Our Director, Chaz, was given the opportunity to teach this morning at CCCC’s Sunday morning service. But before the service started, Kristin was able to share her testimony about her life here in Rapid City as a backslidden Christian. It was an encouraging testimony of how the Lord pursued her, even after she ran from him.
After the service, a handful of students headed to a Overflowing Life-giving Water Church where Sunny was asked to give her testimony. The rest of the students had only a small amount of time to fellowship with the congregation because we were scheduled to LARP (Live Action Role Playing) at Canyon Lake Park. This group of young teens we met last Sunday invited us to partake and so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to witness, while at the same time running around on a beautiful day with hand-made styrofoam swords! We provided the hot dogs and they welcomed us into their fold. As it neared dinnertime, we headed back to CCCC to partake in “Tacos N Testimonies” where we shared what the Lord had done this past week in Rapid City and in our own lives.
Here are a few testimonies from that day…
“Today I went to Overflowing Life-giving Water Church, a Korean church. It was amazing because I’ve prayed to God about meeting Korean people in Rapid City. The first day we arrived, Chris asked the class to pray for me to meet Korean people here and Pastor Greg introduced me to a woman named Kyonghee from Calvary Chapel. I met her our first Sunday here and she asked me to come to her Korean church. I wasn’t sure because of our schedule. When we went to Golden Corral a few days ago, the waitress named Ayong was Korean and she goes to the same Korean church. Even then, I didn’t think about visiting a Korean church. Later, Angie asked me to meet another Korean woman named Angela. All three of them go to the Korean church and each of them asked me to come. God asked me to come to a Korean church three times!
So, we got to church. It’s less than five minutes from Calvary Chapel. I went with Jonathan, Jan, Allan, Paul and Bill and we sat in the front row. It was awesome because they sang in Korean and English. It was really interesting because the sermon was all about what we’ve been learning in class. He talked about shepherding sheep on a farm. You know, we went to a farm a few days ago!
We are a lot like sheep. Sheep have bad eye sight, but sensitive hearing and listen for their shepherd’s voice. Especially in Korea, if someone asks another to describe a sheep, they are described as clean, pure and white- all good things, but in the Middle East, they are described as dumb, stubborn and bad listeners. If we go to a farm and see real sheep, we see they are dirty, stubborn and don’t like to clean themselves. It’s like us, we still have sin, but on the other hand, we need to learn from sheep. They listen to their shepherd, and not strangers. We need to be honest and listen to God and not pretend we are perfect. We should be honest, confess our sin to Jesus, and He will save and clean us.
It was awesome because the Pastor spoke in Korean and translated in English. The church building was big, but the group was small- only 20 people. Three or four people were Native American. The church worshipped in Korean and English, too. I’ve prayed to God to meet Korean people and be used for others and God sent Korean people to bless other students through me. God brought me from Korea, to San Diego, to South Dakota and we found Korean people in South Dakota and they invited me to a Korean church! Everyone was so blessed and crying happy tears. God broke our heart in good ways.
We had communion and everyone lined up front. It was different because the Pastor stood, holding a large cup of grape juice and a broken loaf of bread. We broke off the bread and dipped into the cup. We then moved to a prayer railing to remember Jesus.
I was so discouraged before I went and was without confidence. I knew God had a reason for me to be here but I doubted it. I am not good at English and shy about sharing the gospel with others. I was also homesick and wondered what I can do at HSE. I felt way behind where I should be. But, when I went to the Korean church, my heart was totally broken and I was realized how much God has blessed me. I saw Paul, Jonathan and Bill crying and smiling. If I wasn’t here, they wouldn’t have experienced a Korean church in South Dakota. I was thankful to God for using me for others. It was beautiful. I couldn’t stop saying thank you or crying because I was thankful to God. It made me feel at home and all worship songs sang were my favorite in Korean language. It was so cool.
Then we ate Korean food. It was so good. They invited us to come Wednesday to serve homeless people. After lunch, we made bracelets for the Korean kids and shared the gospel with them.” -Sunny
It seemed as if the entire week was building up to LARP day at Canyon Park. Weapons were fashioned from foam and duck tape, and we engaged in late night training sessions to prepare for battle. However not all of us participated in the actual war games, some helped cook, some photographed the day, and some ushered more souls into the kingdom of heaven. Rich noticed a man sitting alone while his wife and children were enjoying the barbeque and began a conversation him. He learned that he had some knowledge of the bible, but when Rich asked if he felt he would go to heaven if he died today, the answer was no. He said “I’m a bad person, so I don’t think I will go to Heaven”. Rich shared the gospel and although he prayed and accepted Jesus, Rich could tell he still did not quite understand. After another 3 times of explaining the gospel, the mans countenance changed and a smile replaced the look of confusion. Rich was confident that he was now saved.
“It was great to see the mans countenance change after I saw that he finally understood what the prayer he prayed meant. I like to borrow the phrase from Pastor Greg and “write God a blank” I tell Him just use me in any way you want Lord! I’m happy to see the way the Lord chose to use that check. Even more than going out and ministering to strangers I get so much joy being able to minister to individuals in our group and home church, that’s what brings me the most joy. Going out with the group reminds me of when I use to go fishing with my boys. When I would hook a fish I would give it to my children so they could reel it in. It’s just like that when we do street evangelism. I like to hook them and pass it off to someone else to reel them into the arms of God.” -Rich
“We spent Sunday afternoon live action role-playing (LARP, hitting each other with foam weapons ala Brave Heart) with a group of young people from the Rapid City area. The get-together was planned after an impromptu meeting the previous Sunday afternoon. Our initial meeting resulted in an opportunity to witness to these young people and to begin a relationship around some light hearted fun.
It was impressed upon me how much of an impact we can have in a person’s life by simply validating them; by joining with them in activities they value. We had many opportunities to interact with these young people on their ground. I watched God work as Calvary Chapel’s Pastor Greg “Crazy Eyes” Blanc was crowned the individual competition champ and the enthusiasm of individual conversations that ensued as we all ate hot dogs prepared by HSE team members who came to support and engage. Most importantly the opportunity arose because some of our team members were open to the leading of the spirit. Who would have planned for LARP in advance, yet here we were being “fools for Christ.” This experience will forever remind me that God’s timing and planning are always the best no matter how much I think I can improve upon it.
I had the opportunity to engage a few of the leaders of this small community and discover more about their beliefs and to challenge them to take seriously the claims presented in the Bible. While doing this I also learned that the “right” answer from an intellectual standpoint might not be the best answer from a spiritual standpoint. I believe God, through this encounter, is challenging me to listen more closely for the unasked question. I am looking forward to engaging these young people again before we leave.” -Jerry