This StreetWise team continues to do amazingly with every moment of ministry. Below are the stories from Justin Schlabach and Brooke Aukerman.
“Today we got to experience another compelling message from Sean McDowell. He taught us how to be confident in defending our faith, Sean made some great points in his message, the main topic of his message was about why Christianity can be considered as a true religion, it really spoke to our team. One point that really spoke to me was that all other religions have some mention of Jesus, Islam mentions Him as a prophet, Buddhism tells their followers that Jesus was a good moral teacher, and Hinduism actually includes that Jesus is one of their deities in certain ways. But no other religion mentions Muhammad outside of Islam and no other religion mentions Buddha outside of Buddhism. That really spoke to me, just thinking about how much Jesus has influenced humanity humbles me tremendously.
In the afternoon, our team was sent out to Mifflin Park in South Philly to have spiritual conversations with people there. The area where the park is at is mostly Cambodian and Malaysian, so it was interesting learning about the people’s’ culture and background. One man that I got to speak to was from Malaysia, his name was Chin. Chin overheard me presenting the gospel to another man in the park, after the other man and I parted ways, Chin stopped me to say that when he heard me presenting the gospel, he couldn’t help himself but cry. He told me that he was a part of a church but he had left and that he had a drinking problem, but that he wanted to go back to church and find Christ again. He told me that he was struggling because he couldn’t really speak English well enough to express himself fully. He told me not to worry about him because he already committed to turning his life around, but he exclaimed once again that when he hears the message of the gospel, he can’t help himself but cry. I got to pray for him and he graciously shook my hand and said that he was thankful for our talk. It was a great spiritual conversation, and I could feel God moving through the conversation. It’s because of Jesus that these things can happen, all glory goes to Him for what happened today.” – Justin Schlabach
“Hi my name is Brooke and today was a wonderful experience! First we started off the day with teaching from Sean on truth. He spoke on the importance of truth and important facts about truth such as truth has consequences, it is the compass of life, and just believing is not enough because our beliefs don’t change reality. He made a really great point by saying, “Our faith is only as good as what our faith is in.” This, along with our experience yesterday with the mosque, has made us think about the truly important part of the gospel. It’s not that Jesus was born of a virgin, did miracles, and was sinless. The most important part is that HE DEFEATED DEATH! Later on in the day we were challenged to share our story with people from different groups here at streetwise to prepare for our time in the city talking to people.
In the evening, we ventured via public bus into the city were we were just finding people to talk to and hopefully have spiritual conversations with. Chloe and I were walking around together and decided to go up to this man who had a dog (because I mean dogs, am I right?) and we ended up talking with him the entire time we were in the park. His name was Chin and he was a refugee from Cambodia who came to the United States in the 1980s. He was extremely easy to talk to because after we asked him a few questions he completely opened up to us and told us his whole story from start to finish. But there was something new to us about his religious beliefs. We found out he was of the Buddhist religion but after talking with him about Buddhism we concluded that it was more of a cultural thing and he only practiced it occasionally. He then opened up to us and said that in college we became part of Taoism because of his roommate who was Taoist. This intrigued Chloe and I so much wish I could’ve seen our faces from an outside perspective because neither of us had ever heard of this religion and we probably looked like curious little children just wanting to know more. At the end of our chat we got to pray with him and then sadly we had to go but I’m looking forward to researching more about Taoism with Chloe to find out what exactly our friend believes in and surely we will keep praying for him as he does not know Jesus as his Savior.
In group time after this awesome experience we got to be encouraged and reminded that what we did should absolutely not stay here and we should be thinking about how we are going to act differently back in Ohio. The topic of not even knowing our neighbors on our streets was brought up and for me the challenge will be saying hello and giving a smile to more people than I did in the past. So I encourage you to keep praying for us as our lives are being changed.” – Brooke Aukerman
Keep an eye out for our next post tomorrow! Thanks for praying!