It's coming up to one year already since we made our own "Are You Ready" cross (a concept the Lord put on brother Tony Miano's heart to initiate) and utilized it in our street evangelism.
Not enough words can express how much of an invaluable blessing this cross has been in our humble ministry. Simply standing on a street corner with cross in hand has caused thousands to view it and hundreds to approach us to ask "Ready for what?", therefore, starting an instant gospel conversation.
Not only that, it continues to serve as a marquee when I open air preach, giving passersby a hint as to what I am speaking about in hopes of them stopping to listen. With tongue in cheek, I like to call it our "heathen magnet". And it works!
Another blessing has been such that a number of fellow street evangelists, mostly from the USA, have contacted me over the past year (3 in the past month) asking for the specs of the cross so that they can construct one to utilize in their own gospel giving efforts, to which I point them to my short video tutorial called Cross Connections.
I know Tony has been contacted by many as well and have jumped on the bandwagon. It sure would be interesting to know how many cross bearers there are out there in North America.
And it looks like there will be more crosses to see here in Ottawa in the very near future. As I write, Kim and I are busy putting the final touches on 4 more crosses we are making at home.
Two are for two couples from our church who are active on the street sharing the gospel and want to utilize the cross in their work as well. One for a brother, James, who came out with me a couple of times last year and was the recipient of many encounters with people as he held the cross on a downtown sidewalk. And another cross for us, so Kim and I can each have one.
It's not going to stop there either. The Lord has inspired us with certain ideas (which we'll keep with us for now) that will compliment the use of the cross on future evangelistic outreaches.
If you are a street evangelist of any sort and ever wondered how you can reach more people with the gospel and further give glory to God in the public square, I highly recommend you give serious consideration in making and use of the "Are You Ready" cross as many have taken to do from coast to coast.
Aaahh! The Sunday air was truly fresh! The week long near record breaking heat wave, along with it's crippling humidity, had dissipated and we had returned to more seasonable temperatures, blessed with a soothing breeze for good measure.
We had wondered how we were going to spend our day together after church and enjoy being outside without worry of excessive heat.
Kim came up with an original and brilliant idea: "I know!" she said " Let's go downtown and share the gospel with people!" Wow! Now why didn't I think of that? We were gone in a flash.
Deciding to take it easy this time around, we only took one knapsack packed with 400 tracts, some water, food and our cross. No speaker, no stand, no equipment, etc. We were just going to evangelize with ease in the breeze.
Situated once again at one of our favourite fishing spots at the corner of Rideau and William Streets on the Byward Market, the "Are You Ready" cross was ready and able to do what it does best...
...draw many a person's curiosity enough to stop and ask the inevitable question. And in no time did the Lord have us involved in gospel conversations with people.
Handing out gospel tracts and standing with the cross even drew the curiosity of some passing Christians who stopped to ask the who, what, where, and why of us and then offered a word of encouragement before carrying on.
The two young men above, John and Taylor, seemed quite taken by our presence there as John came over and admitted that he had been thinking much about God lately and expressed that our meeting on the street was somewhat timely for him.
(Isn't God great? Can you see His sovereign will for us being there right at that time for His purpose and for His glory? The Lord does these things all the time and is always a great encouragement for us, as it would be for any street evangelist, I'm sure.)
They heard the gospel in full and showed signs of being touched...maybe convicted. The both of them expressed their gratitude for what they received and heard and left with a promise to be prayed for along with our contact info.
Another young man dropped by later, Alex, and virtually expressed the same sentiments as John and Taylor and moved on with a greater sense of hope than he had initially showed up with about an hour beforehand. I pointed him to a couple of churches he could check out in the town where he was from.
The streets (and bars) were crowded with world cup soccer fans watching the championship match on outdoor bar patio TV screens. Kim went "bar-hopping" for a while and passed out tracts to revelers as they cheered on their teams.
After the game, the celebrations moved out into the street and I wanted to help make the winning fans' day all the more merrier by giving them each a million dollars so they could...well...you know.
This was an easy, pleasant and rewarding way to spend a Sunday afternoon handing out tracts and just talking with people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, calling them to repentance and faith in Him for their salvation and leaving them with something serious to think about.
The pleasant Sunday breeze, blended with the breeze of the Holy Spirit whispering in the hearts of people He led to us or He led us to... such joy. We went home tractless and grateful for the encounters the Lord provided for us.
What a joy it is to share the gospel with people on the street. What a privilege it is to share in the task of building the Kingdom of God, for His glory and His glory alone!
We pray to see some of these people in Heaven one great day! Until then, we pray for many more days like Sunday.
“I might say, if it were right to quote such a Scripture, ‘The leaves were for the healing of the nations’—verily they are so.
Scattered where the whole tree could scarcely be carried, the very leaves have had a medicinal and a healing virtue in them and the real word of truth, the simple statement of a Savior crucified and of a sinner who shall be saved by simply trusting in the Savior, has been greatly blessed, and many thousand souls have been led into the kingdom of heaven by this simple means.
Let each one of us, if we have done nothing for Christ, begin to do something now.
An everyday Christian's effort dedicated to encourage fellow believers who regularly share their faith with others and to hopefully motivate those who do not.
There is nothing more important for people to know than where they are going to spend eternity, for certain. There is no other truth that must be offered to others than the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
But the same good news for us is bad news for others if we but keep it to ourselves. And that would be wrong.
Christians are called by Jesus Himself to get busy telling others about Him and what He has done to secure eternal salvation for those who hear and believe.
"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15)
My name is Paul Latour. My gospel giving partner on the street happens to also be my wife and best friend, Kim.
It is our prayer that our gospel giving efforts seen here and other content viewed on this blog, would be of encouragement to fellow Christians everywhere whose hearts' desire is to herald the Good News of eternal salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to a lost and dying world by various means of street evangelism.
If we can be of help to you in any way, then this blog will have served its purpose for your benefit and for the glory of God.