Archive for August, 2010

California State Fair: July 14th – August 1st

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

August 4th
Well, I thought I was going to give you an update each day while I was working the CA State Fair. But, things got busy and somewhat frustrating and it has taken me until now to actually sit down and write about it. Sorry about that. Thanks so much to those of you who prayed for the CA State Fair.

I worked the 1st week of the fair, July 14-20th. I worked the booth with Rob Holm and a few volunteers from the churches nearby. My parents made the trip to California with me because my grandparents live there and Dad wanted to do some work for them. It was nice to have my family there with me.

I remember from last year that the CA State Fair was challenging and the people were pretty hard. Many people wanted to argue their viewpoints, some would walk by the booth and mock us, but those who stopped to talk usually took eternity seriously – even if they didn’t agree with the Bible. So, I was shocked by the careless attitude people had towards eternity this year. I had several people stop to talk with me, but I felt as if they only stopped because they were trying to be polite. As I asked people how sure they were of going to heaven, I received a huge variety of answers, as usual. Taking the conversation a step further, people would tell me one could only get to heaven by asking forgiveness, being a good person, confessing your sins, getting baptized. Others would say that everyone was going to heaven and there was no such thing as hell. Some said that no one can know they’re going to heaven because it’s entirely God’s decision and all we can do is try to be good enough that God would chose to let us go to heaven. I found that most people who stopped to answer the question on the back wall were willing to let me take them through at least a few verses in the Bible. But it wasn’t because they were interested, it wasn’t because they thought there was anything for them to learn or think about, it was just a way of being polite to me. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. ” Isaiah 55:11. As I would take people through the verses, many many people seemed to know most of it. They knew that Jesus had died for their sin and they knew something had to be done with their sin before they could go to heaven. They would follow right along with me, agreeing with everything I showed them in the Bible, acting as if they already knew the information, until it came to the question of, how do you get Jesus. They would jump back to their original answers of how you get to heaven. They’d say you get Jesus by asking for forgiveness, being a good person, etc. Then when I showed them the verses that say you can’t do anything yourself to get Jesus (Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;), that you just have to believe in Jesus and what he did for you on the cross (Rom 10:9, Acts 16:31, John 1:12, Gal 4:6) and then he comes into your heart because of your faith, then they would carelessly say something like this: “Oh well, I’m fine then ’cause I believe in Jesus.” And then they’d walk off wearing blatantly immodest clothing, shirts with sickening graphics, holding a beer in their hand, and just enjoying life right here and now. That’s all they seemed to care about; having fun with life right now – not giving any serious consideration to eternity.

I think I had about 10 really good conversations with people throughout the week. Only God truly knows whether or not it was a good conversation though. I can’t know what God will do through our efforts in California. The first day of the fair I spoke with a young man named Antoyne. As I took him through the law, a serious and thoughtful spirit came over him. He listened carefully and had some very good questions. When we were done talking he wrote “I learned that Jesus is the only way to get in heaven” on the back of his follow up card. He was also very excited about signing up for the mail box club, asking me how soon he could expect to get the first mailing. He left the booth deep in thought.

Here are a few of the things people wrote on follow up cards. Boy, age 15 “I learned what you think isn’t always truth.” 22 year old girl “I learned that you can be saved from everything you did in life if you believe in God.” And then 2 girls who grew up catholic wrote, “I learned that you do not simply ask for forgiveness to get to heaven but to have faith and to know and let Jesus into your heart. My other religious views and studies are enhanced and more views make sense.” These girls had tons of really good questions that were pretty easy to answer straight from scripture.

At the end of the week, Jonathan came and swapped out equipment with Rob so that Rob could go on to a different fair.

The very last day I was working the fair, I had a very good conversation with a 16 year old girl named Samantha. She came out of nowhere and walked right up to me and started asking me questions. She was eager to come into the booth and sit down and talk about things. She had an apostolic background and had been told that she would go to hell if she wore jeans and didn’t get forgiveness. She was told that if Jesus came back while she was wearing jeans, she wouldn’t get to go to heaven. After taking her through the gospel and clearing up her questions about salvation, she asked me questions about modesty, long hair, make up, jewelry, and other things like that. Those things are so important to a girl and it was a blessing to be able to give her answers from a Biblical perspective rather than a “work your way to heaven” perspective. She wrote, “One does not need to be Apostolic/UPC/Pentecostal to be saved. Because man cannot pay for it, it is completely in God’s hands. But, one does need faith.”

I took this picture of Jonathan last year at the CA State Fair. Dad took this picture of me on the way home from CA this year.

Jonathan worked the 2nd week of the CA State fair so you can read about it on his blog: California State Fair And his brother Allen and his dad worked the 3rd and final week of the fair.

Your prayers are still needed as the Clark County Fair starts on Friday. It runs from August 6th – August 15th. I’m really looking forward to this fair because volunteers will be coming to help from my own church, God’s Word Baptist Church. It will be a blessing to serve the Lord with my own church family. May we be “labourers together with God” as we work at our local fair.

July 15th
The fair is going pretty well so far. I have been able to get several people thinking through our conversations which is good. Today I had a very good conversation with 2 girls who grew up Catholic. They had a lot of questions about things they were confused about and thankfully most of their questions were easy for me to answer. Pray for them, that they wouldn’t forget the things we talked about. Also pray for a young man I talked to yesterday who was very disturbed by his sin as I took him through the law. He was deep in thought when he left the booth.

July 14th
I just wanted to let you know that I am working in the Soul Winning Booth with Amazing Grace Missions at the CA State Fair in Sacramento from July 14th (today) through July 21st. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for the event. Pray that we would remember the truth of 2 Cor 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;”. Pray that we would open our mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work in the hearts of the people according to His perfect will. And pray that we would not get discouraged but that we would remember that success is simply sharing Jesus with others.

I will post updates here regularly so please check back. Thank you so much for your prayers! Have a productive day in the Lord. -Suzanne