Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS (don't write about the song) (05/14/15)
TITLE: Outside of the Four Walls
By Roy Proctor
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The Pastor’s words “outside the four walls” raised a challenge from within my spirit. It was actually more of a sting that hit somewhere in the inside. One thing was certain. I was being roused out of my comfort zone to get involved.
I immediately thought of asking Bill, one of the young adults, to get involved with me. He was sort of a rough speaking guy, slightly crude. But his heart was after God.
“Ange,” Bill replied.
I need to explain here. Bill and I were in a Christmas play. Bill played the part of Joseph, Mary’s beloved. And I played the part of the Angel that spoke to Mary and to Joseph. Ever since that time, we greeted each other as Joe and Ange and hugged each other with gusto.
“Hey Joe,” I said. “What do you think about taking our faith outside the four walls of the church?”
“You got hit too, ay Ange?”
Joe and I talked to others about the Pastor’s request. Most of them said, “Well, I’ll have to pray about it.”
After talking to some others, Joe said. “You know, Ange. I won’t have peace if I don’t get involved in this.”
“I know how you feel, Joe.”
The meeting after the next Sunday service was informative if not a little frightening. A porn company had opened several adult book stores in the city of Jacksonville, Florida. A few outlets were located in the “bad” parts of town.
Joe and I were assigned to a particular store from seven to nine P.M. for three nights a week, for an arbitrary period of six weeks. We didn’t leave that organizational meeting until people laid hands on us and prayed for our safety and our witness.
I would be lying to say that our efforts produced results that were easy to see. A revival of gigantic proportions didn’t break out. We didn’t cast out any demons. To our surprise many people we encountered questioned our faith. I will never forget one man who showed up every night we were there. The only name he gave us was “Rick.” He usually didn’t stay long but responded to our witnessing by saying, “I don’t think you guys are Christians at all. You’re nothing but a couple of hypocrites.”
Traffic to the store was surprisingly light. Those that did enter were visibly agitated by our statements that Jesus loves them and that He has a better way. Some changed their mind and walk away.
Surprisingly enough, no one tried to assault us. We even encountered some who were obviously on something that altered their senses and affected their attitude. But even then, we were sure that our statements about Jesus’ love did reach into their hearts to dome degree. Rather than violence, however, we encountered bitter verbalizations of their personal disbelief.
Rick was an exception, however. Every night he came to us on the street we felt him soften in his mockery of our faith. Finally on the last night of our assignment he said, “You know, I think you two guys are Christians.”
We tried our best to encourage Rick to take that step to accept Christ. But his personal disbelief stood in the way. We did, however, plant many seeds. Only God knows where Rick stands to this day.
It was hard to see any results of our work. We knew that people were praying for us, and that we were actually in a spiritual battle. Our spirits were lifted, however, when we learned that every store was closed and the porn company left the City.
Picketing the store wasn’t the only time the Lord led me to move outside the four walls of my church. He later led me into prison ministry where the real “bad” people live.
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