Saturday, June 2, 2012

Indy 500 Outreach

 Well the purpose of our trip, was to head out to the Indy 500 and share the Gospel through custom tracts, one to one conversations and open air when possible.  We left Friday morning the 25th, the crew who went was mostly from West Hill Baptist Church in Wooster where the Evangelist team, The Lord's Kerux, meets and equips Believers to boldly share their faith, except for me who drove down to go with them and another, Tim, who took a Greyhound from PA to meet up with us and share in Evangelism.

Our plan was to hit Broad Ripple that evening from the time that we arrived, however our plans were changed and we stopped at the place where we were going to be staying at first, which was at the GMAU (Gospel Martial Arts Union) Headquarters.  This was a huge blessing and orchestrated with Barry, a new friend that Jeff had made, as our stay was no charge and accommodated all of our needs.   With Broad Ripple behind us we decided to head down to Monument Circle as there was some festivities going on down there and we were going to test out a new battery powered amp for open airs.  So we traveled out there and quickly got setup, most of us split up and started engaging the crowds through one to ones or through tract dispersals.  The rest of us stayed behind and a few of us got to use the the new Battery powered Speaker setup.  Roy and I got to go first, Roy gathered a crowd with some questions and money for correct answers once we had them we offered a final question for a participant who felt that they were a good person.  In stepped Isaac, he was a teenager, he climbed up on our step stool and went through the Good Person test and heard the Gospel presented as did many folks within earshot of the mic.  Isaac was a great participant and we later learned that he was there with a youth group and was real encouraging to me and the team about what we were doing and to him and others from his youth group as they wanted to be out sharing their faith too.  Several conversations came after the open air which was a huge blessing as you never know truly who hears and or might respond.  The first that I saw and experienced was Dennis, Dennis approached me asking if I knew where the library was, being from out of town I told him no and that I was not from around here.  He then went on to say that he really liked what he had heard and also appreciated us being out there telling folks about Christ.  Dennis was just released from Prison that day on some domestic charges and spent 2 months in jail.  While he was in jail he was able to get a Bible and start reading and trying to get his life back on track.  He had many questions, some more specific than others but they kept coming back to the issue of sin and looking for understanding and clarification around what the Bible says.  He then told me that his wife was a JW and didn't know how to respond or what to say to her.  I thought immediately to a recent study that I did where I prepped myself for the next time they come knocking on my door and grabbed my Bible where all my notes where put in regards to what they believe and how to refute Biblically.  I snapped a picture of that and emailed Dennis.  He was very happy and then we looked on my phone and found the library for Dennis.  Dennis was challenged and convicted and my prayer is that he truly repents and puts his faith and trust in the only God who saves.  Many other conversations and tracts were handed out that evening and Melissa, who came down with us from Wooster got a turn at an Open Air.  The evening was busy with people and festivities, there was a band who was across the street from our setup and seemed to always play their music louder when we started preaching.  We wrapped up after another hour or so of engaging folks in conversations and providing folks with the curved illusion tracts and whatever other tracts we had with us to distribute.  Then it was off to bed.

