This week we started a new theme called All for One week. Last week was Killing the Giants week where we set goals to share our faith. It was a crazy week. We met our number goal as a group and even went to Atlantic City. Atlantic City is very different from Ocean City. Its much more urban and sharing with people there was really eye opening. I met two boys who said their cousin had been murdered when he was 26. It really gave me a lot of perspective about my own life and how incredibly blessed I am. A result of that week was that my desire to share with people has definitely increased and I feel like I am learning to be more comfortable with approaching random people and talking to them about my faith.
A few nights ago though, there was a group of Christians who were also evangelizing on the boardwalk but they were using flashy signs and kind of just telling people they need Jesus and are sinners. I found this to be incredibly offensive. It just really hurt my heart that people might start to see us that way or assume all Christians are aggressive and insensitive when sharing our faith. I truly believe the gospel is a relational message and it is important to love and respect the person you are talking to even if they reject what you are saying. I also didn't like that they didn't really explain the gospel. They just passed out these pamphlets and expected people to learn on their own. Someone wise told me that when you lead someone to Christ, you can't just take them to his feet and leave them there. You have to help them along the process. This experience was a bit discouraging, but it also empowered me to believe in the importance of relational evangelism.
This week, we are doing activities that will help us to grow as a community and as a result, our internet has been shut off this week. I'm at a coffee shop writing this, but I am hoping by the end of the week to have grown with the women and men on summer project. We have been having some really great group Bible discussions and meetings. Surprisingly I thought I would be relieved when this week came because I wouldn't be stretched so much in the area of sharing my faith, but I actually kind of miss sharing now. I was definitely dreading sharing when I first came on this project. Its amazing how God has changed my heart on that topic.
A particularly challening area for me has been sharing at work. Its hard with the business of the Deli to find time to talk to my co-workers so I would definitely appreciate prayer in that regard. It is pretty awesome though how the cru community does really influence a lot of the buisnesses around ocean city. A lot of people here know about us.
Here are three great verses that I think apply to last week and the beginning of this week:
"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20.
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:24-25
While I've been in OC I've also been having a lot of fun. Here are two pics, one of my action group and one of me at the theme park on the boardwalk.