2014 Utah Outreach Campaign Day Three
Sometimes the Lord rains on your parade.
Disappointing, yet hopeful. Discouraging, but out of our control.
Our prayer is to bring the Word of God like rain falling from the sky (Isaiah 55:10), trusting that it will be effective in bringing the fruits of faith. In the same way, we trust that the Lord is in control of the weather.
A consistent, cold rain greeted our missionaries throughout the day and washed out all of our plans to canvass the streets of Kaysville. Since everybody prepared for hot weather this week, we knew that sweaters alone would not protect or shield us from rainy temperatures in the high forties.
The Lord in his wisdom kept our Truth in Love missionaries indoors. Yet, we were blessed abundantly with doses of encouragement and unique opportunities to share God's Word.
Light of the Valley Lutheran Church (Layton, UT) opened their doors and fed each of the missionaries a sack lunch. After lunch, one of the church members shared with us her long and difficult journey out of Mormonism. Growing up in a LDS family, the Lord brought her to discover the truth of the real gospel of Jesus Christ at Light of the Valley. She said, "For me, one of the amazing truths of the Bible is John 3:16 PERIOD! Nothing but faith alone is what makes me completely justified before God."
(Click here to read Amanda's story)
Despite the rain, a group of Truth in Love missionaries traveled to Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City with the intent of planting the seeds of God's Word. Another group went to visit the Lighthouse Christian bookstore founded by Sandra and Jerald Tanner.
Sandra spent several minutes sharing with our group her story of leaving Mormonism over fifty years ago and about her work today. [www.utlm.org] While visiting with Sandra, a middle-aged man entered and quickly began browsing through the bookstore. Several minutes later, another man brought his young adult son into the small store. Listening to our conversation, he was shocked to find out that we were from Truth in Love Ministry. Several years ago, he attended a conference in California hosted by a Wisconsin Lutheran Synod (WELS) church. The conference leader was Mark Cares. He even was wearing a shirt from the conference, which had "Speaking the Truth in Love" in bold letters on the back. He shared with us that he was in Salt Lake City to attend a family reunion. All four of his brothers were Mormon. He came to find encouragement and support on how to share God's Word.
The conversation ended and our group was ready to go. Suddenly, the man who had previously entered the store suddenly appeared before me and made a startling statement.
"I'm a Mormon."
For the past forty minutes, he had been carefully listening to our conversation. He no longer believed the teachings of Mormonism and wanted to learn more about Christianity. Every morning on his way to work, he listened to programs on Christian radio. He kept his searching a secret since his wife was still a faithful Mormon. Happily married for 34 years, he didn't want to run the risk of losing her. To come inside a Christian bookstore, was a huge step for him.
With a nervous voice, he asked, "I want to know more about Christianity."
What a privilege to share what the Bible teaches about forgiveness in Christ! What a door of opportunity the Lord gave us! And we didn't even have to knock!
It was a "golden moment" on a rainy Tuesday.
During one of our evening devotions, we closed with the following that was meaningful:
"Amid the world's bleak wilderness A vineyard grows with promise green, The planting of the Lord himself.
His love selected this terrain; His vine with love he planted here To bear the choicest fruit for him."
("Amid the World's Bleak Wilderness" Jaroslav Vajda (Christian Worship #342) Postscript:
Steven is one of our veteran missionaries. While most of us were visiting Temple Square or the Lighthouse bookstore on this rainy day, he bravely passed out hundreds of beyeperfect.org literature to those riding on the commuter trains in downtown Salt Lake City. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Steve knew how to work the trains for Jesus Christ.