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.