This week was all about evangelism, evangelism, evangelism with guest speaker, Mike Oates. Again, this was a week full of unexpected turns and surprises, as Mike began by sharing numerous stories of people he had led to Christ. What stood out to me was that most of these people had just been someone he encountered in his everyday routine; while he was on the bus, walking down the street, at the grocery store etc. He had made the most of every opportunity to be used by God, asking what he could do for God, rather than what God could do for him.
Mike said, "people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. This highlighted for us the importance of relationship (I’m sensing a theme here), as well as the power behind God's command for us to “love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31). As God’s co-workers, one of us will plant, one will water, but it is God who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:8). Our greatest concern should therefore not be how our wise words can persuade someone, but how we can reveal that they are rooted and established in love.
After class on Tuesday we all hit the movies to take advantage of “cheap Tuesday”, where an adult ticket is only $7.50 (such a bargain in Australia). As we couldn’t make a unanimous decision on what to see, half of us saw a chick flick called “Me Before You” and the others went to the latest Captain America movie for more of an action filled evening.
On Wednesday our South African friend, Danielle, led us in intercession to pray for the homeless of Vancouver. This issue has been on a lot of our hearts, as we pass the long strip of homeless people on the bus each time we head downtown. Mike then took half our group to this area and around Chinatown to evangelize. For some of us this was our very first time, so it was a little daunting, but Mike showed us that all evangelism really is, is initiating a conversation. It begins simply by loving people.
On Thursday afternoon the other half of us headed downtown to practice evangelism as well, but this time we went down by the water. Again, we were a little nervous but as we prayed and let the Holy Spirit guide us, it became very clear that it was more about God and less about us. We prayed for people on the bus, the homeless, for tourists, and for locals of this city. There were tears as many experienced God’s love for the very first time, and made the decision to accept Jesus into their lives. I couldn't believe it!!
On the weekend we explored a fishing community called Steveston, just outside of Vancouver. For any fans of the TV show, "Once Upon a Time,” this heritage village is famous for being the location of the fictional town of Storybrooke. However Steveston is very much like a fairytale in real life, with hundred-year-old buildings, charming shops with handmade products, The Court House Tea Room, dockside fish market at Fisherman’s Wharf and the beautiful Garry Point Park with coastal views. We then finished the day off with a picnic lunch of the world famous, Pajo’s fish ‘n’ chips.
Next week, our YWAM Vancouver Training Director, Randy Randy Parizeau is speaking on Discipleship!!