July Recap (2017)

The month of July was a bit hit and miss for the PIE team. Due to circumstances beyond our control and a personal vacation we only met 2 of the 4 Friday’s available. Nevertheless we were able to share the Gospel with quite a few people during those two Friday’s. The harvest is truly plentiful. The Lord only asks us to go into His harvest field to share with our fellow humans.

Here is a list of the names of all of the people who we spoke with on those two Friday’s in July.

Marcello, Christian, Gabriella, Rick, Kris, Cassidy, Juan, Charles, Edith, Manny, Cesar, Jaime, Jesus, Estephanie, Ruby, Roger, Anthony, Perla, Steven, and Enrique.

In addition to those names there are numerous people who spoke with Frank, Judy, and Sue. I don’t have their names on hand, but God knows each and every person who they spoke with during those two Friday’s.

It’s always interesting when you talk with someone and let them explain their worldview to you. Many times the people who are sharing with us seem to be making it up on the spot. That hits the nail on the head for the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is the creation of a “god” in the image of that person. They create a god in their mind who is okay with most (if not all) of what they are doing and may or may not be concerned about what other people are doing. In olden times they would carve a statue, be it made of stone or wood. Today we are much more clever. We turn God into a cosmic genie or a benevolent Santa Clause type figure who is waiting to shower us with His gifts and goodness.

I don’t mean to sound rude or arrogant about the beliefs of other people. That’s not my purpose. I myself have held to many wrong ideas and beliefs during my life. In my early 20s I had the “I’m saved – I’m good for eternity” mentality mixed with the worldly, relativistic thought pattern that people could believe whatever they wanted. I knew I needed Jesus. I wasn’t 100 percent sure why everyone else needed Jesus. Thankfully God changed my thinking and made the Scriptures clear to me through great teaching. So when I hear a guy like Marcello say that he is a good person and that God won’t send him to hell because “a loving God would never do that”, I empathize because I too once thought incorrect things about God. I shared the truth of the Scriptures with Marcello though and hope that God will do a miracle in his heart and mind.

Christian, Gabriella, Kris, and Cassidy came from a Catholic background. While Stan was sharing with them he shared his experiences growing up in the Catholic church. He made sure to emphasize to them that a religious system alone can’t save you. Only Jesus Christ can save. He told them that they needed to personally receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Their grandparents, parents, and church affiliation couldn’t do it for them. Stan has a great way of letting people know that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” while he speaks with them.

Please join me in praying for all of the people, named and unnamed, who heard or read the Gospel in the month of July as a result of the outreach of the PIE team. Pray for repentance, faith, and truth to reign in their lives!

Thanks for reading AND praying!

~The PIE Team

June Recap (2017)

The month of June was extremely busy and for falling behind with the weekly updates ISpurgeon Quote apologize. The month was filled with the return of loved ones, adventures, mishaps, and harassment by mall cops. I hope you are edified and led to pray for the precious people we encountered this month.

I’ll start with a praise report. We had prayed for weeks (5-6 in total) for the healing and return of our beloved Stan. He was in a dire place, but God saw fit to bring him through that trial and return him to his family (and us). I can’t express enough how much Stan means to me. He is a man with a singular vision of seeing God glorified in his own life by showing and telling others how they can be saved. He has a saying- “Our great purposes in life are to be saved and to help others be saved.” (I’m paraphrasing) I’m grateful that he has returned and that God will continue to use him to challenge people on Friday night’s (in season) and at other times in his daily life (out of season). Please continue to pray for Stan to recover his strength and health fully so that he can do all of the things for God that he desires to do.

I’m going to type a full list of the names of people we spoke to this month:

Sandra, Albert, Ruben, Yvette, Efrain, Jackie, Abel, David, Pablo, Miguel, Lisa, Anthony, Manuel, Enrique, George, Jose, Sharon, Nico, Michael, Caeser, Jose, Angel, Lanette, Juan, German, Rosales, Daniel, Wendy, Jacob, Kevin, Steven, Bridgette, Roger, Manny, Enrique, and Estephanie. In addition there were dozens of people who Judy, Sue, and Frank spoke with whose names weren’t written down by me (or lost). Though I don’t have all of the names, God knows them all!

