I proclaim the Name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth & without injustice ...
Deuteronomy 32: 3,4
Dear Gospel Co-Laborers,
I've attached an update from a precious family who have been faithfully witnessing on Friday nights at the bar scene in Orlando. We believe that Jesus is doing a powerful work in & through these dear brothers & sisters. I have no doubt that the gospel seeds that are planted by their humble witness plows up the fallow ground of many sexually immoral, abortion-vulnerable hearts. Babies are saved when they preach & witness, either right then & there, or because the men & women are prepared to receive our holy plea when they arrive at the killing place.
I hope that if you plan to witness with us tomorrow morning that you are able to arrive early. The fields are white to harvest but the laborers are few, (& they like to sleep in.) Gina is keeping the dear little son of one of the mothers she has been faithfully loving for the past year. With the support of Gina, Giovanni's mommy placed her baby for adoption with a wonderful couple. Little Giovanni is staying overnight with Gina tonight : ) This means that Gina may not make it to the clinic so please pray that Jesus sends a Spanish-speaking Christian to us by 8:15 am.
I am very sorry that I have not been keeping you informed about our missionary times lately. One of the reasons that I have not been writing is because SO MUCH has been happening that I simply do not know where to begin (or end!) Christ has blessed us with an incredible array of divine appointments in the past several weeks. We were humbled to be used by our great God & Savior to help two Haitian couples; Denise & Pierre & Phoebe & Wally, turn from the sin of murder this past Tuesday & Wednesday. We have evidence that other couples left without killing their babies as well. Praise be to the Lord of All! Please pray that we are doing what we should to love & serve our glorious King & those who are perishing.
May I humbly ask that each of you seek the Lord to give you a heart that burns for Him & for this holy gospel mission? Will you please seek the fire of the Holy Spirit & ask for a renewed zeal & committment to be with us each & every week? I ask that you consider making it a priority to arrive earlier & that you have all of your ministry materials in your hand as soon as you get out of your car. Scott & I are convinced that if everyone was on time Christ would allow our ministy time to be even more fruitful. May I recommend that you follow a few simple steps that have really benefitted me over my 16 years of street witnessing?
1.Prepare & organize yourself the night before by doing the following:
b. Scripture reading to have a timely word to share with the aborting women & their companions (& don't forget the clinic workers)
c. Be sure that you have 5 Ministry packets in English & 2 in Spanish. Put them in the car the night before.
d. Get a good night's rest. (At least 8 hours.)
e. Pray & read the Word (even if it is only for 15 minutes) before you leave for the clinic.
A question for all of you. So many times lately there have been aborting women & men there already at 8:15am. I'd like to ask whether y'all think that we should make our arrival time at 8am instead of 8:15, in order to enjoy the most possible time to plead with the couples who are murdering the little ones? Even if everything was quiet on the battle front, we surely could use the time to gather ourselves & ask the Lord's blessing on our humble efforts for His glory. Are you willing to make the committment to arrive at 8am on our ministry days?
Man all battle-stations. Scott suggested that we put together a battle-station assignment sheet so that everyone would know where to go & what to do in all the ministry stations at Orlando Women's Center. I think that's a GREAT idea & we will be working on this in the week ahead. This is going to be a real benefit in getting everyone into position upon arrival so that we won't be doing any lolly-gagging, but rather redeem the time make use of every moment of missionary opportunities.
...the Lord appointed seventy others whom He sent ahead of Him in pairs
to every town and place He intended to visit.
He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
... and greet no man along the way.
