Our Latest New Age Outreach

At the beginning of each year we train all our helpers in witnessing to New Age believers. It is such an encouragement to see how God uses those who have attended the training; but let me say straightaway that any success is totally down to God. In particular we praise him for all he accomplished at our latest six-day New Age festival outreach. There was a surprising openness amongst those who visited our stand. To quote from one of our helpers: “I shared the gospel with at least half a dozen Jewish ladies on Monday. Two of whom want me to call them in a couple of weeks and continue the dialogue. One young lady came to the festival because she was studying psychology and it was of interest. Her parents are Jewish atheists, so she knew nothing. I taught her all about Yeshua, her Messiah, from the Torah and my own experiences. She just soaked it up and wanted more, and more, and more ... She was not just finding out about Messiah, she was finding herself. What a privilege for me.”

I was amazed, when inviting people onto the stand, that two or three of those I spoke to realised it was about Jesus and firmly declined my invitation, but within seconds they had turned around and were sat down hearing the gospel! Others made a spiritual U-turn. During the week at least four backslidden Christians, convicted by the Holy Spirit, made genuine recommitments as they each decided to start afresh with God.

Another member of our team spoke about a moving conversation he had with an elderly Jewish lady dressed in rather unusual attire. “She mentioned that she had known Yeshua in a past life. She was very sincere and really God fearing ... We had a precious time with her, and she left genuinely touched by the kindness of the believers on the stand.” Our aim is always to share the gospel, but inevitably at these shows we meet people who have been damaged by life and need to experience God’s love and compassion. “A very dear Jewish lady came ... who felt very negative about life. She really felt God didn’t like her. She tearfully shared with us how her mother and father had died when she was fairly young. After her father died, she had bought a cat to comfort and befriend her. In her loneliness she had prayed for God to help her. The next day the cat died. She felt this had been a sign that God was somehow punishing her. We were able to speak loving truth deep into her being, and to reassure her with the truth of God’s promises that He loved her.” Another helper writes, “Other Jewish ladies were struggling with life and searching to find God in it all. God did speak to them, each one, very personally. It was good to share the gospel from their perspective and lay to rest some misconceptions.”

This is a show where we also have opportunities to get alongside other stallholders. One morning I arrived at the hall very early, expecting to be first on the stand. When I reached the stand I was surprised to find one of the team already there, deep in prayer for a nominal Christian psychic who sat beside him, anxious about a forthcoming operation. Another stallholder, a Reiki healer, sat at my table one day and clearly heard the gospel. He believed in God and was very open, but was depending on works. I can’t say that he fully understood, but I was very surprised to find that he regularly attends a local evangelical church, where the pastor is also attempting to draw alongside him. On another occasion an assistant from another stand came and sat with me. She was also a nominal churchgoer. I shared the gospel with her, after which she prayed with me to receive Jesus. I offered her a Bible, but she declined. She had bought herself one out of the blue just a week before!

To quote one of our helpers, “God is so good. He gave us an amazing time.”



The price of true peace

Two conversations at the Jesus Experience stand this year stand out in particular. The first was with a lady who had been going through some very difficult relationship problems. At times she had felt so low that she had come to the conclusion that life was not worth living. She had a Bible and had started to read it but was having trouble understanding its content. She had started to pray and found that her prayers were being answered. I shared with her that our Lord Jesus does indeed hear and answer prayers and that he loved her and died for the forgiveness of her sins. Before praying together, I gave her some Scripture notes to help with reading the Bible and my details should she want to get in touch. She had been bought up in a secular family who did not believe in God and she thought she was being silly having these thoughts but said that my passion for Christ had opened up a longing in her heart. She did not give her heart to the Lord that day and I did not feel it was appropriate to ask her to, but please pray that our conversation will have planted a seed which will lead to her salvation and that of her family.

I also spoke to a lady on another stand who was a Hare Krishna with a beautiful countenance. I felt a great deal of compassion for her as she told me about the trance like state she goes into when meditating and how it brings her peace. I explained that I was a Christian working on the Jesus Experience stand.  I said I respected her belief but that my peace came through the love and security of knowing Jesus and enjoying a personal relationship with him. I explained that in my faith no one deserved or could earn this peace but that it was through the price paid by the precious blood of Christ on the cross that we could be saved.  I told her that if she were to call on the name of Jesus in true faith, he would hear and answer her prayer. Please pray for her and her colleagues, caught up in their Hare Krishna beliefs, that they might find true peace with God.



Alice in wonderland

One of the highlights for me of being on the Jesus Experience this time around for me was a short conversation I had with a Jewish lady called Alice. She asked me who we were and what we were up to. I explained that we were a group of Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Jesus who wanted to tell others about God's love for people and explain to them how he demonstrated that love through his son Jesus. After picking an evangelistic card from the plate on the table, she told me that she had heard Helen Shapiro's testimony before but that, being Jewish, she could not be a Christian. I responded by telling her that there are many people, myself included, who are Jewish and also believe in Jesus. I went on to explain that the New Testament is also Jewish, having been written in the main part by Jewish authors. She seemed to have a light bulb moment and took a Gospel of John with her! Please pray that God might draw her to Himself and that she might receive the true Jewish Messiah as her Lord and Saviour.