It’s interesting to see a list of names like that and not know anything about them other than the fact that they were given the Gospel. They ranged from questioning atheistic skeptics like Yvette and Sandra to agnostics like Jackie and Abel to non-practicing Catholics like Lanette, Juan, and Enrique. They are all real people though with their own personal rebellions, their own personal tragedies, and own personal questions. One young lady recounted a tragic tale of being abused to Stan while another young lady couldn’t get past the fact that a person born in the remotest tribe could be sent to hell for failing to believe in a Christ that they had never heard about. We did our best with each person to gently, yet firmly, recount to them the glorious remedy for a fallen and broken humanity. With each person there was a period of questions and answers (getting to know each other), a period of going through God’s standards (the 10 commandments), a period of going through God’s justice and our personal accountability to Him, and a period of talking about God’s amazing love for us which was displayed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Please pray for each of these precious people as they wrestle with whatever is holding them back from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!

One particular night, I was confronted (for the first time in a while) with dismissal from the premises of the mall because I was talking with someone about Jesus. The mall cop was unconcerned with the teenagers throwing things off of the balcony onto the sidewalk below and was instead more preoccupied with letting me know that I was not welcome on the mall premises if I was going to talk “about that” (he refused to tell me what words, phrases, and topics I was allowed to talk about…he just kept saying “you’re not allowed to talk about that“). We were given legal information from Stan’s brother after the fact, but for that night I was consigned to places other than the mall after my first conversation. Please pray for the mall cop who was against the Gospel being shared. Pray that God would soften his heart and lead to him to a saving faith in Jesus Christ!

Thank you for reading and praying. It is truly appreciated!

~The PIE Team

 

Friday, June 2nd (2017)

This week saw all of the members from the PIE team except myself out of action for various reasons. Though I ended up being by myself, I wasn’t really by myself. I had the Holy Spirit within me and the prayers of my church supporting me. I hope you enjoy reading about all of the encounters I had on this “solo” night.

I started by running into a young man named Anthony who told me that his passion in life is soccer. We talked about what is ultimately important in life. I didn’t want to downplay soccer or make it sound like it wasn’t important, but I also wanted to mention that when we die that whether we are in heaven with God or in hell without Him will be the most important part of our existence. He took a million dollar bill and thanked me for our conversation. Please pray for Anthony.

Juan and Penny were my next conversation and it did not go well (at least not from my perspective). They were insolent towards the security guard who talked to them as I approached (should have been my warning that they would be that way toward me). They mostly mocked the idea of God yet at the same time wanted to talk with me. I struggled through the commandments to show them that they had sin (which they didn’t seem to care about) and erred on the side of the sharing the Gospel with them even though it seemed like they didn’t care. My hope in sharing and continuing through an awkward and tough conversation is that they were trying to put on a show for each other and that they were really listening. Only God knows if they were really listening. Please pray for Juan and Penny.

The next conversation was with a guy named Eric who said “I am Catholic and I will never leave Catholicism” when I asked him “Do you have a religious background?” to start our conversation. Even though Eric was a proclaiming Catholic he admitted that he rarely goes to church and that it was “more of a family thing than a faith thing.” He also told me that he had never been born again or even heard about it (see John 3:3). After admitting to being a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart, and then admitting that he had never put his personal faith and trust in Christ for salvation(repenting and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ) he doubled down and said “I won’t believe this because I’m Catholic. I will never not be Catholic.” I reminded him that the Catholic church, for all of its problems, does teach that Jesus was crucified, buried, and that He rose again on the 3rd day. He shrugged and dismissed it. Eric was a nice enough guy, but I left our conversation profoundly saddened. Please pray for Eric, so that he will trust in Christ rather than in a religious system to get to heaven.

I then briefly talked with a college student named Jason who quickly let me know that he was gay after I handed him a million dollar bill. He wasn’t interested in talking much further than basic introductions after I asked him the million dollar question “Will you go to heaven when you die?” I thanked him for the time that he did share with me though. Please pray for Jason to read the million dollar bill and have serious thoughts about what it says.

Sergio, Miguel, and Dylan were a trio of just graduated students who stopped to talk with me after I handed them a million dollar bill. In fact, Miguel let me know that he was soon reporting for military service (Army). They listened intently as I shared with them the hope within me. All 3 of them had never heard John 3:16 before. I was happy that our conversation went well and that they heard the truth and that they seemed receptive, but I am always saddened by how Bible and Gospel illiterate our society has become. Please pray for these young men to come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ!

