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,