“'My God’s older than yours!”

It was again a privilege to be involved in New Age outreach. You are never quite sure who the Lord may present you with, though it is always a learning experience. Last year I encountered a lot of spiritists; this year I met a mixture, which included backslidden or disillusioned Christians, all of them women. One might ask what they were doing at a New Age exhibition and the reasons vary like the people themselves. It might be that some are in fact heirs to God’s kingdom who have been exposed to an unsatisfying watered-down version of Christianity and are seeking spiritual fulfilment elsewhere.

That is why, as far as possible, I jump straight in with the truth of how to meet Jesus for real, avoiding “churchy” or hard-to-understand language. It is a delight to witness the keenness with which some listen and want to get right with God.

There is, however, opposition also. A French intellectual tried to argue Jesus out of existence and adamantly refused to see her need of him. Yoga and meditation were her salvation and that was enough. Virginnie believed there was nothing bad after death. Although I urged her to “taste and see that the Lord is good” she was stubbornly determined to have no dealings with the one who can give assurance of everlasting life. As she walked away, a sadness filled my heart but I found myself burdened to pray for Virginnie more than any of my other contacts.

A loud, larger-than-life, matron-like woman, dressed like a female version of the “Green Man”, complete with flowers and laurel-wreath headgear, bounded over to my table to sit with me. This friendly Wiccan, who attracted a lot of attention, thrust a rod with a ram’s head handle into my face and insisted that I hold it to find out what I felt from “the union”. This was no accidental encounter so, feeling strangely bold rather than intimidated, I commenced battle. Siobhan and I spoke of our “Gods” until she exclaimed intolerantly that Christianity was “just a young religion birthed in Babylonian times”; hers was an “old religion”. I responded that “my God” was older because he was at “the beginning”, when he made us. At this, Siobhan fell silent.



Round and round we go....

As I sat down at one of the Jesus Experience tables I thought I had a rough idea of what was in store for the day ahead. I was wrong! The first visitor told me she was a spiritual person who believed in many truths, and was interested in hearing other people’s spiritual perspectives. An interesting discussion about the gospel followed and I had the opportunity to emphasise that while the gospel offer of salvation was inclusive, in that it was offered to all, it was exclusive in that Jesus himself made it clear that he alone was the way, the truth and the life.

Things then took a strange turn with a succession of three visitors. The first, a Brazilian lady, told me she was a Spiritist (an off-shoot of Spiritualism). When the conversation turned to the afterlife she told me she believed in reincarnation. She explained, with a big smile on her face, that those suffering in the world today only had themselves to blame for their situations due to ill deeds in a past life, and that she herself was travelling on a path to perfection. This theme followed with the next visitor, a spiritualist, who echoed what the previous lady had told me about reincarnation as we talked about life after death. Finally an elderly lady sat down. Once again, she told me she also believed in reincarnation and that the end result of her spiritual journey of many lives would be her becoming part of the God-head! Reincarnation certainly seems like a comforting option compared with the alternative of facing God’s judgement and paying the penalty for our own sins.


The final conversation of the day brought some relief. A lady who told me she was seeking the truth. She explained that the one thing in life she couldn’t stand was lying, which led to a good conversation about the One who claimed to both have and be the truth personified. She told me she would be pursuing the things we had discussed with a Christian friend of hers.

Despite the brightly coloured stalls and airy feel to the venue, the spiritual oppression at the show this time around was evident as soon as you entered the building. It is a great comfort to know that the Jesus Experience is able to shed a little corner of light in such a dark place.



Introducing the Lamb of God

I thank God that on my first day at the Jesus Experience outreach I had the privilege of seeing a Jewish lady come to faith in Jesus. June is in her mid-60s and first visited our stand last year. Her grandparents on both sides were Jewish. However, June’s parents were forced to convert to Catholicism (both had since passed away) so June did not have a traditional Jewish upbringing. June was divorced some years back and gave the impression that she was that she was weary and heavy-laden. She soon disclosed that she had anger and unforgiveness in her heart.

She told me that she had gone with some Christian friends to church to seek for healing. That afternoon we spoke about forgiveness, both in relation to man and from God. I shared my testimony with June; how knowing God’s love and forgiveness of my sins has enabled me to forgive. June mentioned Jesus’ name in Hebrew, Yeshua. I explained about the foundation of God’s forgiveness, based on the sacrificial system in the Hebrew Scriptures, and told her how Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. June listened attentively and seemed amazed. As we spoke I could see her face gradually lightening up. After I finished, she asked me eagerly, “What should I do?” She seemed very willing to put her faith in Jesus as her Saviour and Lord. After we prayed, she said with a smile on her face, “I am so glad that I came this year; I was full of anger last year and unable to listen….” I sincerely pray that her faith is genuine and that the Lord will continue the good work he has started in her life.

Everyone who made a commitment to the Lord received a Bible and a devotional guide on the Gospel of John. June was absolutely thrilled to have a Bible for herself. I briefly introduced the Bible to her and explained how she should start reading it. Please pray for June that she will continue to grow in faith, love and the truth of God, her Great Shepherd and King. Also please pray also for me to be able to keep in touch and disciple her along the way, God willing.


Thes articles first appeared in the Autumn Herald 2011

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