Joe Graves, a brother in Christ, dedicated street evangelist and friend of mine in West Virginia, sent me this letter on Saturday past that left me in awe after I read it.
If there was ever a great example of the importance, necessity and urgency in the simple act of handing out gospel tracts to people as a form of evangelism, it is this.
Here is Joe's letter which I would like to share with you:
Even as I write this I am still grasping the impact of something that happened today. A group of 9 of us had an outreach at the Martinsburg Air Show. We had not been there before and were not sure of the logistics of where the best place was to give out tracts.
This is where it gets interesting...
Around 9am, from a site located off base, we ended up being shuttled onto the base (of the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard). We started giving out tracts right outside the airfield at the gate where people had to line up to go through security to see the air show. Now keep in mind that in plain view for almost 3 hours we gave out probably 3,000 tracts.
Many of the tracts we gave out had "Are You Ready?" on the front and one tract design touched on 9/11 and the fact that those people on 9/11 never thought that it would be there last day on earth.
The attendance was light because of some rain in the morning but most everyone took a tract when we offered one to them...even the military personnel. All the while I kept thinking,"There is no way they are going to let us continue to give out gospel tracts on a military base". One military person even came over and asked us what we were doing and I told him and he said "well, I don't have a problem with that".
We had scheduled the outreach from 9am - noon. About 11:45am a couple of military police said they had gotten a complaint and would have to shut us down. We were almost done anyway so I told them no problem and we left. I was still scratching my head in awe because the Lord has allowed us to give out the gospel unhindered for 3 hours on a military base. We left around noon.
Now for the part that will blow you away...
About 3:30pm I got a text from Nate (one of the brothers who went out with us) saying that he heard from someone that there had been a crash at the Martinsburg air show. I looked online and didn't see anything and thought maybe they were confusing it with the one that happened yesterday that is all over the news. Well, a little later I did see a report and found out there was a crash at the air show that killed the pilot about 2:30 pm.
I found an article where the crowds who saw the fireball of the crash were crying and hugging and praying. Can you imagine the impact when those people who saw the crash finally got home this afternoon and pulled the tract out of their pocket or purse? Then it started to hit me...that's why God allowed us to give out those tracts when normally we would never be allowed to do so. The Lord is awesome and He will glorify Himself because He is worthy.
Pray that God uses those tracts to draw people to himself and that we might have people contact us through the website with questions about salvation. Pray for our future outreaches.
Until His nets are full,
Imagine attending an event, receiving a gospel tract at the gate from a regular "Joe" like anyone else, reading it, not thinking much about it and then suddenly being witness to sudden death right before your eyes?
I would venture to say that 3,000 people who received a gospel tract at this air show later read that tract with greater care and concern for the sobering content of the gospel message offered to them. The Lord has His ways of reaching peoples' hearts. I believe this was one of the more dramatic ways.
Praise God for people like Joe Graves and his team for their faithfulness in doing what they could to reach the lost for Christ by doing something so simple as handing out gospel tracts to people at a popular event.
Nothing could be easier. Nothing more important.
How many gospel tracts have you given out today?
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