Thursday, July 13, 2006
Over the 3-day period, 10 storytellers from Living Hope Bible Church and 2 volunteers from other parts of Wisconsin had the privilege of being God’s ambassadors to the Wisconsin farm community and others who came to sample farm life.
What a thrill to tell the greatest news in all the world and to see God take that and change lives. And it was exciting to see new believers going out to re-tell the good news to their friends and family. Some people came back to get replacement sticks because they had told the story and had given theirs away. In all, we gave out about a thousand walking sticks and owner’s manuals...a thousand re-tellings of the “story”. God is still building His church, and it’s fun to be just His hammers and nails as He does it. Thank you, Lord!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
We woke up today to damp and fog, but that soon burned off, and the sun shone for the rest of the day at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Muddy streets were a challenge at first, but it wasn’t long before they were packed down and people were on the move. We saw God direct a pretty steady stream of visitors to the multi-colored Fellowship of Christian Farmers tent as they came looking for walking sticks. What a privilege and what fun to be able to give, not only a free walking stick, but the news of something really free—salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Heaven reached out and grabbed hearts, and we had the privilege of seeing people walk into the tent as lost sinners and back out as born-again children of God. Wow! God sure is good.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
After months of preparation and prayer, the Gospel Walking Sticks began to walk! Today was day one of the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days near Gibbsville—the day we’ve been waiting for. The tent was in place, chairs were set up, sticks put out. There we were, placed between the grain dryers and the farm equipment, just where God put us, just the kind of place where Jesus would have gone to meet people. He went where the people went, and today we were privileged to go there, too, and to take Him with us.
Volunteers and staff from the Fellowship of Christian Farmers met for prayer and final instructions, and we were ready for whoever the Lord brought our way. Although the morning began a bit slowly as people began to enter Tent City, traffic picked up by about mid-morning, and the chairs began to fill up.
Soon people were asking, “Where are the walking sticks?” Clusters of adults and children of all ages had an opportunity to hear the story of the beads...the story of God’s love for them and His desire for them to know Him. What a powerful message told through five simple colors—easy enough for a child to comprehend. Many people took sticks with them and a number of people chose to trust Christ for the most important transaction of their lives. Jesus went to the cross to pay for our salvation and to make heaven available for those who simply believed in Him. What an unequal trade—our sin for His righteousness!
I Peter 1:18a Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.”
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
As part of the annual Independence Day celebration, the Village of Oostburg and local businesses sponsor a festival of food, games and family-oriented programming at the village park on the 4th of July. For the last four years, Living Hope Bible Church has worked with two other Oostburg churches, the First Reformed Church and the Christian Reformed Church, to provide a family fun tent that day to reach out to local children and their families. We offer free balloons, games, crafts, and face painting as we tell the story of real independence through God’s marvelous free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. This year, children were able to make beaded Gospel bracelets and patriotic necklaces, and we used the colors and story of the Wordless Book as we painted faces and polished fingernails. As we talked with children and parents, we also gave away free copies of the Bible, coloring books, pencils, “Jesus” videos, and other literature. What a privilege to live in a free country and be free from the bondage of political tyranny...What a greater privilege to trust Christ and to be free from the bondage and curse of sin.
Come with us next week as we "Take Jesus to the Farm". Visit us at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Gibbsville, July 11-13, as we work with the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, and ask for your free Gospel Walking Stick.