My last conversation of the night was my longest. I talked with a guy named Christian and his friend Daniel (Daniel mostly listened and didn’t offer any verbal input). I found out rather quickly that Christian was a Jehovah’s Witness. We went through lots of Scripture (Colossians 1, John 1, John 8, Exodus 3, Revelation 20-21, John 20:28, and several other Scriptures). In fact, I’d say we spent 80 percent of the time reading the Bible together. Though we read lots of Scriptures that directly contradicted and refuted the common JW views on Christ and eternity he reiterated that he was never going to leave his religion. Please pray for both of them. Though their hearts seem hard now, we know that God can do mighty things!

Thanks for reading and praying!

~The PIE Team (of one tonight)

Friday, May 12th (2017)

We were saddened to learn that one of our own, Stan, was in the hospital with a serious infection. After praying for Stan, reading our Bibles, and praying we headed out for the night. This night saw us go to our local fishing hole the Tyler Mall. We also had a first time participant, Sue, join us on this night!

The first conversation was with John, Alexis, and Luis. I asked them the million dollar question after handing them the million dollar bill – “Will you go to heaven when you die?” They all sat for a moment before answering “heaven.” I asked them why and they told me because “we are good people.” I then asked them if I could ask them a few questions to see if that was true of them (that they were “good”). I asked them if they had ever told a lie, stolen, looked with lust, blasphemed, been jealous or greedy, and if they had ever worshiped something/someone other than the God of the Bible. They had done all of those things. I asked them “Do you think God is letting you into heaven with all of this sin?” They said “no.” I then asked them if they wanted to know how God could forgive them and wash their sin away (in order to let them in) – they said “yes.” So I told them the greatest news ever – that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, was buried in a tomb, and rose again on the 3rd day and that this risen Jesus offers them eternal life if they repent and believe in Him for salvation. They seemed like they were listening, but when I asked them “What’s holding you back from putting your faith and trust in this Jesus?” they didn’t have much to say. Usually that means that there is a sin in their life that they love more than the idea of trusting in Christ. Nevertheless, please pray for them!

The next conversation was with two guys named Jose and Daniel. They both were from a catholic background, but when I asked them if they had ever been born again they didn’t know what I was talking about. When I asked them if their Catholicism was “a family thing or a hardcore faith thing?” they told me that it was a “family thing.” I asked them if they had kept the 10 commandments to which they said “I’m not sure.” So we went through a few of the commandments – lying, theft, adultery of the heart, and blasphemy. They had done all 4 of those things. I asked them “Keeping in mind that you are professing liars, thieves, blasphemers, and adulterers at heart, do you think that God will let you into His heaven when you die?”  Their heads kind of sunk as the gravity of that thought hit them. The truth is that none of us has been good enough or can be good enough to get to heaven on our own. Like Jose and Daniel we all need the forgiveness and life which is only found in Christ. After sharing the good news with them they told me that they would think about what I told them. Please pray for Jose and Daniel to come to a saving faith in Christ!

Javier, Paige, and Victoria were the next conversation of the night. They were very friendly and very attentive as we talked. They all said that they believed in God, but weren’t sure why (I took a page out of the Stan playbook and asked them “why do you believe in God? After they told me that they believed in God). We went through all 10 of the commandments and it showed them that they were in trouble and in need of God’s forgiveness. Please pray for these well spoken, kind, young people.

Frank, Judy, and Sue also had numerous conversations. Please pray for all of the people who they spoke with about the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!

Thanks for reading and praying!

~The PIE Team

Friday, May 5th (2017)

This Friday night was a great night of sharing the Gospel at our local “fishing hole” the Tyler Mall. We started out with average pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars before praying, reading the Bible, and heading out for the night. Hope you enjoy reading about our encounters from this  night!

