive Christ! It blessed my heart to see that God was not only in control, but also already at work in that area. He was answering the cries of His children to save this young man.
Another day, we went into a really rundown apartment complex whose buildings were riddled with bullet holes. The people there said no one ever came to help them. They told of church buses that would enter the gates, see the condition of the place, and leave without stopping. As our vehicles pulled up we were met by a young lady who seemed shocked to see us. She explained to one of our visiting pastors that the previous day she had watched the film War Room and decided she wanted to try making a prayer/war room for herself. She cleaned out her closet and began asking God to reveal Himself to her. She went to bed with that prayer in mind. The next morning she woke up and, after coming outside, the first thing she saw was the church buses stopping in front of her building! She knew that the Lord answered her prayer. Upon hearing the Gospel, she accepted Jesus as Lord!
Praise Him for allowing us to simply be a part of the work He is doing. God still moves and is saving people. Pray that we will be faithful to follow up and come alongside those who were sincere, and continue to water the seeds that were planted in the hearts of those who weren’t ready.
Thank you to all who prayed for us last week and to those who were able to go. Most of all, thank you Jesus for giving us this sweet Salvation and the privilege of sharing it with others!