Tuesday, March 4, 2014

First time attending the Super Bowl Outreach... praying it will not be my last!

As the title of this blog states this was the first time I attended a SuperBowl Outreach or for that matter any event that Bill Adams organized. Not for the reason you might think but, for the fact that I some how felt that as an evangelist for Open Air Campaigners, I did not need to attend events that were organized by others because I have organized or participated in organizing all of the outreaches that I have been involved with over the last 5 years as an OAC missionary. Also, we just don't preach with many preachers outside of OAC or should I say preachers that do not use the sketchboard. Why is that you may ask? I do not know and I have asked myself that same question. So, attending an event such as the SBO was not even something I would have considered. So how did I end up at the SBO this year? Pastor Matt Smart, my pastor and ministry partner, asked me several months ago if I would go to the SBO with him and Jeff Lutton. At first I did not really give it much thought but, as I the time began to get closer I began to think more about it I felt like it would be good to preach with others from around the country and get to meet some more preachers that are involved in sharing the gospel on the streets. One of the main things that I was not sure I was going to be able to do was get the money raised for the outreach because being a full-time missionary my support covers my living expenses on a monthly basis and I do not have much extra each month. Some months I am not sure how I am going to cover all of the things that need to be paid but, God has made a way for the past 5 years. So even though the SBO is very affordable anything above what I usually have as an expense during the month makes things difficult. So, I committed after much prayer to go still not knowing how I was going to pay for the outreach. Matt had told me he could help cover some of the expense for me if that would help. So I completed the necessary paperwork and submitted it to Bill Adams having faith the cost of the trip would be covered. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up finding out that the entire expense of the trip was going to be covered for me and I would not have to use my normal support that was already allotted to other expenses. This was the first of many things that occurred to confirm that God wanted me to be at the SBO this year. So on Thursday morning at 1:30a.m. I got up packed my van and drove to Williamsburg to meet Jeff and Matt at Jeff's house. We then all got into Jeff's vehicle and began our trip to NYC for the SBO. The drive took about 5 hours and the time of fellowship with Matt and Jeff was awesome. I knew this outreach was going to be incredible I was right. God did so many incredible things over the course of the four days we were in NYC during to SBO that unless I would have experienced them I would not have believed it. One major thing that was going to stretch me was the fact that I was not going to be taking my sketchboard along with me. I would be preaching just standing on a stool or the ground and even though I had done this in the past not having my sketchboard did make it more uncomfortable. So we arrived at the YMCA in NYC at 8:30 to check in and I looked at the room assignments and a great brother in Christ and friend of mine who I had not seen in a few years, Robert Gray, was rooming with me. It was great to be able to fellowship with Robert each evening after the outreaches. We would stay up way to late talking about how God has been moving in our lives and sharing ministry stories. It was truly an encouragement to me and I pray it was for Robert as well. I also got to spend some time with another great friend and dear brother in Christ, Chris Sippley. Chris and I have know each other for about 4 years and the week before we where chatting on FB about when was the next time we could get together to do ministry. I had no idea he was going to be at the SBO and neither did he know I was going to be there. Praise God for godly brothers in Christ that I was able to fellowship with during the SBO. Although, the fellowship was sweet and there are many other brothers and sisters in Christ that I met for the first time and others that I reconnected with the preaching of the gospel during those four days was spectacular.
I had preached in NYC several times in the past but, with a group of 99 brothers and sisters in Christ with one purpose and goal of preaching the gospel to the lost, made this time special. I was on Andrew Rappaport's team and I had the privilege of meeting and spending time sharing the gospel with many great brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition to the great times of preaching God's word on the streets and the fellowship of fellow believers we also had the opportunity to learn from some great men of God each morning before going out to the streets to preach. I could go on and on about some of the wonderful memories and experiences I had during these four days but, I am limited in space so I will just mention one. One of the greatest experiences I had occurred on Sunday. Andrew's team joined up with Mike Stockwell's team and we went to the Stanten Island Ferry and Matt and myself were able to preach inside the Stanten Island Ferry while the people waited to catch the Ferry. It was similar to preaching in the DC Metro although it is much bigger and the security does not hassle you at all and you can preach for quite a long time before the ferry arrives. As I close this blog post for now I have one more person I have to thank for all of the hard work he put into making this a great outreach and one I will look to attend in the future. Thank you Bill Adams for the exceptional organization and coordination of the 2014 SBO and I would recommend this outreach to anyone whose has not been to one the Superbowl Outreaches to defiantly try to make it out next year if possible because I am sure it is going to be awesome. Until you read again....

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