Monday, December 28, 2009

A White Christmas for Project Ezra in Juneau, Alaska

The following is a note from Adam Gray, one of our regular Project Ezra participants, and is posted with his permission. Next time you consider backing out on a reading or another evangelism opportunity, think back on this note and take a look a his pictures, which are from our True Gift of Christmas event. They were a real encouragement and challenge to me, and I think they will be for you too.

Hey Dan. Here is a brief description of what we do here in Juneau during the two types of weather in which we are blessed to serve.

The summers in Juneau are fairly mild but it normally rains about 75% of the time. The rain can be a hindrance if you’re not prepared. A fellow Christian family who accompanies me bought a waterproof NT for me just for such occasions. When open-air preaching I usually have to put my small PA system beneath my stool to keep it from getting soaked. I also recently purchased a small waterproof camera after realizing that just putting my old camera in a zip-lock wouldn’t work. Handing out tracts usually has to be done in the shops or under a covered area along the sidewalk when raining. During the summers, we are visited by nearly 900,000 tourists between May and October. This makes for a great opportunity to open-air preach and witness to numerous people on a regular basis. I have a schedule of the ships and when they come in and have ,on several occasions, been at the pier to meet the passengers when they step off the brow. This has given me the opportunity to hand out several hundred tracts in a matter of minutes.

While the wet weather of the summer is somewhat challenging, the winter months are another story. Juneau is a slightly “warmer” climate that most of Alaska. During the winter our temps can get into the negatives but typically have stayed in the low to mid-teens most of the time. I usually open-air preach/read for Project Ezra after work every Friday downtown. I am often accompanied by two other brothers who read as well. This means we are out there for 20-30 minutes so I dress very warmly the morning before. Since the sun sets by 3 pm during the winter I have to carry a light hooked to an elastic band that fits around my head (Tony uses one similar for his cross). But even with the layers, thick socks, and gloves I am usually freezing when we leave. Although the downtown area is usually fairly empty during the winter I discovered that the city workers all get off around 4:30 pm and park right in front of where I normally open-air. So I get a pretty good “walking crowd” each time.

We started a Prayer Station in the local mall recently which will also be a good point of outreach for us during the winter. I also plan to open-air preach at the bus stops in the coming month. With the cold weather, everyone huddles under the little shelter waiting for their transportation which gives us a “captive” audience.

I’ve come to see the weather as less of an inconvenience and more of an opportunity to break out of the norm and try something different. It also helps you to appreciate those times when the sun is shining and you don’t need a rain jacket or several layers of clothing just to hand out tracts.

Thank you for coordinating the efforts for Project Ezra. I pray this will be of some encouragement to others. May God be glorified in all we do.

For His name,
Adam Gray

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Gospel of John in Burbank (CA)

As some of you know, I sustained a hemorrhage on my left vocal cord while open-air preaching at Huntington Beach, during Ambassadors' Academy #12. For the last four months I've had trouble with my voice, particularly when trying to preach in the open-air. I decided to see a specialist, at which time I received the diagnosis. Fortunately, and by the grace of God, it doesn't appear that I sustained any permanent damage to my voice; but the doctor prescribed up to six weeks of vocal rest to allow the injury to heal properly. By vocal rest he meant no raising of my voice for the next several weeks.

Daniel Beaudoin, the coordinator for the Ambassadors' Alliance Project Ezra outreach, recently came up with the idea of forming teams around the world to read the Gospel of John, in its entirety. It was frustrating to think that I would have to miss the most significant Project Ezra effort to date.

Yesterday was the big day. I followed the activities of Project Ezra teams on Facebook and Twitter. With each testimony read the desire in my heart to hit the streets grew. I knew that reading the Gospel of John would take a couple of hours. And I knew my voice wouldn't last that long. Plus, I don't think Mahria would have let me out of the house if I told her I was going to read the Bible for two hours, in the open-air.

So, in the middle of the afternoon, I came up with an idea. I would try to put together a team at the last minute. I would gather the team at the Burbank Media Center--a location with outstanding acoustics where we can use amplification. If I could pull it off, each team member would read three chapters from the Gospel of John, and I could participate without raising my voice.

I put out the word via Twitter, Facebook, and phone text messages that I was trying to put together a team. I determined if I did not get a response, I would not go. But, as the Lord would have it, people did respond. And here's the team with which he blessed me.

After I read John 1-3, Lisa read John 4-6. This was Lisa's first time on the box. What a blessing to see her, as we say in evangelism circles, break the sound barrier.

Lisa was followed by her son, Zach, who read John 7-9.

Lisa's husband and an elder in our church, Ty, read John 10-12.

Next up was Dean. He read John 13-15.

Dean was followed by Aaron, who read John 16-18.

And Dru closed our reading with John 19-21.

It took us two hours to read the Gospel of John. I was blessed to not only participate, but to also listen as my Christian brethren read the Word of God. Another blessing was that our team was not limited to those who read the Scriptures. Amanda, my youngest, distributed more than two hundred gospel tracts during the reading.

