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Newsletter and Coming Events – January 2015


Coming Events

Note: Outreaches are subject to change, especially on rainy days. Call (510) 282-5629 to confirm outreaches or for more information.
Friday January 9, 16, 23 6 – 9 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. January 10 and 17 11 AM – 4 PM. Fisherman’s Wharf outreach. Jefferson St. near Powell, San Francisco.
Sat. January 24 12:30-4:30 PM Berkeley outreach. Telegraph & Haste St.

Obeying The Great Commission

Dear Christian friends,

Before our Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, He left us with one Great Commission, to go into all the world, preaching the Gospel, making disciples of all nations. Two thousand years later, this task is largely unfinished. Every year, the percentage of people worldwide who have heard the gospel is decreasing. According to one study, 90% of all Christians in the United States never witness to anyone. Every year, we see more and more people in our country turn away from God. Yet how can we expect the unbelievers to take the Gospel seriously when we don’t show them that we take it seriously?
The dedication of the cults puts us to shame. Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s) have all the responsibilities of job and family that we have. Yet they witness an average of 4 hours a week. (At that rate it takes them 16 years to baptize one convert!)
One day, I looked out my window and saw two JW mothers going door to door with their children in baby carriages. Why can’t Christians do that? One of the strongest arguments the JW’s use is that they are the ones who are out witnessing for Jehovah, not the Christians.
Every Mormon takes two years out of his life for full time missionary service around the world before settling down to raise a family. Why can’t we do this? If we did, we’d fulfill the Great Commission in no time. Instead, we come up with excuses for not evangelizing–it’s not my calling, I’m a silent witness, I’m too busy. We find fault with every method of witnessing and every evangelism ministry.
One of the main reasons we have a hard time witnessing is fear– fear of rejection by others. Nobody likes being rejected and when we preach the Gospel some people will be offended and reject us. Rather than admit this, we come up with other excuses for not witnessing. We need to overcome this fear, but we never will unless we are first convinced that we must witness for the Lord in order to be obedient to Him. We all love to claim the promises of God, but how many of us claim 2 Timothy 3:12, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”?
We all know that God has a plan for our lives, but many of us don’t realize that Satan also has a plan for our lives. The first part of his plan is to keep us from getting saved. Having failed in this, Satan’s second purpose is to keep us from witnessing to others. He does this through two means: 1. He makes us feel unworthy to witness because of our own sins. 2. He gives us a variety of excuses for not witnessing.
It is time that we stop listening to the enemy’s lies and commit ourselves to obey the Great Commission of our Lord. I believe each of us should be witnessing for Christ in our everyday lives. But I believe each of us should also be involved in some kind of organized evangelistic activity on a regular basis–door-to-door, on the streets, at nursing homes, prisons, juvenile halls, etc. I pray when the Holy Spirit leads me, but I also discipline myself to set a regular time aside for prayer. I fellowship with other Christians when God brings me in contact with them, but I also set aside regular times for Christian fellowship. I witness whenever I am led by the Holy Spirit, but I also set aside regular times for witnessing.
I would challenge each of you to commit at least a few hours a month to some kind of organized evangelism outreach, in addition to whatever witnessing you do in your everyday life. Instead of looking for reasons for being excused from such outreaches, we should instead be dedicating ourselves anew to reaching this lost world by every possible means. I also encourage you to share this teaching with your pastor. I believe that the responsibility of each Christian to witness needs to be taught from every pulpit.

The band “Sonhouse” plays at UN Plaza
The band “Sonhouse” plays at UN Plaza

On the Streets

On Fri. Sept. 12 we witnessed at 16th St. and Valencia. Tim Moon played music that night. Mike and Phil witnessed for an hour to Neal, who sells flowers out of his truck. They shared the gospel with him, and he took a New Testament. Eddie and Amos witnessed to a young man who called himself “Brother.” He was a skeptic, but was receptive to the gospel. They told him to go home and ask God to reveal Himself to him. Dave witnessed to Emerson, who is part-owner of a new ice cream store that is across the street from where we set up. Dave told him, “I want you to talk to Jesus tonight.”