Diana, Adriana, and Hillary were the first 3 people we spoke with tonight. They all said that they didn’t have much of a religious background but that they still believed in a “higher power.” When asked if they believed they would go to heaven when they died they all replied “yes.” When I asked them what they based that belief on they all said “Because I do good things …and because I pray.” When I asked them if I could take them through the 10 commandments to see if they were as good as they claimed to be they all said “yes.” It didn’t take long for the law to do what it does – convict. They had lied, stolen, blasphemed, been angry/hated, and coveted. When I asked them if they would be innocent or guilty they said “guilty.” However, they still thought they were going to heaven because “God forgives.” After Stan said “so you didn’t tell those lies or steal those things?” they didn’t have an answer. It was at this point that we shared the Gospel with them. They seemed to be listening, but often you can’t tell outwardly what is happening on the inside. Pray that God would continue to send Christians into their lives to share the Truth with them, that they would read the Bible, and that they would go to a Bible teaching church to be taught what the Bible says.

Gabe and Marwa were the next two people who spoke with me. Gabe wasn’t sure where he stood in regards to whether or not he believed in God. Marwa was a practicing Muslim. Muslims believe in the prophet Moses and that the 10 commandments are valid laws for them to live by. Like everyone else on this planet, Marwa (and Gabe) had broken those laws by lying, stealing, blaspheming, committing adultery of the heart, being angry/hateful, and coveting what other people have. Gabe seemed to listen more intently than Marwa while I was sharing the Gospel message that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again on the 3rd day. They clearly heard that they must repent/believe in Christ for salvation. Please pray for them both!

Sometimes we have bad encounters when we approach people. Most people will either say “sure, we can talk” or “no thanks, not interested” (or something to those effects), but a guy was very put off by me approaching him and offering him a Gospel tract and asking him if we could talk. He yelled “666 mother fu–er” at me. I said “I’ll take that as a ‘no, I don’t  to talk” and went on my way. Please pray for that guy to repent and believe in Christ!

While this was happening Stan was speaking with an atheist and a professing Christian. He reported that the atheist had relented of their atheism, but was still unsure about which God was the correct one. After taking them through his worldview survey, sharing some basic facts about prophecy and archaeology, and sharing the Gospel he reported that it was a fruitful conversation. Please pray for these two people to come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ!

Dylan, Derrick, Tyler, and Kayley were the last group we spoke with on this night. Stan asked them if they knew if they died tonight whether they knew if they were going to heaven or to hell. They said they weren’t sure. After going through the 10 commandments with them it became clear to them that they had need of forgiveness and saving. Stan shared the Gospel truth that forgiveness is only found in Jesus Christ. They thanked him for speaking with them about these things. They were young, but really were respectful and listened to what he had to say. I hope that they turn to Christ and that we see them in heaven!

Thanks for reading!

~The PIE Team

Friday, April 28 (2017)

This Friday night was a pleasant evening. Though I was stricken with a severe cough and cold the Lord gave me strength and the PIE team strength to go out and spread the Good News tonight. Thank you, in advance, for reading and praying for the people mentioned in this write-up.

Our first talk of the night was with two young ladies named Destiny and Melissa. Both of them believed that they were good people and that if heaven was a real place that they would go there for sure. Stan used the laws of God to show them that they weren’t quite as good as they had previously thought and that they’d be in trouble on the day of judgment if they didn’t have Christ as their advocate to to deal with their sin problem. They listened intently and nodded frequently, but didn’t receive Christ as their Savior. Pray for them to stop putting off thinking about their eternal destination.

The next talk was truly a door that God opened for us. As I was walking I felt a tap on my shoulder. A young lady said “excuse me, you dropped your money.” I then thanked her and her friend for returning it to me. They didn’t realize that they had picked up a million dollar bill tract that had fallen out of my pocket. Esther and Jennifer told me that they didn’t really have a religious background, but that they believed in a higher power.  I asked them if they would consider themselves to be good people and they both laughed but then said “yeah, I guess so.” After they admitted to lying, stealing, blaspheming, cussing, jealousy, and anger I asked them if they would be innocent or guilty in God’s courtroom. They said “guilty” so I followed with the million dollar question – “Bearing in mind that you admitted you’d be guilty in His courtroom, where do you think God will send you when you stand in front of Him – heaven or hell?”They said “hell” but though they admitted that they were in danger they weren’t concerned about it.  Nevertheless I shared the Gospel with them. Pray for them to come to their senses!

