What was important in the Community Gospel Outreach – Waynesville, OH, as in all the other outreaches, was not the number of people who stopped and listened, or walked by, but that GOD’S servants/slaves were faithful to go and compel people to come to the FATHER through the SON. Really why would you want to go out and preach this day? The weather was overcast, he temperature was cold, the winds blustery and there was sure to be very few if any who would be out. Yet this was not the first time we had had this happen when we had set a day to go out to witness to the lost. Truly, I would say it happens more time than not we are tested to see whether we will go out even when the conditions are not perfect. In some way, less than perfect weather makes the time that much sweeter with the LORD. Knowing the LORD has led you and granted you favor to speak forth HIS name and gospel regardless of the circumstances has such a peace and freedom with it.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9
I had finished work just a little before 2pm. I headed home and let Holly know I wanted us to go a bit early. The weather had gone from a fairly sunny morning to a cloudy and cold afternoon. As usual we traveled in hopes of the LORD making much of HIS name for HIS glory. We knew with the weather there was a good chance very few people would be out. Earlier in the week and that morning I had made requests for prayer. We cannot stress enough here at United In Christ Jesus (UCJ) prayer before, during, and after any outreach. We did, however, go with joy knowing the LORD would draw people, if any, whom HE appointed to hear. We also knew, if the LORD was pleased and HE had one or some of HIS own there, whose eyes had not been opened yet, HE would save them. We were also excited because just before I got home a new shipment of tracts had arrived. So we loaded up and headed out to Waynesville. A brother at church had recommended a spot near a pizza place, it was a gazebo that had pretty good access. This was to be our destination. Once we arrived Holly and I prayed to the LORD again. As I took my stand I felt led to start reading from the Book of John. I had a sense at this point I would see more people that what I thought. Even before we got to the gazebo we passed a couple and handed them a tract and as we walked away one of the couple had turned the tract over reading it. Then as I began to read I could see out of the corner of my eye people beginning to walk by. I felt a joyous flood welling up in me and very soon I began to proclaim the LORD’S good news. There were people who came out of their businesses to hear what was being said, people walking by with their families, and then there was Noah. Noah is a high school student at Waynesville. I approached him with the question of if he died today where would he go. To my joy he said heaven. Noah then gave a beautiful testimony of the LORD’S saving grace in his life. Noah then rejoiced in knowing the gospel was going forth. It just goes to show you never know who the LORD will bring across your path to encourage and strengthen you. Noah was the first of two such encouragements. The next arrived shortly. I have often said that any of the spiritual gifts the LORD gives are to be used for HIS glory and the building up of the church. I have become more and more excited as I see the LORD stirring the hearts of my brothers and sisters in CHRIST at Sovereign Grace Church Bellbrook to proclaim the excellencies of the LORD JESUS. With the bad weather, I did not expect any of them, though several live in the Waynesville area, to join us for this community outreach. But GOD, two of the most wonderful words spoken, had a different plan. Just a little bit after Noah left brother Mike Burkard arrived. Mike had never been out with us before so it was a surprise and a joy. We greeted each other, asked if I had tracts – which I gave him, and then went down to hand them out while I preached. For the next 30 to 40 minutes the gospel went forth while Mike engaged people. There were the government workers behind us who stood outside and listened. There were the families who walk by and there were those who made a different rout to avoid us. Yet I could not help but rejoice that the LORD had granted for HIS unworthy slaves to reach out into this community and compel them to be reconciled to GOD. Then there was Austin, a 16 year old, who did not believe in GOD though he had been raised, as he said, with Christian values. There was much pain in his life, but as we talked about the evidence for GOD all around him he began to share his views. Then we started to get to the heart…Austin had difficulty accepting GOD as loving, especially since there appeared to be a degree of separation between him and his father. Yet we gently sowed GOD’S Word and showed him the assurance of GOD’S faithfulness to those who come to HIM through the SON the LORD JESUS.
We ended the day cold but rejoicing. We sought the LORD in prayer lifting up those who had heard that they would truly see and hear. With our farewells we departed to our homes to rest in CHRIST and rejoice in HIS unfailing love. Please be in prayer for them and intercede on their behalf. I also ask you to please beseech the FATHER to send more laborers into HIS fields and that for a harvest. O please let us be faithful in this. Here are a few photos from our Flickr Page of both the community outreaches in Centerville and Waynesville. I hope you see and know how blessed and honored we are to be granted to go out openly to worship and call people to repent and believe in the name above all names…JESUS CHRIST the LORD.
Thank you saints for your love, prayers, and support. I am so thankful we go oaths journey together. Grace and peace to you all who are in CHRIST JESUS the LORD!
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Shane Sands is the founder and president of United in Christ Jesus. In addition to local and statewide outreaches, he has organized and participated in numerous evangelism trips around the world and helped to establish a Reformed home church in Norway. Shane is a devoted husband to his wife, Holly and together they desire to follow the Lord’s leading to be based in Northern Ireland.