February 2012 Newsletter
On our last day of the Super Bowl outreach, Frank Robertson, Darrel Davis and I stood on South Meridian St. in the flow of the pedestrian traffic as thousands of football fans headed to the NFL village and the stadium for the big game. As we passed out tracts and preached the gospel, one Patriots fan yelled out, “We don’t need God, we have Tom Brady.” This is the attitude of many Americans as they trust in their various idols to bring them pleasure and significance. But in the end, their idols will disappoint them, like Tom Brady did as the Patriots lost to the Giants. Can you imagine the shock of disappoint and terror on Judgment Day, when all the nations stand before the Lord of all creation, Jesus Christ, and hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” As Frank and I watched the Patriots lose, he said to me, “I’d give a $100 to see that man and ask him ‘How did that work out for you?’” There is no time like the present to stand in the midst of our lost culture and proclaim Jesus is Lord.
For three days, eight of us worked the Super Bowl crowds. We were not the only believers there as the Lord had brought an army of evangelists to infiltrate the crowds. As one policeman commented to his partner, “There are preachers on every corner.” The Lord is truly rich in mercy, not willing that anyone should perish. On the first day, we hit the streets with backpacks loaded with gospel tracts to finish the day with an empty bag. It was a different story the next day as a damp mist and rain descended on Indianapolis. We hit the streets and worked the crowds, but the crowds were less receptive.
Each night, we hit the late night party crowd from about 8:30 to 12:30 am. The Lord provided many opportunities to share the gospel and two young ladies made commitments to Christ. As a group of drunk and rowdy men walked by I can still hear a mother’s voice and see her tears as she said, ‘’That was my son. Pray for him. He is lost. He needs to be saved.” This is the reason that God sends us to these events, so that we can call the lost sheep to come home.
It can get a little bit testy out there as people get liquored up. A few times people got very angry and we had to look over our shoulders as others chose to heckle us for hours on end. One man began to push my 75 year old friend down the streets as he held has banner until a six foot four inch and 285 pound evangelist from Georgia named Mark Yoho walked over and said, “Take your hands off that man.” As you can imagine, the guy quickly disengaged and moved on. In the midst of all this darkness, Jesus was glorified as He was lifted up.
There is no darkness quiet like the spiritual darkness that is exhibited in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the Mardi Gras celebration. As you approach Bourbon St. and hear the roar of noise, it always reminds me of Moses words to Joshua, “that is not the sound of war in the camp, but the sound of revelry.” Mardi Gras truly reveals the debased nature of man as moral restraint is removed as the city of New Orleans reveals man’s love for money over and above righteousness. It is a real challenge to stand for hours on end as an evangelist in the midst of drunkenness, profanity, blaring music, nudity, rage, anger, sodomy and spiritual oppression. This year, we stood side by side with 30 godly men from various states as we joined together to proclaim Jesus. Evangelist David Cobb made sure that we were prepared to face the battle each day as he led our group of men onto the streets.
Before I move on, I want to thank you for all your prayers. They do sustain us and God does protect us. As we prayer walked our ministry locations on a Thursday afternoon, I was able to engage five college students with the gospel. As usual in a large group, three guys moved on absorbed in the allurement of Bourbon St. while the other two listened intently to the gospel. Eventually, I was left talking to a young man who was truly seeking God. As we parted, he shook my hand and thanked me for sharing the gospel with him. We had countless conversations like this throughout our six days of ministry. After walking up Bourbon St. with our banners on Fat Tuesday, we hit the streets for one last time in the evening. Frank and Michael were engaged in a conversation with a woman who repented of her sins and surrendered to Jesus. It is as if the Lord showed us ‘your labors are not in vain’.
It always amazes me that in the midst of thousands of people, that we would see people from the previous year. One man, who screamed at Mark Johnson for 15 minutes last year, began to scream, push, and spit at David Cobb until the police intervened and moved him and his wife off to the police car, where they were shown grace by the police and were let go. A few nights later a proud and angry atheist began to engage me with a condescending tone. Unbeknownst to him, my parents sent me to college, and then theological school along with reading and studying the Bible for 30 years. As I questioned him and challenged his faulty position with scripture, he stated; “I’m a millionaire who owns his own business, what have you ever done. Oh F*!*?*!U.” When light comes into the darkness there is great conviction. Many were convicted by the Lord’s people and His presence on the streets.
The warm winter has allowed us to be on a number of campuses already this year. We have shared the Gospel at Temple University, University of Delaware, The College of New Jersey, West Chester University and Delaware County Community College. At DCCC, I was engaged with a large crowd when a student brought out his drum set and did a drum roll every time that I spoke. Before you could blink, a guitarist and bass guitarist showed up and a concert had begun. I guess the devil was not too happy to hear the gospel preached. Through the technology of cell phones and Facebook, my son Adam has been informed by some of his friends at West Chester University that the professors are talking about the Jesus people who were preaching their hate speech on campus yesterday. The Lord does hate our sin so much that He slaughtered his son for our salvation. May Jesus become an unavoidable subject on this campus. Keep us in your prayers. God Bless You.
Spring Break Outreach in Miami- February 8-18, 2012
Working with OAC evangelists and students from Liberty University
Joseph Toy, Jr.