Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:00 am
By Alayna Wood
Photo by Alayna Wood
Students in Dr. David Thomas’s Evangelism, Outreach and Missions (EOM) course embarked on a week-long Evangelism trip to Los Angeles beginning February 6th. While students at NU experienced Pursuit Conference that week, the EOM class learned practical aspects of pursuing God by working alongside various ministries.
Sophomore Rachel Joseph had a very impactful experience as they participated in street evangelism on Venice Beach by running a prayer booth alongside Teen Challenge Ministry Institute (TCMI).
“We set up a spiritual cleansing booth and one of the TCMI students encouraged me to go out and start talking to people,” Joseph said. “I prayed with this one man whose wife had left him the previous night. In my prayer I said, ‘As you walk down the street, look at the sun and know that God made it and it shines down on you.’ Then about an hour later he came back and was very emotional and he said, ‘I just have to tell you that you saved my life.’”
The man told Joseph that as he left from her prayer, he began walking into the ocean with the intention of committing suicide. Stepping into the water, he remembered her prayer and realized God was real and loved him. He said from that moment, he could no longer bring himself to continue with his plan. Joseph was able to talk to him about Jesus and give him a Bible after he returned to speak with her.
Joseph said God used this event to reveal that He has called her to continue saving lives, which she now plans to do through pursuing a Masters Degree in counseling.
“I think a lot of people’s ministry callings were affirmed and confirmed on this trip,” said junior Jeremy Cleveland.
A few of their other outreach events included praying with a ministry evangelizing to prostitutes, passing out blankets and food to the homeless on skid row, organizing a Vacation Bible School Camp for kids, and helping lead a youth service.
They also volunteered with the kitchen staff of a local mission on Skid Row and led worship and shared their testimonies with a group of women at the Teen Challenge Women’s Center.
“I felt Jesus telling me that ‘[Inner city ministry] is what I have for you – look at how much more you come alive here versus what you were looking for before,’” said sophomore Ashley Stanway.
Stanway said she hopes the passion and unity of the outreach group propels NU students to continue doing this type of ministry around Seattle.
“This week was one I’ll never forget,” senior Kenzie Villarreal wrote as her Facebook status following the trip. “What I’m learning: Evangelism is a lifestyle!”