There’s more to sharing our faith then just doing a lot of yappin’. I’m amazed at the real ministry that can take place out in the open, right in public!
On a recent P.I.E. (Pizza, Intercession and Evangelism) outing we went down to the Hermosa Beach Pier.
I like a particular route that takes us by a hotel that is right next to the beach. We talked to a couple of Hispanic workers who listened to us talk to them about eternity before getting back to work. We then a struck up a conversation with Kyle, the desk clerk who invited us inside the lobby to continue our conversation about Heaven and Hell.
Before we could finish, a pregnant woman and her husband recognized us from Hope Chapel and gave us the thumbs up as they eavesdropped. After giving Kyle a Bible and some other gifts, we asked the young couple what they were doing. “I want to have this baby!” the woman said. “It’s due date is now!” Obviously very uncomfortable, she just wanted to get this pregnancy thing over with, and wanted God to hurry-up the process. We offered to pray. Right in the lobby, in front of Kyle, three of us laid hands on her and asked the Lord for a speedy delivery. Kyle was impressed with the love that was exhibited among the Christian family.
We walked down to the pier and spotted a black couple sitting down, enjoying the warmth of the day. I poked one of the evangelism team members, “That’s going to be an easy one,” I said pointing to the couple and referring to the ease of starting a spiritual conversation with strangers. It turned out that they were Christians from Riverside taking a break from the hectic pace of life. He was retiring soon and he and his wife came down to Hermosa for the weekend to try and decide what they should do with the rest of their lives. Out in the open under the clear blue sky, the waves crashed repeatedly, the volleyball players dove into the sand, and little children laughed and giggled with their friends while we again laid hands on a brother and sister—strangers—asking God to give them wisdom, refreshment and blessing.
The serenity and beauty of the moment was broken by a homeless man mocking us from the sidelines. “Oh, yeah,” he sneered. “What help can you give me? How do you handle a homeless guy in need?”
I sidled up next to Alphonso and slipped him a five-dollar bill. “Why don’t you go get something to eat? Would you like to get off the streets?”
“Yeah, I would,” he said with a slight slur.
“It’ll be hard, but come to my office at 2PM on Tuesday and we’ll get you out of here. Do you have I.D.?”
“I have a Social Security card.”
“Good. I’ll see you on Tuesday. You’re not going to buy alcohol with the money are you?”
“No, no,” he assured me.
We laid our hands on Alphonso and prayed that God would encourage him, and that he would have the courage to do the hard thing—get off the streets and take a first step by coming to my office. Before we said Amen, Alphonso broke down and starting crying uncontrollably. “I can’t believe you would care about an old drunk like me!”
Life is indeed a beach.
(P.S. Alphonso was a no-show.)