Ok, what’s the deal with the BBQ?… the food pantry?… the block parties? of course people will come if you offer them food!
Sometimes remarks like the above cause me to sigh and let out a couple of oy vey’s.
During the BBQ night things happened that let us know that what we were doing was something much more than just cooking BBQ.
One old guy of 56 popped over to talk. He is homeless, yet clear eyed, a migrant worker who has travelled all over the USA…as we talked he mentioned he is tired of traveling and not having any place to call home, ‘it takes a lot out of a man’ …he stopped drinking in 97 and lost over 30 pounds… now can’t be around people who cause trouble…Pat, one of the BBQ guys and I prayed for him…it was a powerful time we all sensed something spiritual happening… as the man walked away… immediately a guy who is a new believer in process… grabbed the just prayed for man and cursed him out… I was in shock… I talked to the curser-outer… ‘Do you see this land? Do you see the boundary roads? This is a safe place. A place of refuge where people can run to and find safety. While people are on this land they are safe and are welcome here unless they begin to be unsafe toward others. Please do not ever curse out anyone on the land again.’ Sheepishly the man apologized…The next day I found out he apologized to the man we had prayed for.
A girl pulls up in her car…2am…hangs around the group…tells her story and leaves her car…The next day she decides to go to the services at the Dayton Campus. It was a good day Doug Roe spoke and asked if anyone wanted to give their lives to Jesus to respond by raising their hand. The girl responds.
After the service there was a baptism where 10 people were baptized. Kevin, the site pastor asked,’is there anyone else who’d like to be baptized?’ the answer yep…the girl from the night before jumped in.
Just for the record…when we began to have meetings there were 20 people…after 5 months of feeding the poor, throwing block parties / BBQs etc…there were almost 200 people this past Sunday.
We don’t serve for church growth…We serve because that’s what believers are supposed to do…However, when we do serve there is growth. It’s called fruit. See John 15. and Mark 4.