Testimony Thursday: Heaven Breaks In at the Edge of Hell

Two years ago, I went with an evangelism team to the Edge of Hell haunted house held downtown in Kansas City every year. This year, I went again. Let’s just get one thing straight: I’m not a natural evangelist. While I certainly love talking about truth, I have about a million and one fears related to approaching strangers and talking to them about Jesus. I was surprisingly calm all day, however, and looking forward to seeing what God would do.

Lines of people in front of Edge of Hell in downtown Kansas City

Before we set out, the director of IHOPKC’s evangelism department gave us a quick briefing on how to approach people with the gospel. One thing he said was, “If they’re breathing, you can talk to them about Jesus!” He introduced us to a short “spiritual survey” that we could use to talk to people about spiritual matters. He also gave us a cd called “23 Minutes in Hell” about the testimony of a man who went to hell in a vision. (Note: I do not believe that the doctrine of hell should usually be the lead point in a presentation of the gospel, but since this was a Halloween haunted house event and people were looking to be “scared” anyway, it became a thrilling draw for people.)

Once the bus arrived at the location, my partner Grace and I decided to start off by praying. We surrendered the evening to God and asked Him to lead us and prepare the way before us. I specifically asked God to make it easy for us to talk to people, because at that point I was feeling really directionless and nervous.

We saw two girls, probably in their late teens, hovering near the end of the line. I decided that seemed about as easy as it was going to get, so I walked over to them and said, “Hi! Are you guys in line? Is this your first time?” After chatting with them for a minute and introducing ourselves, I launched right in with something like, “We’re just out here talking to people about spiritual things… I mean, ‘Edge of Hell,’ that’s kind of spiritual, right? So, do you believe in hell?” The older girl, Mia, was really willing to engage with us, and she told us that she expected to go to heaven because she tried to live “godly according to the Bible,” but couldn’t really define what a Christian was, so I took the chance to lay out the gospel for her. I don’t really remember what I said… something about sin and Jesus and grace covering us, and one moment’s decision being the start of a lifelong journey… it definitely could have been far more complete and organised, but Mia was definitely listening. Eventually she told us that she knew she needed to make a decision for Jesus, but just wasn’t ready yet. Grace and I both encouraged her and I gave her the cd, and we walked on. I’ve thought of Mia every day since then; I know God is pursuing her and bringing her to her day of decision.

The next person we met (after wandering around for a while playing the “I don’t know, what are you feeling?” game) was a woman named Brandi. She was sitting by herself on the steps behind a building. Grace approached her and asked how she was doing. She answered, “Good, I’m just waiting for my kids– but my back is killing me!” Oh hello, we can probably do something about that. Grace and I both prayed briefly for healing. In less than a minute, Brandi said her back felt much better, but it would probably start hurting if she stood up. Grace encouraged her to try, so Brandi stood, walked back and forth a few steps, and couldn’t stop smiling– her back was COMPLETELY healed!! We both got prophetic words for her and were able to share God’s heart with her, and she was definitely tearing up by the time we left. She said that she prays every night and sends her kids to church but doesn’t go with them, but is now thinking about doing so. God is definitely drawing Brandi toward Himself!

We talked to several other people who were still polite though much less receptive, and I know that even if they didn’t allow up to fully share the gospel with them, just our reaching out and speaking to them about God could have made a difference. Our job isn’t to know how our actions will affect the other person completely. Our job is merely to be faithful stewards of the message with which we have been entrusted and to walk in love every step of the way.

When our group was finally all back together and ready to debrief, we counted up the encounters we’d had. Our group had shared the gospel with over 150 people, 5 people had given their lives to Christ, and many more had been healed!

While I’m still not a natural evangelist, I do truly love sharing the truth of what God has made available to mankind with people who so desperately need it. I have touched Jesus’ heart, and I know how desperately He wants these people for His own. It’s still plenty uncomfortable, but I want to join Him in His mission of reconciling the world to Himself.

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am…” John 17:24

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle Morrison
    Oct 30, 2014 @ 11:42:47

    That is cool. 🙂 I admire you for doing that. Not everyone will feel natural or comfortable about doing that sort of thing, but we can all be an example and reach out to others in settings like our neighborhood and work and so on. We can all plant seeds.

    Reply

  2. Caitlyn
    Oct 31, 2014 @ 20:38:11

    Thanks, Michelle! Absolutely. The Great Commission doesn’t take a day off. Everywhere is a mission field! And it’s so awesome to see how the Holy Spirit takes weak, scared, uncomfortable people and speaks through them.

    Reply

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