This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Posts tagged ‘outreach’

Numbers Matter at the Porn Show and in Pakistan

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog called followers-are-not-fruit. Numbers do not necessarily indicate success. We so often get that confused. That being said, I would not liken that to numbers being unimportant. They are important because every number represents a person and people are VERY, VERY important.

It’s been 5 years now that I have lead a team for outreaches at the porn show in Vancouver. Each year we set up a booth, talk to entertainers and patrons, and hand out thousands of Bibles. It’s not just the numbers of Bibles that we hand out that is impressive – it’s the fact that a high percentage of people we give them to have conversations with us, and year after year many come back to talk with us more and tell us that they have read or are reading the Bibles. I am sure many end up in the garbage, but I am also just as sure many don’t, and lives are being changed as a result.

I recently reconnected with a pastor from my childhood. He was the pastor of a dear friend of mine that has gone home to be with Jesus. He has been telling me about his missions work in Pakistan. It’s not a place I have ever felt called to go but I love to hear about God working in and through others in their unique callings.

There were three things that really got my attention from his stories. The first was that there was a festival and some Christians had set up a booth to hand out Bibles – sound familiar? Some members of the team however were beaten by people who didn’t like what they were doing and then the police arrested those team members, thinking they were causing trouble. After some incredible time at the police station that emulates the story of Paul and Silas, the police escorted them back and assisted them by providing protection while they handed out their Bibles.

I am so grateful that our team has never been threated, let alone the victims of physical violence while handing out Bibles. Also the amazing story they have of then receiving police protection is so encouraging.

The second thing about his stories was the actual numbers. At our church’s last Easter service we had baptisms for 5 people (one being my daughter, proud mama here). Those 5 are extremely exciting! The area where the pastors have been ministering takes 8 hours to get to by bus and they were going to make another trip there once 100 people were ready to be baptised. I’m not sure how long that would be but I will say it would be less time than if we waited for 100 people here in Canada. Again the number itself isn’t important but the fact that each number represents a life is! 5 is exciting – so is 100!

Through their missional efforts they reached 400 hundred families – not just people, but families. This leads me to the final thing that impacted me; they only had 200 Bibles to give and so 200 Bibles were given to 200 families and 200 families who want a Bible are without. It’s hard to imagine as I look at the 7 on the shelf in front of me now, what life would be like to want a Bible and not have one.

Just as I have asked people to help us pay for the Bibles we give out in Vancouver, I also implore you to support this team and help them give out Bibles in Pakistan. You can learn more about what they do and donate here at: Bibles for Bahawalpur.

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Five Bucks

I have a friend named Dave Dalley. He has given my kids and I the opportunity to get to know people of other faiths and also talk about what they believe and why. He often spearheads some really cool projects to bring people together and/or help people.

The latest initiative is that they had donors give $5 bills that they put in envelopes and left around the city. They then left a message with the money asking whoever found it to spend the money according to their values and beliefs. They also asked for the founder to write them back and tell them how they spent it.

The first founder wrote back today and here is what they said, “I went to the library to pick up a book on self compassion! 

I was delighted to find the 5 dollars and I will be holdin on to it for a little while just so I can appreciate it that much more!

Once I am ready to spend it it will either go towards a yoga class or a nice cup of tea at a coffee shop! Thank you!”

It’s amazing how small things can make such a big impact. It was, after all $5. It’s not like we paid her bills or cleaned her house. What’s important is the thought behind it. Someone was thinking of you, even though they didn’t know you, and did something about it. Thought seriously counts!

Is everyone who gets the $5 going to be as impacted, probably not – but does it matter? What matters is that the effort was made and chances are high that when you do something like this people are impacted, even if you never know about it.

Christians should be front of the line in these kinds of things. Showing kindness and loving others is what Jesus modeled for us. I just see people get so busy with all their churchy activities they miss opportunities right in front of them. Alternatively people give their tithes to the church and expect the church to do something with it. They give themselves a pat on the back that they did their part, but hold on: if you claim to have Jesus as your Savior then YOU ARE THE CHURCH.

You don’t get to hand things over to leaders in the church and let them take over. I don’t see Jesus saying, “ok God you do it all and I’ll just give you a cut of what I have, then I can go and enjoy the church social with all my friends.”

Sometimes we get intimidated because we see these leaders who are running massive organizations of outreach and think, “I could never do that.” Well that’s totally fine. Your probably not supposed to do that.

Even if you were, it would still have to start with $5.

 

 

Into the Furnace

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You remember those guys right? They got thrown into a fiery furnace. I lead 9 other people to the sex show in Vancouver for the fourth year to hand out Bibles and tell people that Jesus loved them.

Here’s what I know:

The furnace boys were not alone. Jesus was with them.

The furnace boys had an impact in their world without mega phones and preaching.

The furnace boys were not harmed in anyway and didn’t even smell like smoke.

The furnace boys lives were changed.

This weekend…so were we. All the glory to God.