I am not even sure how to begin this first post from Florida. Many of you have been following the Facebook posts from the training in Dallas and some of my first few days of my 30 Days in the Harvest. I can say that it has been an eye opening experience so far. The team I work with are great. They each have a heart for those far from God and share the gospel with boldness. They also have a heart for training others, whether it is individuals or churches in how to engage their community for Christ by training in how to share the gospel and in planting churches.
By being in the harvest each day for hours, I have encountered so many different ethnic groups. The area where I live is made up of Anglo, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Cuban, Haitian, and Eastern European. There are mosques, Hindu temples, Jewish temples and other religious groups represented right in my area. I was able to make my first visit to a mosque this week and talk with the Imam. These are cultural exchanges and interactions that I have not had in the past.
Each day during this 30 Days in the Harvest, I go out into the harvest with one of the other e3 team members. They come down to my area which is about 50 minutes from where they are located and help me sow in my field. This initial time in the harvest helps me to identify with the brokenness in my area and to sow in my oikos. I am not bonding initially with the other churches I will work with or the other e3 team members because the harvest is what I need to bond with. This will help keep me harvest minded. The team members have taught me so much about boldness in the sharing and the urgency to get the message out. We have engaged the harvest in a variety of ways. We have prayer walked my neighborhoods. We have started gospel conversations using the 15-second testimony and 3 Circles Gospel Tool. We have knocked on doors offering prayer and the gospel. All these strategies have led to discussions with Muslims, Hindus, Jehovah Witnesses, a Voodoo practitioner, Atheists, other Christians and those who are skeptical or curious. We have had red lights, yellow lights, and green lights. We have had some accept the gospel. We have had baptisms and even held church at the home of some newly baptized believers from this past week. God is at work.
Is it all an easy process….NO. Like many people, I struggle with engaging in gospel conversations in the transition process. I am constantly praying that God would make me bolder in initiating the conversation. I have a tendency of shying away or letting my mind convince me that the person is not interested or that it will be an imposition. My brothers and sisters in e3 are helping me in this area by modeling for me that it is God who goes before us. We just have to be faithful in the sharing. If we begin to think it is something of ourselves and our eloquence then it will probably fail.
One of the big blessings this week has been the 3 who were baptized. My next door neighbor and 2 of his friends were baptized this week. God put together open hearts to hear the gospel and respond this week. We met yesterday as a church together and opened God’s Word and set goals for obediently sharing the gospel this week. We believe that obedience to sharing the gospel is of utmost importance. We have goals for obeying the commands of Christ, abiding in His Word and in Prayer, Training others in being Ambassadors of Christ and in Sharing our faith.
I have some follow-ups this week with some people that I have met that were yellow lights which means they are open to the discussion. I also have a couple of Haitians that I am meeting with this week that are perhaps People of Peace which means they are open to the messenger, message and mission of making disciples. I will take them through the 4.1.1 training and pray that they will join us in reaching the large Haitian population here.
- Boldness in the sharing of the gospel. Broadcasting the seed.
- Strength for those who have newly received Christ and taken baptism.
- People of Peace and Houses of Peace
- Obedience to God’s Word.
- Healthy churches.