Sunday, October 29, 2006
Having been given the order to leave campus, we negotiated with them to allow us a trip to the administration office to obtain permission to preach. This was grudgingly granted. Miles and I spoke with an administrator who told us that we needed to be sponsored by a student group in order for us to be allowed free speech. This is totally unconstitutional! However, we decided to play their game and headed for the Baptist Student Association to gain sponsorship.
Needless to say, the Baptist Student Association were not willing to sponsor us after hearing that we are open air preachers; they take the more "relational" approach.
Nor did the Wesley Foundation want anything to do with us. I asked the leader of the Foundation what exactly they did. His answer... "We bake cookies". I'm sure John Wesley would be proud.
Having attempted to gain sponsorship from the Christian organizations on campus and failed, we were not about to simply leave campus. After all, the Mormons were walking around proselytizing unhindered... We headed back for the administrator.
When we walked back into the office, they told us that the chief administrator was going to see us, so Miles and I entered the office of Mr. Fred Peters. He sat us down and straightway said to us, "I'm giving you the authority to preach on campus." Surprised, we asked again, and inquired if this was also valid for any future meetings, and he noddded his head! Open Air Outreach had just busted the closed door at Tyler Junior College wide open!
The funny thing was, when we started preaching, the police showed up and commanded us to stop. We told them we had permission from Mr. Peters but they didn't believe us. So they hauled us up to Fred's office and stormed in through the door expecting to see us busted. You should have seen the look on their faces when they heard the chief tell them he had given us permission!
The meetings were great afterwards. Many people heard the gospel and many Christians were fired up for the Lord. Praise God!
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Revelation 14:6-7)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Brother Jeffrey Olver witnessing one on one with a UNT student.
"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:18-20)
Saturday, October 21, 2006
And here is me at Leonard Ravenhill's grave, my favorite preacher:
It was an honor to be there, and I am truly blessed.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Once again, huge crowds gathered to hear the gospel being preached in the open air; crowds made up of every type of person under the sun: athiests, agnostics, Christians, buddhists, Muslims, Hindus... skeptics, socialists, homosexuals, fornicators, drunkards, blasphemers... the people came. It just so happened that the day we arrived at UALR was National Coming Out Day, or the day the homosexuals came out in force. The meeting basically got rolling when a shameless sodomite challenged Miles to a public debate and pulled out a his reasons why homosexuality was acceptable on a sheet of paper in defense of his sinful practise. The man claimed to be a Christian and attempted to use the Bible to justify his sin. "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22) Being in the Bible belt, it was refreshing to see about half the crowd disapprove of this man, where in other areas we would see entire crowds cheer and applaude any such opposer.
The whole campus was in a stir; lots of debate, lots of questions, lots of emotion... people searching the Bible for answers... God was definitely at work.
The man in the picture above was about to attack me but was restrained by an administrator and a police officer. "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." (John 7:7)
Watch a video from this campus here.
Praise God for the seed that was planted and the fruit we saw at these meetings! Charles Spurgeon once called evangelism "that most royal employment." There is nothing greater than to lift up the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ against the world, the flesh and the devil. May the Lord raise up more laborers to fight the battle for lost souls and to reap in the harvest of these desperate last days.
"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19)
Friday, October 13, 2006
Our tour then took us to Arkansas for seven days, hitting two major campuses and also a bar district during the weekened. We met up with another brother named Josh Parsley (pictured above) who open air preaches in his hometown of Fayetteville. Not only that, but we lodged in the second largest building in Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas... a huge Institute of Basic Life Principles ministry building owned by Bill Gothard (very big in the U.S.). Basically we had a massive corporation building all to ourselves! Though Mr. Gothard owns the building, the majority of it needs to be redone, and the building is not in use save for the first two floors. It is hard to explain... big building, three preachers... but it's true.
We had great meetings at University of Central Arkansas with large crowds drawing immediately and remaining for the better part of the day. On the first day one young lady was so convicted of her sins she burst into tears, tears falling from her face, and she stepped in front of everybody and confessed her sins. We were able to minister the grace of God to her! "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psalm 51:17)
A professor of philosophy came out and opposed us on the second day. His arguments were totally absurd as he poisoned the minds of the ignorant students with his anti-Bible rhetoric. A sharp rebuke sent him away. "They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matthew 15:14)
Audio: Eli Brayley - University of Central Arkansas
We closed the meetings with a few songs which the people really enjoyed. May God cause an increase of His seed to grow on this campus; may His Word not return void. Glory to God.