Dru's family joined us and his kids distributed tracts. Several of the members of the Calvary Bible Church Evangelism Team were there, distributing tracts and engaging people in conversation.

When we had finished reading the Gospel of John, I closed our time in Burbank by preaching the Gospel. Amanda stood close by, making sure daddy didn't raise his voice--at least not too loud. It was a blessed night, with many people hearing the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One homeless young man accepted the gift of a Bible. Hundreds of people received gospel tracts. And the fellowship among the brethren was sweet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Report from the FIFA Final Draw in Cape Town
Posted on December 10, 2009 by Gary Crous

On the evening of Thursday December 3, 2009 we had a meeting at Brother Nigel and Sister Charlene Titus’ home in Grassy Park where we discussed the schedule and prayed for the outreach in and around the Cape Town city centre to take place the next day.

By the grace of God and after some time of planning this event, the day arrived on Friday December 4 where a team of evangelists would be taking to the streets of Cape Town to meet sinners whose only interest in this particular day would appear to be “to go out and party in Long Street”.

We left Nigel’s home shortly after 12:00 and proceeded into the city. The team would eventually comprise an “early” team and a “later” team for those joining us after work in the late afternoon / early evening. The members present were Nigel Titus, Donovan Nelson, Timothy Brown, Madge Titus (Nigel’s mother), Veronica Neutt, Bradley Scott, Bernadette Wagner, Craig Ernstzen, Barion Smith, Daniel Manuels (cameraman) and Gary Crous.


We arrived at Thibault Square; Nigel had received a call to collect the gospel tracts delivered to the mail room at his work in God’s perfect timing from Living Waters Africa. At the Square there were many people sitting around, walking through, waiting or taking their lunch break, and some were even on their “smoke-break” from work. Meeting these people allowed us opportunities to witness to them about the Day of Judgment that is approaching them as we opened the Perfect Law of God to their consciences and revealed the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ through the perfect atonement of sins through His sacrificial death on the cross, but most importantly His resurrection to life where He has conquered the sting of death, the grave and sinners’ sins for those who will repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

During this time there were many one2one witnessing encounters undertaken by us zealous evangelists. Challengers were also encountered and overcome by the power of God. One particular incident was when Veronica was approached by a security officer, who is employed at the Square, who questioned her about handing out tracts and whether she had permission to do so. Veronica approached Gary to discuss the situation, whilst he was witnessing to an elderly gentleman who understood the Word being opened to him. Afterwards, Gary explained to Veronica that the Square was public domain unless there was any signage prohibiting the distribution of written materials (including Gospel Tracts) or a code of conduct that was viewable. The situation did not proceed any further as we were not approached again by security. In all that unfolded in the Square He is the One who is glorified in all the good works that took place. We were merely the vessels that were available to God for Him to speak His Words to dying sinners. No praise is due to us – God is the One to be glorified for orchestrating us. There were some persons who were receptive and open to discussion and there were also those who held fast to their unbelief and were prepared to take a gamble with their eternal wellbeing where their consciences terminated the conversations rather than receive the Truth in and through Christ Jesus.


From Thibault Square, the soldiers of the cross rounded up and proceeded up St. Georges Street Mall. After taking a short “time-out” the work of the Lord continued with handing out of tracts, one2one witnessing and ministering to believers and the unsaved. Craig Ernstzen shared that there was a security guard who had heard the gospel proclaimed to him once before and was at the point of making a profession for Christ Jesus. We pray the Holy Spirit convicted him of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8) and saved him by reconciling him into God’s family by making him a child of the Almighty.

There were many more opportunities of handing out tracts as we walked the length of the Mall and we also had opportunities of engaging the lost in conversation taking them through the Good Person Test, opening up the Perfect Law and expounding upon the Goodness of God expressing His Mercy and Grace through the cross by the sacrificing of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE GARDENS (Outside Parliament)

This would be where we would do our Project Ezra readings - we had chosen Matthew 5 – 7 and other readings. Today would also be the first time for five of our brothers and sisters in Christ to break the sound barrier. God is gracious in bringing His children to a place of overcoming what we call obstacles. In God’s strength all things are possible. Hallelujah.

(From Top to Bottom in order of Project Ezra readings – Nigel Titus, Gary Crous, Veronica Neutt (Newbie), Madge Titus (Newbie), Timothy Brown (Newbie), Donovan Nelson (Newbie), Craig Ernstzen, and Barion Smith (Newbie))

While the readings were taking place, passer-bys were handed many tracts and witnessing conversations also took place under the tree lined walkway. It was also at this point that a few of the brethren commenced with open-air preaching as the proclamation of God’s Law and the Gospel of Grace echoed in the Gardens of Cape Town. During the preaching of the Word Nigel handed a Million Dollar tract to a guy named Matthew. On receiving it he looked intently at it and said: “Is this the Way of the Master tract?” A conversation commenced between Nigel and Matthew – who opened his backpack to reveal that he, too, was carrying Living Waters tracts and material. Matthew has recently moved down to Cape Town from Durban to work there and Nigel now has his contact details. It is awesome to know that the ekklesia is being exposed to The Way of the Master Evangelism. Praise God that Biblical Evangelism is being preached!!!

