Last Sunday Dean went crosswalking through the Butner-Creedmoor area. This past Friday he took the day off work and went back to Downtown Durham, South Square and Southpoint areas and also Chapel Hill. Then on Saturday he went to Oxford and Henderson.
This is the most effective and powerful ministry tool yet because people are so interested in what he's doing and will stop and listen to what he has to say. It's one thing for us to bring free stuff to people....of course they hang around and chat. But it's a whole different story for people to approach you and become genuinely engaged in conversation about the gospel. It's just amazing!
These were the first people we came into contact with in Henderson.
I met Pastor Lashun Mitchell and his children (pictured above) in Oxford. He said he had been hearing about me at work for about 2 weeks and had said that he would like to meet me. And then we ran into each other on Saturday. He said that he would like to go crosswalking with me sometime soon. He is currently pastoring a church in Chapel Hill but has just recently moved to Oxford and is looking for a building here. Hopefully when he finds a local place I will go and speak to the congregation.
This is the manager and a couple of wait staff at Golden Corral in Henderson. Before we left I got to pray with our waitress.
Across the street from the Golden Corral in Henderson is a car dealership. A group of about 10 people gathered around to see what I was doing. Of course I explained it to them, and when they wanted pictures, I took the opportunity to share the gospel with all of them. One of the people in the group was a car salesman. After seeing me and hearing about what I was doing, he tried to pull out his wallet and offer money to me. However I explained to him that I would not take the money because my job was not to come out and collect money from people....it's to come out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ!
I was also at a Food Lion parking lot in Henderson and I was sitting on a bench and sharing with 3 or 4 of the employees when a few other people came up. I was able to share my personal testimony and also the vision that God had given me about doing this type of ministry.
Everywhere I go people are in shock and awe....they're amazed to see someone doing something like this. Some people are a little hesitant at first, and that's understandable. But once they realize that I'm out only to share the gospel they are usually joyful and excited and encouraging.
I also get a lot of people that follow me.....whether it be following me on their moped, or walking behind me for a while, or seeing me pass them by and following me in their car until I stop and they get a chance to ask what I'm up to. One particular person was a man on a moped who followed me for a bit and took some pictures. When I got the chance to talk to him, it was encouraging because he was currently heading up a Celebrate Recovery program in his area....a Christ-based addictions recovery program, kind of like AA, but all based on freedom from hurts, habits and hangups through Jesus Christ.
A man approached me in the Roses parking lot in Oxford. He asked if he could get a picture and I asked him how his relationship with Jesus was. He pulled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal a tattoo of Jesus' face on his upper arm. I said "Yeah but is he in your heart?" And he said that he was....that he had been there a long time.
Now I don't know the true condition of this man's relationship with the Lord, but I do know that this brings up a great point for professing Christians today. Lots of us have Him on our shirts....around our necks....even permanently tattooed on our body somewhere. But none of that is what makes us a Christian. If we're going to wear Him as body art, or proudly display His name on our bumper stickers, then we need to make sure we have embraced His claim on our life.
Jesus Himself says in Luke 6:46 - “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"
And in speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 (people claiming to be the representatives of God), Jesus says - "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."
THIS is why we need to rely on His Spirit daily....because in ourselves we don't have the power. His sacrifice and His righteousness is what provides the means and access.
In Butner as I walked down a side street, about 8 or 9 people came out to the road to greet me and starting shouting in amazement "Jesus is walking down the street....It's Jesus!" Now let me make something abundantly clear here to everyone that may be reading......I do NOT think, nor do I profess to people, that I'm the real Jesus. I don't want people to think I've lost my bearings. I'm just obeying what God has told me to do. I am just a common man saved by an uncommon, mighty, amazing, merciful God!
At one point while in Butner I came to a park and sat down under a large shelter because it was very hot out. I sat there with my eyes closed and prayed. As I was praying, I could hear footsteps coming up behind me. A man came up and said "That's a mighty big message you are carrying there. What are you doing it for?" I told him that I'm a street minister and that I use this to get people's attention so that I can preach the gospel to them. Then he asked me if I needed any help. I asked him what he meant by that, and he said that if I needed him to drive me anywhere he would load up the cross on his truck and take me wherever I needed to go. I declined the offer but thanked him for his kindness. He then went back to his truck and got some bottled water for me. Afterwards I got back to business....not too far away at a laundromat parking lot. I could hear people giggling behind me, so I turned around to find four teenagers looking and talking amongst themselves. They asked if they could get a picture, and of course you know I never pass up a picture because that opens the door for God's Word to be preached. Cars then began to pull up left and right until I had a crowd of fourteen or fifteen around me. What do you think happened next? I talked to them about Jesus! What greater message is there but Jesus and what He's done for us. Afterwards many thanked me and hugged me, and some have even friend requested me on Facebook so they can follow the ministry.
Let me give you another statement from the mouth of Jesus....out of the book of Luke. "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
We hear this and know this, but isn't it amazing when it actually happens for someone? I decided to go near I-85 exit where it is the busiest. I walked along the main road and into the Butner Food Lion shopping center parking lot. I walked by every shop with the cross in hand. As I got to the end of the strip mall a car pulls up beside me. The girl asked if I could pray for her. I said yes and told her to park and come over. The young lady comes up with her mother and her daughter and begins to tell me her story. She said that she didn't go to church, but today she had decided to go. The pastor had been talking about Jesus and she prayed that if Jesus was real, would He please reveal Himself to her.
This is a familiar position to take, because sometimes it's hard for us to believe in something that we can't see or feel. We ask God to reveal Himself....to just prove Himself to us. Imagine this girl's surprise when the very one she wanted to be revealed to her was standing right in front of her face in a tangible form just hours after she had asked.
I told her that today was her day and that God was going to transform her life. Right there in the parking lot this young girl and her mother made a confession of faith and vowed to start living their lives for the Lord. I explained some things in the gospel and then we prayed. I gave them my card and told them to stay in touch with so me that I could continue to help them and support them on their journey.
I always try and get people's contact information or give mine to them. I want to be able to follow up with them, help them out, disciple and counsel them in any way that's needed. I have made lots of new Facebook friends in the process, and I look forward to the many more I will make in the future.
Below are some additional photos that have been taken during the crosswalks.
This is the man in the last blog post that approached me in the KFC parking lot and prayed The Lords Prayer over me.
Through all of this I have thought about how awesome these days have been....how God has moved....how He is blessing and transforming lives. I can't help but get emotional about how good our Savior is and how when we were sinners Christ died for us. He showed His love for us even when we didn't give Him a second thought.
When you realize the magnitude of His love for you, you can't help but desire it for others.
Until next time....
Living Radically For Christ,