Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. Although He asked her for a drink of water, His hope was that she would accept His offer of living water. Only His water would satisfy thirst forever.
Along with a team of 12 others, I went to the 2010 Olympics to make the same offer. Although armed with gallons of coffee and cocoa, the real offer was that of the living water of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
To be honest, our mandate to serve where and how needed and to keep silent unless given an invitation to make the offer we so desperately wanted, was a bit hard for me. Nevertheless, God had some precious appointments for me to keep. Interestingly most of them were non-Canadians:
‘Newman‘ was a Native on his way to “violent offender counseling.” We met on the sea-bus (aka ferry) so had some time to talk. I had been intrigued by his jacket – with a huge red heart with a sword plunging into its center and dripping blood. The brand name on the shirt was “Christian [something]”
The name versus the graphics was puzzling.
Newman grew up in a Christian home, but turned his back on God when he believed his prayers weren’t being answered. He chose instead the violence of gang and prison life. Although 18, he’s spent three years in prison.
Despite his hard crusted image (which he was obviously working hard to keep) when I kept insisting that God was good and that Jesus had never stopped loving him, Newman’s teary eyes revealed the soft spot in his heart.
“Newman, God has promised to make a new man out of you” caused him to laugh. But the laugh was gone as quickly as it came.
THE HOBBIT HOUSE is connected to First Baptist Church and offered sandwiches and pastry along with coffee and cocoa. Christian musicians and a large screen TV provided entertainment when conversations dwindled.
My first contact was Teryn, the outreach administrator. As we talked, she recognized my name as she had already read Celebrate Jesus! and was looking forward to my upcoming speaking tour in May. She facilitates a small but growing home group which celebrates the feasts of the Lord. Truly the hand of God is stirring interest around the world.
Iranian immigrants came often to practice their English. They had recently visited Haifa because they are of the Baha’i faith. We had some pretty interesting conversations over the next few days. They agreed to attend the English classes at the church.
“Get out of the kitchen” Pat ordered me. “Get into the streets where you belong.”
I didn’t need any further coaxing.
Stopping for a cup of cocoa at the street outreach were these dear people who had come from Mongolia. No, they’d never heard about Jesus and were VERY eager to hear. We walked back to the Hobbit House where I shared using the Evangecube. They were able to read English so eagerly accepted the New Testament.
Wednesday was team dinner day and we all enjoyed a Thai meal. The younger folks wanted to hang around for fireworks, etc, but we “more mature” ladies opted for an early night. Along the way we ducked into the Fairmont Hotel to use the rest room but the fur shop in the lobby called our names.
I’d never seen such a gorgeous array of fur (my Bible tells me I have dominion over animals, so hush up any complaints please)! We walked around the store touching and drooling. When the sales clerk heard I was from Israel, she immediately reached into the drawer to give us lapel pins. (a favorite among Olympians is pin collecting).
We countered with our “More Than Gold” pins which use the Olympic colors to tell the Gospel!
God saved the best for the last day.
It was cold. It was rainy. Our shift was to be 6 PM until Midnight, but as usual there were last minute changes and we began our day at 2:00.
Finally we went to the scheduled outreach – outside the Colesium – for speed skating. While there were hundreds of people going in, there were none coming out. We wondered if we were in the wrong place.
All that was before us was a baseball field.
And it was cold. And it was raining.
Assured we were in the right place, we sought shelter in the dug out until we saw the coffee truck.
The plan was to wear 40 pound tanks on our backs and serve cocoa to the bus drivers and then the people lining the sidewalks waiting for buses and taxis!
I opted to carry the cups.
One by one we approached the bus drivers with offers of cocoa. There were some interesting conversations. But it was cold. And it was rainy and my nerves were frayed.
Finally, we entered a bus with four drivers from India. I’d like to say that the Spirit of God rose up within me, but maybe it was my flesh as I blurted out,
“It’s late and there’s no more time…what are you going to do about Jesus?” I practically shouted.
I’m not sure who was the most stunned. Them, my partner or me.
Met with silence I continued, “You do know about Jesus don’t you?”
“Well, we know a little, but not the whole story. Can you please tell us? Do you have a book or something?“
We ran back to the truck for our New Testaments and my Evangecube. And there, in the cold and in the rain, four precious bus drivers from India quietly sat and listened to the wonderful story of Jesus and His offer of live giving water.
When I was finished and asked if we could pray for them, one said, “Please pray slowly so we can understand you.”
Please pray for each of them (whose names I don’t remember) that they will accept God’s offer of living water and not just our offer of cocoa.
I’m grateful to each of you who prayed for me and the team. God was so good to enable and allow me to have an impact on the Kingdom of darkness. Once again I recognize the power of ministering with a team AND my love and gift for street evangelism.