Martin and Rubio were the next two guys who spoke with us. Stan took them through his worldview survey and showed them that they weren’t as good as they had assumed and that they were personally accountable to God. He challenged them to do their homework and that they couldn’t be good enough to get into heaven on their own (they had admitted to breaking nearly all of the 10 commandments).  They clearly heard that in order for their sins to be forgiven that they must repent/believe in the Gospel in order to be born again and enter heaven. Please pray for Martin and Rubio to come to faith in Christ!

Hayden, Gilbert, Carlos, and Brandon stopped to talk with us in the walkway upstairs. I handed them Star Wars Million dollar bills and they stopped to tell us that they liked them. The conversation was brief due to them having to go elsewhere, but we were able to talk about sin and their need for it to be forgiven through the forgiveness which is only found through Jesus Christ. Pray for them.

Michael, Kahn (Muslim) and Daniel (Jewish) – listened intently but weren’t planning on taking God up on His offer any time soon. They talked with Judy, so I don’t have all of the details. Please pray for them!

Thanks for reading and praying!

~The PIE Team

Friday, April 21 (2017)

When we arrived at church we weren’t able to be in the social hall due to a high school event, so we sat out in the courtyard eating our pizza, praying, talking about life events, and discussing world views before setting out for the night. We went to our local fishing hole – the Tyler Mall. It was a blessed night with a lot of great conversations. We pray that you are blessed and led to pray as you read.

The night got off to a great start. As I was waiting in front of the mall for Stan to arrive (the parking lot was fuller than normal) I saw three young men sitting on the wall talking. I decided to walk over and talk with them. The conversation went by fast, but it still had substance. They quickly answered my questions and listened as I shared the Gospel with them. They asked me where I go to church, so I was able to share that information with them. Pray for them to receive Christ and to come check our church out!

Daniel and Tony were the next conversation of the night. Stan approached them and handed them million dollar bills. They agreed to share their opinions about God with Stan and the conversation got started. Daniel told us that he was agnostic while Tony only stated that he had been raised Catholic.  After going through the law and the Gospel Tony admitted that death scared him and that he was having open heart surgery on Monday (which is now a few days in the past). Stan shared that he had also had a heart surgery (Stan had his heart replaced with a new heart several years back). I told Tony that our church would be praying for his surgery and recovery, but Stan did a good job of bringing back the truth that he needed trust in Christ and not put it off. Daniel seemed to listen intently, especially as Stan and Tony started talking about heart problems. Pray for their salvation!

Jay was the next guy that we talked with. We asked Jay if he had a religious background (he didn’t), if he considered himself to be a good person (he did), and if he thought he was headed for heaven when he died (he wasn’t sure). After going through a few of the 10 commandments, we shared the gospel with Jay. Please pray for Jay to take seriously the things of God and to trust in Christ for salvation.

As we walked down the aisle upstairs we saw a guy sitting on the same bench where we’d talked to 3 young ladies the week before. The man’s name was Jaime. He told us that he didn’t really have a religious background but that his “lady” did. After going through the 10 commandments, I asked him if  he would be innocent or guilty. He replied “guilty” and when I asked “heaven or hell?” he said “hell.” I asked him if that concerned him or not. He said “you can keep talking to me, but I’m never going to change.” Though he was unconcerned about his salvation he was pleasant enough in our conversation. I hope and pray that he sees his sin for what it is – rebellion against God. Jaime seemed like a nice guy, so I’m hopeful that God will do a miracle in his heart. Pray for Jaime!

As we were standing in a corner handing out tracts to people walking by, two young people turned around and came back for a second million dollar bill and to talk about what the tract said. We proceeded to have a great conversation talking about important topics like sin, judgment, and forgiveness. They both clearly heard that even though they’d sinned against God that He was willing to overlook their sin if they would turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. Jackie seemed as if she had truly put her faith in Jesus Christ at an earlier time, but Willis seemed to have “off” answers when we asked him how he thought people could get to heaven, etc…In any case, please keep these young people in your prayers! It was a great conversation!

Frank and Judy reported that they had talked to the following people: Jessie, Stephen, Ralph, Araceli, Jocelyn, and Travis.  Judy reported that Araceli and Jocelyn prayed to receive Christ. Praise God! Keep all of these people in your prayers!

Thanks for reading and praying!

~The PIE Team