For the third time, I was blessed to have a brother spend a week at my home to participate in a Timothy Project. His name is Allen Jerkins (Twitter) and he’s from Arlington, TX. Donnie Johnson was the first participant (2015). Virgil Walker and Dan Perina participated in the second Timothy Project (2017).
Allen arrived Monday afternoon from Arlington (TX), for his weeklong Timothy Project. We hit the ground running. Joined by Donnie and Johnathon, we spent a couple of hours crosswalking and sign evangelism at Harrison/Locust.
Allen got his first taste of this kind of evangelistic ministry. We distributed a few tracts and hundreds of motorists saw the signs and the crosses. Allen carried the “Are You Ready” cross.
The last tract Allen distributed was to a young man name Blade. He started to walk away but stopped in front of me. He wanted to express his appreciation of us being on the street, doing what we’re doing. It was Blade’s segue to telling us that he served for two years as an LDS missionary in South Korea.
Blade and I talked for a while, covering an array of important topics: faith and works, baptism, the deity of Christ, repentance, the remission of sin, the atonement. The conversation was friendly throughout.
“I think all of the religions of the world are beautiful,” Blade democratically and ecumenically asserted.
“Blade, all of the religions of the world are not beautiful, including your own. I cannot believe that salvation is by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, apart from works, and say that every other religion of the world that believes contrary to that truth is beautiful. They are not beautiful. They are blasphemous. And I tell you this Blade because I love you as my neighbor and care about you.”
Blade seemed to take that in the spirit in which it was given.
We packed a lot of theology into a 20-minute conversation. Blade held firm to his beliefs, but I think he walked away understanding that the religious system he holds dear cannot, in the end, offer him any real and lasting hope. He needs the Jesus of the Bible, not the false Jesus of Mormonism that assists in salvation, but does not accomplish it.
Pray for Blade.
Allen and I put in a full day on Tuesday. The day began with Men’s Bible Study at Grace Fellowship Church. I led a study of Proverbs 12:15.
From there, Allen and I made our way to the Planned Parenthood abortuary in Iowa City. Upon our arrival, I engage Aaron, the security guard, in conversation. He said something that was music to my ears. “Your low voice passes right through the brick wall and into the building.”
My response? “Praise God!”
We also believe we had a turn-away at the abortuary today!
By God’s gracious providence, the abortuary wasn’t busy this morning.
After lunch and fellowship, Allen and I went to the University of Iowa where we spent a couple of hours on T. Anne Cleary Walkway distributing tracts and talking to students.
It was a profitable day of ministry.
There’s no better tired than gospel tired, as Allen exemplifies in the photo (left). Allen is all in and giving 110% effort during his Timothy Project.
After Morning Devotions, Allen and I headed to the I-80 Truck Stop. Known as “the world’s largest truck stop,” many truckers and travelers saw our gospel signs and crosses as they drove in and out of the truck stop.
Allen and I both open-air preached the gospel to motorists at the pumps. An officer with Walcott PD received a “Police Lives Matter” gospel tract. Her patrol car (pictured) was the first I had ever seen with a mascot on the door.
After lunch, processing the morning’s video, and a brief respite, Allen and I headed to Marquette and Locust for a couple of hours of crosswalking. Johnathon joined us for a time.
We were blessed to distribute six bibles to motorists. We also had a wonderful gospel conversation with a young, Pakistani fellow named Zabeer. He saw the “Stop and Talk” cross and decided to, well, stop and talk.
We closed out the day with dinner, fellowship, and the study of God’s Word with my Grace Fellowship Church family.
God did so much on Thursday.
The day began with ministry outside the Emma Goldman abortuary. Allen and I were joined by my daughter Michelle and my pastor Mile Reid. By God’s grace, it didn’t seem as busy as usual. Two deathscorts manned their post. Pastor Mike and Allen did exceedingly well in engaging them in conversation.
Michelle took some important steps in her ministry growth as she engaged a couple of the women who were bent on murdering their children.
I had a wonderful conversation with a drive-by heckler named Dan. He had flipped me off and heard me call to him to stop and talk. Unlike the cowardly who never stop, Dan did.
We spent yesterday afternoon at Harrison/Locust with Sarah, Eden, and Caleb Cunningham. Something happened that I had not yet seen in my years on the streets. A fight broke out between two women in a car, in the intersection.
I carefully ran toward the car. The driver got out and yelled, “I need help! Call the police! She’s drunk (referring to the passenger) and she keeps hitting me!”
I stopped traffic so that the young woman could drive her car and follow me into the parking lot. Allen called 9-1-1. We separated the two women. Allen talked to the driver and I talked to the drunk passenger.
The police arrived and sorted out the matter. The result was that the driver, Kiki, was left stranded in the parking lot (the car belonged to the passenger). We gave Kiki a ride home, which allowed me to communicate the gospel to her. Allen had already given her a Bible and tract. She believed she was a Christian and even quoted Scripture. As we arrived at her destination, I asked, “Are you sure you have placed your faith and trust in Christ alone for your salvation?”
“I don’t think I have.”
Pray for Kiki and all who heard the gospel yesterday.
Allen, Michelle, and I spent Friday morning outside the Davenport and Bettendorf (pictured) Police Departments holding #LawEnforcementLivesMatter signs.
Our time outside Bettendorf PD was particularly profitable. A sergeant saw us as he drove by the station. The next time he came by he pulled into the parking lot. He told me he had called a couple of other patrol officers to make their way to the station. He asked if it would be all right if we took some pictures together for the department’s Facebook page. Of course, we said yes. All three officers received “Police Lives Matter” gospel tracts.
Allen and I spent a couple of hours this afternoon crosswalking at 4th and Brady in downtown Davenport. We talked to two people who thought of themselves as Christians. One isn’t. The other likely is.
Allen had a conversation with a man named Martin. The gospel he believed was trying to keep the commandments and the golden rule. He quickly had to be somewhere else when Allen pressed him a little.
A young lady walking her dog came to the corner. Her name was Kiara. We exchanged greetings. We expected Kiara to walk away but she lingered. It was obvious she wanted to chat.
Kiara told us she grew up in the church, but drifted away in college. She came back to Christ, as she put it, and is now attending a church.
I role-played a gospel conversation with Kiara. She could not articulate the gospel. When we switched roles, I communicated the gospel to her. She said she agreed with everything I told her and that it was the gospel she believed.
I spent a little time encouraging her to share her faith with others.
Another great day of ministry in the books.
The plan was to spend Saturday engaged in evangelistic ministry, on the streets of downtown Chicago. The day was to include six hours of driving. The Lord had other plans. Inclement weather led to the cancelation of the trip. It rained all day, which washed out any chance of local ministry, too.
Wanting to redeem at least part of the day, I invited the men who were to join me in Chicago to join me and Allen for an afternoon of conversation about evangelism and theology in general. Five of us spent three hours in my den enjoying fellowship and edifying conversation.
Being Sunday, our attention was focused on my church’s Lord’s Day gatherings, fellowship, and rest.
It was a great week of ministry and fellowship. While Allen and I knew each other on social media for years prior to this week, Monday was the first time we met in person. We are no longer acquaintances. We are now friends.
Allen will head home early tomorrow morning. I look forward to seeing how the Lord uses him in Arlington, TX, to reach his community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.