Purpose Of This Ministry

The purpose of this ministry is found in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

This ministry seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in everything. We are are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ therefore we declare this Gospel in the highways and biways. We preach about sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment to a lost and dying world. Since Jesus' mission was to "seek and save that which was lost", this too is our mission, being empowered by the Holy Spirit whom He has given to all those who believe.

On this site you will find several resources we believe are honoring to our Lord. We hope these resources will help you take up your cross and follow Jesus - they have definitely helped us. We hope you find our site to be both a blessing and an encouragment.

I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. -Philemon 1:6

-Steve (theway1711@gmail.com)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trip To Mardi Gras - Part 1

Many of you know that I recently went on a trip to New Orleans to preach at the Mardi Gras event. Below is a "brief" summary of how this trip started out. What should have taken me a few hours of flight time to arrive in New Orleans, turned out to be quiet the event. Something that only God could orchestrate.

It started out with me leaving the Duluth airport and arriving in the Twin Cities to catch my flight to New Orleans. The flight from Duluth to MSP went just as planned. I had a 2 hour layover in MSP. When it was time to board, I got in line. With about 10 people left to board, they stopped allowing people on the plane. They said the plane was maxed out in terms of weight (that's a new one)! They said we could not get on the plane even though we all had assigned seats...I was 20B. This, of course, upset many people because they were meeting people at the airport and wanted to start their Mardi Gras party early. Many of the people asked if the agents could take off their luggage to lower the weight of the plane so they could fly (and not their luggage), but the agents said they could not do it (that's a new one). I guess luggage is more important than people. Although I was a little annoyed by all of this, I just figured the Lord had other plans.

The next few hours were pretty touch and go as the agents tried to reroute us into New Orleans. It was a Thursday and the next direct flight to N.O. was not until Saturday. Time and again the agents were running into two problems. First off, because Mardi Gras draws hundreds of thousands of people each year, all the flights into New Orleans were booked. The other problem was that there was a huge storm around the area (Texas/Louisiana) and a lot of airports were closed. It seemed we all got booked on a flight to somewhere, only to get booted off no sooner because the flight was already booked. So after trying to find us flights, it was determined that there was nothing they could guarantee us. They could fly us into a closer airport but there was no guarantee a flight could get us into New Orleans. Everything was booked. We'd be left stranded, only closer. I was beginning to think my best option was simply to take a flight back up to Duluth, since I was only 2.5 hours away. I definitely was not going to wait until Saturday, which was not a guaranteed flight anyway, and I didn't see a reason to be stranded at another airport in some other state, close to N.O. but further from home.
As we were trying to figure out what to do a small group (5 other people) came up to me and asked if I wanted to join them in getting a rental car and driving to New Orleans. At first I thought it was a pretty stupid idea (I still think it might be) but I didn't see any other way of getting to N.O. So I called Tina and a group from Cry To God Ministries (several other street preachers I was meeting down there) and asked them to pray and let me know what they thought I should do. About 5 mins later they both called back and said, with great words of encouragement (seriously) GO! Let's be honest though, Tina was not super thrilled but she trusted my judgment (she later told me she didn't sleep a wink that night).
The other 5 people were all heading to Mardi Gras and picked a street preacher to go with them. I was wearing one of my TRUST JESUS shirts. I let them know the reason I was going down there, but I don't think they really understood what I was saying. So we all shook hands, introduced ourselves, headed to the Budget rental center and rented an SUV with 5 other people that I had never met before (nor had they ever met each other). A married couple from San Francisco. Two friends from LA and another lady from Calgary.

To say the least, the trip down was AWESOME. It was over 1,200 miles, 7 states, 19+ hours (of which I drove 14 hours) and what a great witnessing opportunity. I started out my trip (from Duluth) praying that the Lord would give me opportunities to minister on the way down...I never thought this is how He would answer this prayer (Isaiah 55:8-9). As I got into the SUV, I prayed the Lord would give me wisdom on what to say and when to say it. I felt at peace to keep quiet and let them ask me questions...which they did. One here and one there. By the end, they all knew my stance on Mardi Gras. They all knew my stance on sin, righteousness, and judgment. And most importantly, the all heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

By the time we got to the Budget rental in N.O., I had been awake for 33 hours straight. I woke up at 3am on Thursday to do my paper route job and we didn't arrive in N.O. until 12 noon on Friday. Praise the Lord though, I wasn't at all tired (ok maybe a little) when I was driving. I knew many people were praying for me!! However, I did feel the effects of not sleeping with a pretty good headache for a day and a half (it eventually was 52 hours without sleep by the time I was able to go to bed)

During our trip we hit a little bad weather about an hour from New Orleans but they were all thankful the preacher from northern MN was driving in the icy/snowy weather. NO WAY was I going to let California people drive in that weather! The people, thought not believers, asked me a lot of great questions about my faith in Jesus. They kept calling their friends and telling them either "Jesus is driving us to Mardi Gras" or "The preacher man is driving us to Mardi Gras". It was quiet the experience. It was amazing how I didn't even need to say a word, and yet they were amazed at my testimony and willingness to drive 19 hours to stand at the gates of hell, be ridiculed by drunkards, leave my family, and all for the Gospel. Sometimes the Gospel can be preached without words!! Several times at Mardi Gras, they searched me out to talk to me and show their friends the "preacher man" who drove them to Mardi Gras. I even interviewed them about our experience for Cry To God's weekly TV show.

But all "good" things must come to an end (except eternal life) and we eventually departed and went our ways. You don't spend 19 hours with strangers without leaving an impact on one another. We exchanged emails, phone numbers, and hugs before going on our way.

So there you have it. That is what my trip was like...at least the beginning of it anyway.....

At the Budget Rental in the MSP Airport before leaving on our trip (one of the members was taking the picture)

Isaiah 55:8-9

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

1 comment:

Kari said...

Praising the Lord with you! Can't wait to hear the 'rest of the story.'