Journeying With Jesus

The Adventure of Faith

Birthing the “Sidewalk Church”

The Sunday before Christmas, God put it on our hearts to serve the day workers in front of a local Home Depot instead of have a having a “traditional” Christmas service for our house churches. After all, the Son of God was born as a stranger, in a foreign land, in difficult circumstances so why shouldn’t we serve those that He would have felt very at home with?

Gathering our families together we took breakfast burritos and horchata, $15 gift cards from Home Depot, Billy Graham’s Peace with God pamphlet translated to Spanish and our Christmas greetings to the 55 men standing on the sidewalk around the complex. All appreciated the food and greetings; some hung around to talk and shared of their longings for their families back in Mexico during this season. We were able to pray for a few requests. What used to look like a bunch of strangers loitering around Home Depot took on faces and names and stories and personalities. We were blessed, they were blessed and “Christmas service” took on a whole new meaning.

Every Sunday morning after that, Brandon and Matthew and sometimes others would go down early to hang out with the guys on the sidewalk. Most times they would take some tangerines or food, open God’s Word, read it together,discuss what was read, pray together and go. Anywhere from six to sixteen guys might participate. Brandon and Matthew began to get to know the various men, and one of them would always be willing to translate for those who didn’t speak English.

This last Sunday the group decided to do something different. Reserving a room in a nearby pizza parlor, they invited as many of the guys who had not found work that day to meet for lunch for a deeper study. Nine guys showed up. Taking a DVD called, Esperanza (Hope), they showed 15 minutes of the video depicting God’s story from Creation and the Fall pointing to Jesus. The entire DVD is 80 minutes in length and it chronologically goes from Creation to Christ. Brandon asked the group how many had ever heard the story of the Creation and the Fall. Only two guys raised their hands! Brandon then shared his testimony while Hector, a Hispanic believer who was invited to help, translated. After translating for Brandon, Hector challenged the men, if you want to receive Christ, pray after me.  Amid many tears, nine men prayed out loud in the back room of the pizza parlor to have Jesus forgive them of their sins and take charge of their lives.

Months earlier, when the initial idea was raised to work with the day workers my initial reaction was “it won’t work.” We don’t know Spanish, we are not a part of their culture, it is a transient group, we have no place to meet, there will be no continuity, were all my concerns. All legitimate obstacles. I forgot that God is the one who says, “say to this mountain be cast into the sea” and it will be done for you. I am so proud of Brandon and Matthew and all who have lovingly labored in this field. Thank you Lord for this fruit. Thank you for these men and others who will come to know you through their testimony! Forgive us Lord for thinking “it will not work” without seeing you as the God who moves mountains. Thank you Lord for the birth of the “Sidewalk Church.”

March 11, 2008 Posted by | House Church | | 1 Comment