Saturday morning came and was a little more laid back for us as we prepared for the parade that would march through downtown Indianapolis, this parade was supposed to have around 300,000 people in attendance.  This parade was the largest that I have been a part of or witnessed in person.  We met Barry and another gentleman Mike at a Church that was before where the parade would start, they brought some folks with them and we all discussed our game plan and how we were going to setup and where we were going to be and distribute tracts, once we were ready we prayed and off we dispersed to our appointed areas and there we started part 1 of our major tract dispersal,  The tracts were great and custom created for the Indy 500 so people were very happy to get one.  The parade was extremely busy and full of people, we managed to hand out a ton of tracts, get some open air preaching in throughout the different areas as we made our way through.  We wrapped up around 1 and then decided to head into the mall to get some much needed A/C, water and lunch, this weekend ended up being a record breaking heat weekend.  While we were in the mall we passed some tracts and had some fun with the 10 commandment coins rolling them out from under the table into an area we could see folks pick them up or in some cases see kids fight over who got it.  One of us got to go up the 4th floor escalator and flutter down a few million dollar bill tracts, one which practically landed in someones face coming up the below escalator, it was like money from the sky, it was great!  After we rested up and fed ourselves we headed back to Monument Circle where we had many conversations and dispersal of tracts.  The area was getting busier and busier as there was a event called GumBall 3000 which happened to have a stop at the Circle from its race from New York to Los Angeles.  There was around 120 different race cars that slowly came in and allowed crowds to grow and become recipients of tracts and conversations.  Jeff, Mitch and others were able to spend a decent amount of time in a one on one with a man who was very receptive to the Gospel.  Jim and I went off and handed many tracts and had conversations, one which really stood out was with a 16 year old boy named Jack, he started out telling us he was an atheist and quickly more represented a agnostic.  As we shared our faith with him he was open and asked some great questions, we took him through the Law and shared the Gospel with him and answered all of his questions, he said he has some Christian friends and this sounded very familiar from things they had said or how they lived which was different than other 16 year olds like himself.  We left him with a New Testament, A Biggest Question DVD and a tract bookmark that helps explain where to go and find the scripture that we discussed.  He seemed very genuine and I pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to him and that he might come to know Him.  We met some street performers who were contortionist painted up silver, singers and had chances to speak with many folks that were there and converging on that area.
Towards the end of the evening we had some folks who were done for the day and needing rest from the heat and knowing we would be getting up really early to get to the Race Track first thing Sunday morning.  The rest of us met up with another Evangelist, George, who was at Georgetown street evangelizing with folks.  This place was jam packed with people every turn we took, these folks were a lot more rowdy and full of alcohol vs. anyone that we came across so far, this was a huge party scene.  We quickly got into conversations and started passing tracts to everyone we came in contact with.  Tim who was with us from PA, positioned himself on a street corner and preached to everyone within earshot and to the crowds that kept coming and going from one side of the street to another.  Others of us setup on other street corners to catch the crowds as they passed by from one place to another, others setup on a wooden bridge which became a great conversation piece as it had a good sized hole in the floor that folks could had stepped in and possibly got hurt.  It started out with Jeff warning someone there was a hole there right after they rejected his tract and were saying some not so nice things to him over their shoulder not looking where they were going (heading for the hole!) and Jeff was able to yell watch out for the hole!  which once the guy realized Jeff saved his foot and ankle he yelled back thanks and sorry I didn't take what you war giving.  Melissa and George were able to get into some great conversations and discussions with folks and share the Gospel.  Many heard and received tracts that evening, we wrapped up around 9:45 and headed to get dinner and some rest before Sunday morning arrived.

Sunday we met up with Mike and other brothers and sisters at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for part 2, the largest part of our weekend in passing thousands of tracts and those thousands, man did they go fast!  The event was supposed to have 500,000 people attend, I don't know what the final attendance was but thats a lot of people!  We stationed ourselves at all the major intersections where folks were walking from wherever they might have parked at.  They had to in some cases cross the street other cases they walked on the same side.  Either way we had them covered.  There were not as many conversations this time around, but people sure took tracts especially our custom tracts.  As people huddled up at the corner waiting for the Policeman to allow them to cross, that was my queue to get in and quickly distribute sometimes 15-30 tracts at a time, and most people gladly took it, I quickly stated, "welcome to the race, here you go, everyone gets one of these, here you go, etc. and etc. all down the line of everyone lined up waiting.  Of course some folks didn't take them or threw them on the ground (in most cases those would get recycled and redistributed)  Some folks quickly flipped it over and realized that it was "religious" some folks who were Christians were great and provided encouragement by thanking us or telling us great job and to keep up the work that was being done.  Those little moments as all of us discussed later that day were HUGE for each one of us as we received that encouragement from a brother or sister in Christ out on the mission field.  In many cases it helped us to keep going and remember the importance of getting these tracts in peoples hands.  We delivered thousands of tracts Sunday and even more collectively over the weekend.  While some of us exchanged emails with some folks that we had conversations with and have already heard back from some, others are in Gods hands.  Remember God's Word will not return void or empty, but it will accomplish its purpose.

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11

Thank you for taking the time to read about just these few stories that were shared, there were so many more that occurred there from others that just wouldn't have fit here.  Thank you to each and everyone of you who heard of this outreach and took time to lift up those hearing and receiving the Gospel and for us out in the field, your prayers were an encouragement and a blessing!  We prayed and will continue praying for all those who received tracts and those who heard the Gospel that they might come to repentance and faith in Christ.  This event was a huge and purposeful it rallied together folks from at least 3 different states to come together with 1 purpose, share the Gospel to a lost and dying world.  Many friendships were strengthened, some introduced and established but a sweet union together and fellowship all weekend long laboring aside one another.  I encourage you to consider attending the next outreach you have an opportunity to attend as the laborers are few and could always use another brother and or sister in Christ working together towards the Great Commission.  

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Luke 10:2

There is no better experience than to be an instrument of the Lord and to be used for His Kingdom.  Will you consider the Great Commission and how God can use you?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.  Mark 16:15

1 comment:

  1. Great job getting the Word out! Thanks for taking the time to write and tell us about your awesome experience. I'll continue to pray for all who received tracts and heard the message.