During the first UnChapel service of the Love on a Mission series, Pastor Jeff issued a challenge to share the Gospel with one person per week. One opportunity for them to rise to this challenge was by attending a campus-wide outreach, called Heart & Hands. On Tuesdays throughout the month of March, a group of Regent students gathered in the Chapel Upper Room for a time of prayer and worship before dispersing into the local community for an evening of outreach. The students who participated in this outreach, around twenty or thirty students each week, were led by Ruth Hueber and Adam Baldwin. They then broke into smaller groups of around five people, leaving the campus to places like Target, Walmart, and local malls to spread the Gospel.
One student in particular, Rebecca Swenk, had an encouraging tale to tell about her experience with Heart & Hands. During one of the evenings of outreach, Swenk had the pleasure of meeting a boy 14-year-old boy who was working at a kiosk. On the way to the outreach, Rebecca was reminded of the verse in Psalm 8 which reads: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Later, when she was speaking with the boy, she was able to share this verse with him after he had finished telling her about his interest in science and the solar system. She told him, “God was thinking of you when He created all those things. When He died on the cross, He was thinking of you the whole time, and I just want you to know that God loves you and truly, deeply cares for you.” That evening, the boy chose to accept Jesus Christ as his savior.
The Heart & Hands participants simply approached various individuals, Christian and not, and asked them if they were in need of prayer. One man they approached was already a Christian, but the students had an impact on him, too. During his encounter with the students, the man had tears in his eyes because he was encouraged to see the Christians engaging in street evangelism.
For anyone who is interested in street evangelism, Swenk has given advice for the following instances:
If You Have Never Tried Street Evangelism Before
“Street evangelism is about allowing God to use you; listen for His voice, be sensitive to Him, and also don’t be timid. One thing I tell myself is that they’re never going to see me again, which is a good thing and a bad thing because when is the next time that they’re going to hear the Gospel? Just go for it, because you never know what’s going to happen. Also remember that it’s not about us. It’s not our power, or our words, or our message, but it’s God’s. Realizing this releases pressure off of us because this is God’s work. All I have to do is open my mouth, and God will fill it. All I have to do is take that first step in being obedient, and God will do the rest.”
If You Have Had a Bad Experience Previously
“Jesus said that if they reject you, shake the dust off your feet and move on. Not everyone is going to be accepting of you, but you just shake it off and keep doing it because this is what God has commanded us to do. If we give up after that, then we are not fulfilling His commandment. This is something that all Christians are called to do.”
If You Feel Like Street Evangelism is Only for People Called to Ministry
“I understand that – like we don’t feel like we can talk to someone about God when we aren’t really sure ourselves or we don’t feel strong in our own relationship with God. But, it’s not about us. It’s not about what we can do. It’s about what God can do.”
For anyone who is interested in further opportunities like Heart & Hands, be on the lookout next year for a similar outreach program organized by Campus Ministries.
Emma Melvin is a contributor to the Daily Runner.