The next day, we held our last outreach of the year at Dolores Park. Tim Moon and Paul Coca played music. Scott Crawford preached. Evangelist Bob Loeffert from Pittsburg, PA was with us that day. He came here to speak at a Bible conference and stayed in our house for a few days. It was a sunny day, and at least 1000 people were in the park. Most were San Francisco residents in their 20’s and 30’s. Because half of the park was closed due to construction, almost all of them could hear the music and preaching.
Eddie and Bob witnessed to an African American family. The mother got angry when her 16 year old son Johnny said that “Jesus is Lord.” He thought he was saved by his works, but was receptive to the true gospel and took a Bible.
Amos witnessed to Andrew, who like him had graduated from Cal Poly. He was against organized religion but receptive to the gospel. He prayed with him. Mike witnessed to two lesbians who were about 14 years old. They listened as he shared the gospel with them. However, when he answered their question about whether lesbian sex is a sin, they walked away.
Eddie, Bob and Amos all witnessed to Noah, who has a Muslim Palestinian background but was stoned on drugs. He asked lots of questions and Amos prayed for him. He invited him to get together the next day. They texted each other but Noah said he was sick and couldn’t meet him.
On Sat. September 20, we held our last park outreach of the year at UN Plaza. The band “Sonhouse Blues Band” played music. One of their members, Dave Angeles, has been ministering with us since 1978, when he was with the band “Gideon’s Army.” They are booked up a year in advance, so we had not been able to schedule them for the past two years. A group of 10 Christians who are traveling from Mexico to Canada joined us for the last part of our outreach. We also met another group of 60 young Christians who are giving out food to the homeless, but don’t share the gospel with them.
Phil witnessed to William, who had spent 12 years in jail and Jackie, a Buddhist “chaplain.” She told Phil he shouldn’t try to change people. Then she told him about her work with poor people. “I try to change them,” she said. Phil pointed out her statement and she responded, “Did I say that?” Phil gave his testimony and she said, “You can pray for me.”
On Fri. October 3 we witnessed at Powell and Market St. Phil and Andy witnessed to a man in his early 20’s named Sophia. He was a Muslim, but not active in the faith. He was receptive to the gospel and took a New Testament but said he would need to hide it from his parents.
Dave witnessed to Kendra, about 28, who has a godly Christian grandmother and was raised in the church. She rebelled and became a prostitute at age 14. After God protected her when a man tried to rape her, she rededicated her life to Christ. However, she is living with her fiancé. She has three children and is pregnant with a fourth.
Several of us, including Mike, ministered to Mattie and Marcus, homeless Christians. Mattie’s arms were scarred because she cut herself a lot. They attended church with Mike that Sunday.
The next day, we witnessed in downtown Berkeley. We were scheduled to witness on Telegraph Ave., but the location was under construction. The permit officer moved us to a new location south of the BART station. He moved us because he had received two complaints at our outreach there during SOS. This location is not as good, but we were still able to minister to a lot of people.
I gave tracts to Keegan and Annan, who are high school freshmen in Berkeley. After they started reading them, Dave spoke with them. They had never heard the gospel. Dave also witnessed to Wendy, who has a Christian grandmother who raised her as a Christian. However, she has turned away from Christ, blaming hypocrites in the church.
Dave and Amos ministered to Tia, a Christian who was molested by her brother when she was 11. Now, she has to take care of her brother, and is having a hard time forgiving him. I prayed with Sarah, who said she is a Christian but is living with a man who is physically abusive. His parents are leaders in the church they attend.

Ministry Needs

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. We have one opening in our ministry house. We are particularly looking for a Christian man in his 20’s or 30’s who is serious about evangelism.
Please pray for those we have witnessed to recently, especially those mentioned in this newsletter. I hope some of you will join us for an outreach this next month—a great way to start the new year.

Yours in His love,

Larry Rosenbaum

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