The New American Bible study notes on the Master's admonition to "greet no man along the way" explains: Greet no one along the way: because of the urgency of the mission and the singlemindedness required of missionaries ... even customary greetings should not distract from the fulfillment of the task. The Geneva Study Bible notes: This is usual among the Hebrews when they command a thing to be done speedily without delay, as is found in 2Ki 4:29; for in any other case courteous and gentle salutations are matters of Christian duty. Wesley notes: these had so much work to do in so short a space, that they had not a moment to spare. Now listen to our dear brother Matthew Henry's in excerpts from his commentary on this Great Commission verse:
They must not encumber themselves ...but depend upon God and their friends to provide what was convenient for them: " ...(as before to the twelve, ch. 9:3); and salute no man by the way." This command Elisha gave to his servant, when he sent him to see the Shunamite's dead child, 2 Ki. 4:29. Not that Christ would have his ministers to be rude, morose, and unmannerly; but,
(1.) They must go as men in haste, that had their particular places assigned them, where they must deliver their message, and in their way directly to those places must not hinder or retard themselves with needless ceremonies or compliments.
(2.) They must go as men of business, business that relates to another world, which they must be intent in, and intent upon, and therefore must not entangle themselves with conversation about secular affairs. Minister verbi est; hoc age-You are a minister of the word; attend to your office.
(3.) They must go as serious men, and men in sorrow. It was the custom of mourners, during the first seven days of their mourning, not to salute any, Job 2:13. Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and it was fit that by this and other signs his messengers should resemble him, and likewise show themselves affected with the calamities of mankind which they came to relieve, and touched with a feeling of them.
In light of the wise advice & admonition of our all-wise Savior as He sends us, His disciples, out to street preach, let us seek to be single-minded & avoid unnecessary chatting and get right to our holy ground spots & make all haste to settle in to the task at hand, that of seeking & saving the lost! If you do not have ministry materials at home, you will find them in our ministry basket. But, be encouraged to ask me for your own stash of minisry materials so that you are not scurrying to try & find what you need after you have arrived at the clinic sidewalk. (Sometimes I am already involved in witnessing to someone & have not been able to even get my basket out of my car, which might be locked!) With your ministry materials in hand & a song of glad-hearted trust for Christ in your heart, get right to an open spot & boldly greet & engage all of the lost as soon a you arrive. Because when our Lord Jesus commanded us: 'Follow Me & I will make you fishers of men' ...
It is not 'Follow Me, because of what you are already.'
It is not 'Follow Me, because you may make something of yourselves;'
but 'Follow Me, because of what I will make of you.'
~ Charles Spurgeon
Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte & Scott Smith
He who lets another sin & holds his peace is a manslayer.
~ Thomas Watson
Date: September 12, 2008 10:08:46 AM EDT
Subject: Planting seeds - downtown Orlando
Hello fellow laborers and servants of Jesus Christ,
Another week of work, prayer, and other big events in our coutry. Our country is in such need of revival or even a reformation? Thank you for praying for God to help us, Americans, again start relearning to walk in and embrace the fear of the Lord.
This past weekend we went to the streets of downtown again! Everywhere we go, we see there are many lost, wandering, rebellious, sheep in this country, needing a shepherd, or even a seed-planter. Thank you for your prayers! God blessed it with great conversations, and fellowship with local soul-winners. We were grateful to have 4 brothers from Tampa join us, as well as Deanna and her friend, Stephanie. There were plenty of neat stories, and seeds planted. One day, we will get to hear the rest of the stories, and that will be exciting to hear what God did with a faithfully planted seed. Below, Madre (Barbara) shares some of the stories, and people to pray for.
(Update from Barbara)
This week was very interesting with all the special people who joined us. We encouraged each other with stories and talked ideas about how to do more difficult places to evangelize as we ate at Chic-Fil-A together - what a time of fellowship! Then we went to the top floor of the parking garage to pray. Oh to be able to remember those prayers - each one giving their petitions to God about this very hardened are of Orlando. Then we hit the streets to go share with whomever God opened the door for. Several of us stayed at our home corner to street preach, and others of us went out to pass out tracts and share one to one. Steven, Ristela, and I (Barbara) went walking and talked wtih several people. We saw Dina and in our hearts cried because she seems to have decided for now to be part of the bar world because she doesn't see how she could earn a living and support her 3 children by herself. But it did encourage us that she was so glad to see us and how she points out the fact that she looks for us each week. She said, "I saw your husband over there on the corner, so I wondered if your whole family was here. "Some of the group from Ybor City talked with her early in the night, which is so exciting to hear, but she needs to decide to turn to God. Please keep praying for her.
