Saturday, November 10, 2007

Church Parking Lot Sale

My daughter, Marissa (left), and our friend, Hannah (right) were, umm, shall we say, fools for Christ, today. :-) Needless to say, they attracted a lot of attention from passing motorists. Fortunately, there were no traffic collisions resulting from these two feathered billboards.

So, why would two otherwise lovely young ladies hide their intrinsic beauty behind the alter egos of Donald and Daisy Duck? Well, they were helping (quite effectively, I might add) to draw attention to our church's parking lot sale. The purpose of the sale was two-fold: 1) to raise money for our church's Needy Family Fund; and 2) to share the Law and the Gospel with members of our community who ventured into our parking lot.

The day began at 5:00 AM with set-up. By 7:00 AM we saw our first customer. Throughout the day, literally hundreds of people visited our parking lot sale. Every person that made a purchase received a hand-written receipt and a Avoid Identity Theft gospel tract. Hundreds of gospel tracts, CD's, books, and DVD's were given away, today.

I set up my open-air display, which afforded me the opportunity to take several people through various intelligence tests, as well as The Good Person Test. All of which, of course, led to gospel conversations.

My friend (and Ten-Four Advisory Board member), John Howard, rolled out the Ten-Four Cooking Trailer. We fed lunch to more than 100 people. The price: a donation of any size to the Needy Family Fund. The Lord truly blessed the event. Between the parking lot sale and lunch, we were able to raise about $2,400 for the Needy Family Fund.

Throughout the day, people asked questions about the church (service times, ministries, beliefs, etc). Not only was it a blessing to have so many community members visit the church, but it was also a great blessing to see so many of my church family members working so very hard, with such loving attitudes. It was truly a special day for my church family.

My friend, Mike, had an interesting conversation with a man and his son. Part of what made it so interesting was what the man said to Mike when he approached the open-air display. "My wife was here earlier and told me I should come over here and take the 'Good Test.'" Apparently, his wife was one of the ladies with whom I spoke earlier in the day!

My last conversation of the day was with a lady I saw looking at the evangelism materials I had set out on a table. I assured her that everything on the table was free. She picked up one of just about everything.

I asked her if she had any spiritual beliefs. "I think I'm a Christian." She said somewhat sheepishly.

"What does it mean to you to be a Christian?" I asked.

She thought for a moment. "Oh. That's difficult to say. Could you start with an easier question?"

"Okay. Would you consider yourself to be a good person?"

"I'm not sure."

"Are you familiar with the Ten Commandments?"

"A little."

I gently took her through the Law and helped her see that, by her own admission, she was a lying, thieving, blasphemous, murderer at heart. When I asked her if God would find her innocent or guilty of breaking His Law, if she were to die today and stand before Him, she said, "I would be guilty."

"Do you think you would go to heaven or hell?" I asked.


"Does that concern you?"

She nodded her head. Behind her lightly colored sunglasses, I could see tears in her eyes.

"Would you like to sit down and talk?"

"Yes, but I have to leave for work by 1:30." (I would say good-bye to her at 1:31.) :-)

"This won't take long; and I think it is important that we talk about this."

She agreed and followed me to two chairs, under the shade of a tree.

I took the lady through the courtroom analogy. When I explained to her that the person who came into the courtroom to pay her fine represented Jesus and what He did on the cross, her eyes once again welled with tears.

I explained to her that she must repent and receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. She said she understood. In addition to other materials, the lady held in her hand a copy of How To Live Forever Without Being Religious. I explained to her that the book contained the Gospel of John, which would be a great place for her to begin reading the Bible.

I saw Kathy, our pastor's wife, standing nearby. I called her over and introduced her to the lady. Together, we talked to the lady about our church's service time, as well as the women's Bible study that takes place every Wednesday night.

The lady seemed truly humbled by the Law and the Gospel. I hope she truly repents and received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. And I hope we see her again.

I am so thankful to my Lord and Savior for today. His presence was obvious throughout the day. The glitches in today's mission were few and minor. He allowed us to not only serve others and work well together, but also to share (through tracts and the words that proceeded from our mouths) the Law and the Gospel with many people.

All day long the fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ was wonderful. I believe the Lord, through this evangelism and outreach effort, drew members of my church family closer to one another.

The event was scheduled to end at 2:00 PM. When the time came, we announced to our visitors that everything was free. Moments later, a man entered the parking lot. He told us that he would soon travel to Mexico and was looking for children's clothing and stuffed animals. We still had both a plenty.

He will pick up BAGS of clothes and stuffed animals tomorrow morning. So, the Lord, in His sovereignty and grace, is going to allow our church family to bless children in Mexico. How cool is that! :-)

All the glory belongs to the Lord--the Sovereign God and Holy One, for it is He who was faithful, gracious, loving, and kind.


Tony Miano said...

The last lady I talked to yesterday came to church this morning with her son. And a lady who actually worked the event made a profession of faith in Christ, this morning.

God is so very good! :-)

Anonymous said...

I had a great time. I got to hang out with members of the church and sell alot of items. I made sure that visitors got a gospel tract before leaving the church parking lot. I am stunned what happened in church this morning. Praise God. Because He is Good, all the time. For God to sacrifice Himself on a cross for our sins is Amazing Grace.

Sincerely, fourbyfourblazer