More pictures can be found at http://www.openairoutreach.com/gallery/album27?page=1
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
First, that a message board is an excellent way for people to discuss and share ideas with each other in a comfortable and convenient manner, regardless of venue.
Secondly, that the message board brings together brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the globe. This really is my primary motivation for creating one, seeing that the TM community spans the map rather extensively. I think of brother Nathan in Woodstock, and Mike in Acadia, Greg in Kelowna BC, Luke in Guelph Ontario, Adam and Karen in Fredericton, brother Ricky in Edmonton Alberta, Micah and Katie in Moncton, Paul in San Marco Texas, Andrew in Saint John, Thomas in Stuttgart Germany, and on and on... not to mention myself being on the road, the numerous other readers abroad, and all my dear friends back home. It is my sincere desire to see this message board become a reference point for a community of scattered localities.
Thirdly, as mentioned above, for the promotion of discussing Scripture, doctrine and theology in order to hammer out difficult issues within Christianity, a practise which is often neglected but absolutely necessary. I believe it is thoroughly beneficial and in our best interest for Christians to sharpen iron against iron and learn more from one another.
Fourthly and finally, for the cause of keeping in touch with the family of God, as we don't get to fellowship with each other as often as we would like, and as often as would please the Lord (Hebrews 10:25). What a blessing it is to stay in touch with the brothers and sisters despite the obstacle of distance!
I heartily encourage all the TM community to sign up on the message board and participate in full, being confident that God can use this service to be a blessing, encouragement, help and refreshment to all for the glory of God.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Praise God. Continue to pray for us that we would be filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, to preach the Gospel boldly and clearly to a crooked and perverted generation. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord! God bless, brothers and sisters.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Yesterday, dear readers, the team arrived on MTSU to find a campus ripe for the message: it seemed everywhere we looked people were totally depraved, backward and dark, while at the same time professing Christ. Terrible music was blasting in front of the Student Union building while girls sporting pink and black wedding dresses danced raunchily on the lawn... I overheard one man telling his friend how his rock band used to play worship music at their church but that it wasn't satisfying so they began writing songs and performing at the bars... one girl was acting like a cat, completely out of her right mind... just some of the bizarre sights we witnessed on this university. We set the banners up right in the midst of the chaos and began to preach. It wasn't long before a faculty administrator man arrived. He ordered us to leave the campus grounds unless we had a permit that required a 5-day process; a totally ridiculous and unacceptable obstacle for a university campus, which are traditionally open forums.
It was a real shame, because a large crowd grew instantly, comprised of angry exposed 'Christians' and other curious onlookers. What bothers me the most, however, is that officials tolerate the kind of wickedness and loud music exhibited that afternoon on the knoll but not the preaching of the Gospel. After being asked to leave we delivered a short gospel message and packed up to go, but on our way off campus, the student journalists were running towards the scene and happened to meet us along the path out. They stopped us for a story on the incident and the next day it was on the front page of their school paper. You can read the article online here.
Though we had to leave, all was not in vain, for the message got out clearly and we were also able to talk to a few students on our walk back to the van, as well as put a frontpage story in the widely read school newspaper. May the seed that went forth on this campus, though small in quantity, find good soil and produce a crop of lasting quality. Please pray for us that in the future we would have favor with university officials and that an this kind of thing would not be repeated.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Large crowds gathered for two days straight at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as we preached against the reigning sin of that campus: hypocrisy. I have never before seen in my life so many professing Christians in one place living in open sin... and justifying it. The Bible Belt is an amazing place: every third car has a Jesus sticker, every third advertisement is a Christian promotion, every third building is a church, but the spiritualality here is at an all time low. I asked the crowd how many of them profess Christ and 90% raised their hands... but who also were the froward sinners with the foul language and wicked habits?
I got the meeting started the first day, shown in the pictures above. My text was 2 Timothy 2:19, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His, and, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
We rendezvoused with a great brother named Kevin from the Great News Network who assisted us in preaching during our stay at UofT. We also met a Baptist missionary who is stationed at the campus and he also helped us preach at our last meeting. It was a real priviledge to meet these excellent brothers.
The following video is a portion of preaching from UofT; the message being repent and prepare the way for the Lord to travel, Malachi 4:5-6/Luke 3:3-18: Eli Brayley - Prepare the Way
God bless dear readers. May the Lord sustain us and keep us; may we walk worthy of the calling for which we have been called. Lift high the cross! Lift high the Name of Jesus Christ.