We got to talk to Rich, a homeless man, and he has heard about God, but really didn't think that he had sinned. (He hasn't really stolen, or lied or...) So I asked him when he stands before God one day what will he tell Him as to why he should get into Heaven. He said, Well, I haven't been a really bad person, and I've tried to help others and so on... I told him that all of us will face God one day either to be accepted into Heaven and give an account for the way we live and served God or to be judged for our sins (The things we have done wrong) and then sent to live eternally in hell away from God. I told Him that God will judge us by the 10 commandments, and if we all really look at those commandments, we would see that we all have broken them. God even says in the Bible that all have sinned and come short of God's glory. That is why jesus came to die not for anything He did wrong but to pay for our sins. He said, Well, I believe in Jesus. I said, Well the devil also believes in jesus, but do you think he will be in Heaven one day.
He said no! I said why not? He said "I don't know" I told him Satan was created by God as a perfect being, but Satan decided in pride "I can be like God', and he turned from following God to wanting to be god himself. Each of us gets to make that decision also either to follow God and repent and actually turn from our sin and ask God to forgive us or choose to keep getting drunk or lie or whatever other sins we want to do and then one day pay for those sins ourself, because we chose not to follow God. He said Well I'd like to think about what you said, so I gave him a few extra tracts to read and told him to keep reading his Bible. I told him he needs to choose Jesus to pay for his sins and get involved in a church to be in fellowship with others so he can have believers to encourage and challenge him.
Then John, Ristela and I tried to pass out tracts to the firefighters, but most of them were not interested. One told me if I donate to 'Jerry's Kids', then he'd take a tract and even go to the website and get the book and read it (Mark Cahill's 'One Heartbeat Away'). So I gave a dollar donation and he took the tract. John dropped a 'Million Dollar Bill' tract in one of the boots, which caught their interest too. Please pray for our police and firemen; they are constantly bombarded with sinful situations and also harsh, rebellious people, so they too get weary and even give into those things and choose to live badly. They try to protect other people and in the process are treated badly, and can't see God in all that.
>>>Just wanted to say thank you for all of the wives that stay at home and care for the little ones and pray for us as we go out. We chatted with Bobby from YWAM and his wife is expecting their third child and has been really sick and wanted to come down but couldn't. Thank you every one of you so much for praying for all of us as we go into the battle zone and God sees your hearts and He has special blessings for you, for watching the home front while your husbands are out spreading the gospel. And I have found through the years, as I've gotten older, that I get to be a mom figure in a lot of places I go weekly. I chat with cashiers about their lives and get to weave the gospel into the talk and give them a tract and tell them to visit the website www.WayoftheMaster.com and some even want to hear about where we went soul-winning.
A funny story; I've been slowly chatting wtih Alma, a cashier at Publix the past weeks (she's Catholic), and Vicinte, a new bagger was helping us, and he is a Christian, I've chatted with him a few weeks. Well, I was telling Vicinte that we were going downtown Orlando Friday night with a group from Ybor City. Alma was very surprised and said, "What are you going downtown Orlando today for? Are you going to sing?" I said, "No, we're going downtown to pass out Gospel tracts and street preach." She was so relieved and said, "Oh, well that souds like fun; you have a great time with the group from Ybor City."
It's so funny how people watch each of us and when they hear that we might be going a direction which does not match up with what they throught about us, how they want to warn us and talk us out of it. It's fun to get into people's worlds and even treat them like family. What a way to plant seeds of the gospel and how much God loves each of them.
We are expecting to be on the streets of downtown Orlando tonight.
Thank you to each of you for your prayers. Keep planting seeds.
Fellow laborers in His harvest,
David, Barbara, Steven, and Paul