Well, we did have our first Bible study in Tacoma this past Friday and I have to say it was encouraging. I honestly had no idea what to expect because this is the first time we have done something like this. God is obviously moving in our new city and is preparing us to plant and grow The Pathway but with each new day comes new challenges, exciting opportunities and a world of uncertainties that demand an ever increasing faith in the God of the Universe.
As usual we fed quite a few people at the park and just continued to build new relationships and develop existing ones. Every week we go through 40 hot dogs, 20 hamburgers and an unknown number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches courtesy of a diverse group of people that include, college students, retirees, the homeless and others. After the big feed we invited anyone and everyone to stay for a short Bible study and 4 people took us up on the offer. One of the guys was a street person named Thomas who has been hanging out with us almost every week. Shannon, one of our Tacoma interns has been able to share the gospel with him and talk to him about the salvation that can only be found in Jesus Christ. He stayed for the entire study but right now he believes we are just a bunch of well-meaning and idealistic young adults who haven't seen the real challenges and heart-ache that this world can and will bring. We'll see what Jesus does in Thomas' heart!
We also met a new couple, Boom and Michelle, who profess faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. This married couple lives in a nearby apartment and are fired up to reach the community for Jesus. Boom is an ex-con and a recovering alcoholic but he and his wife seem to genuinely be on the right track. They had questions about the trinity and other things regarding their faith and seemed to have a hunger to be discipled. That was very encouraging.
As is the case with most situations where the Lord is moving Satan was also at work. Zach, another one of our interns, spent quite a while talking with Curtis, a new guy to the group who claimed to love Jesus. He stayed for our Bible study and we quickly realized that he did not recognize Jesus as God and he simply wanted to be loud and belligerent while we tried to speak the truth of scripture. After giving him a chance to share his feelings and speak his mind I finally had to ask him to leave. It was disturbing and sad but God used it to wake us all up to the spiritual warfare that is taking place in all our lives on a daily basis. We cannot hope to reach people in victory if we are not going to our knees in battle!
Thank you for all your prayers and we would ask that you continue to lift us and the people we are trying to reach with the gospel up in prayer. I can't wait to see what God has in store!