LONG STREET (The Party-Zone)

We proceeded down to Long Street in the heart of Cape Town where the party-zone was cordoned off by the ever present South African Police Services (SAPS). To gain access you had to enter from the side streets – after being bodily searched by SAPS Law Enforcement Officers. It was a sea of humanity and chaotic – we could never even think about having meaningful conversations with the hoards of lost souls from every creed, tribe and tongue who were there for one thing – to party. Long Street was out of the question, but the side street we entered the zone from was ideal. Conversations could be had even with the everpresent soundings of the Vuvuzelas and we were also able to open-air preach to the lines of fans waiting to enter the party-zone.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Matthew 24:36-39

There is so much more that can be written about our evangelising the lost and hopefully individual stories and testimonies will be penned and sent in to be posted by our Lord’s labourers. Praise belongs to Our One and Only God – The Lord Jesus Christ for without His Good Works we can do absolutely nothing.

The Class of 4 December 2009 – Back Row L to R – Donovan Nelson, Bradley Scott, Craig Ernstzen, Gary Crous, Nigel Titus, Timothy Brown; Front Row L to R - Veronica Neutt, Barion Smith, Bernadette Wagner, and Madge Titus; Cameraman – Daniel Manuels. Late arrivals Emile & Teri Jansen and their daughter.

After a long day, with tired limbs, hoarse throats but vibrant in heart we fellowshipped as a family around a meal at Nandos where we discussed our experiences, shared “war stories” and testimonies of how Great and Good our God really is - it was a perfect way to end a perfect day.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Living Waters Slashes Ambassadors Academy Registration By 50%

At Living Waters, we love the Ambassadors' Academy. It is so unique. We have seen more than 560 people receive three full days of intensive evangelism training, and this has resulted in the lives of Christians and churches being radically changed, for the glory of God.

It is because we see evangelism as the life's-blood of this ministry, that we have been diligent to keep the fee (hotel costs, food, transport, etc.) to a bare minimum. We did this to make it affordable. However, the economy has hindered many from being part of this experience. We have, therefore, decided to subsidize the cost and bring it down from $600 to $300. It is truly a step of faith for us as a ministry.

Needless to say, we anticipate a great response to this news. So, apply today to attend one of the six Ambassadors' Academies in 2010, and, please, encourage others to do the same!

150,000 people die every day. Those who enter eternity without knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will spend eternity in hell. The continued training of evangelists is vital to the furtherance of the gospel. Join us in this eternally-important work while there is still time.


Note: You will notice on the application page that the registration price is still listed at $600. That will change soon. I'm so excited about this announcement that I couldn't wait for Brad Snow, Living Waters' web designer, to change the graphics on the site. :-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Project Ezra and the True Gift of Christmas

Project Ezra
The True Gift of Christmas event

Project Ezra is dedicated to encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing born again followers of Christ, from around the world, to read the Word of God in public, and what better time to do so than Christmas! Although many, if not most, cities and towns in our country have some kind of community Christmas (or “Holiday”) gathering or fair, these celebrations that have all the trappings of the Christmas season have often nearly or completely lost the essence of what the season should be; a celebration of the birth of Christ. Some cities have banned religious (Christian) displays such as Nativity scenes on public property, and those who have not have often pushed them to the periphery, or buried them behind piles of tinsel, pretty lights, and plastic Santas. Those of us whom God has called to public ministry need to be looking for creative ways bring the focus of the Christmas season back to where it belongs.

In an effort to do so, Project Ezra will be suggesting a very special reading event for this, and we hope many more, Christmases to come. We are encouraging Project Ezra members to gather a team to read the entire Gospel of John in public in the weeks before Christmas.

First, choose a public area in your town or city at or near one of your popular Christmas events. This could be a fair, a parade, outside your local mall on weekends, or any other place that will draw groups of people. You know your area, so pick a place you would want to visit with your friends and family.

Get together a group of like-minded believers to participate with you. This is the ideal time to get additional people involved, since the reading will be long and can be easily divided up. Call Christian friends and family, and see about announcing it in church on Sunday.

Bring a small ladder or box to stand on, and consider making a sign stating the name of our group and what you will be reading for listeners who arrive mid-reading. You may or may not use amplification, depending on personal preference and local laws.

Be sure to spend time in prayer as a group before you start!

Read of the entire Gospel of John, front to back. Consider picking one translation that everyone will read from so the reading flows more smoothly. You also might want to consider printing the book in larger type and putting in into a binder that can be handed from one participant to another. If you will be out in the evening, consider the lighting level too.

If you have a more experienced open-air preacher in your group (or even if you don’t) consider following the reading with a simple gospel presentation

Make sure you have plenty of tracts and bibles to hand out!

The event will be going up on our Facebook page soon, and we will be posting this note to our blog as well so you have someplace to send your friends for more info. Please let us know your thoughts, be sure to RSVP the event, and we look forward to lots of pictures, video, and stories!