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NEW YEARS EVE, SHREVEPORT LA
New Years Eve is a great opportunity for Christians to hit the streets to share the gospel. New Years Eve is a big party night for many lost souls. There are churches that will have their own New Years Eve parties, especially for their youth groups, and maybe will invite unbelievers to attend. But lets get serious. Sinners don’t want to go to a church party for News Years Eve. It would be better for churches to have outreaches rather than parties. We should be going out to the bars and clubs with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I went out to the Red River District of Shreveport Lousianna, which is where many of their bars, clubs, and casinos are. It seemed to me that many people came from all over to go to the “Eldorado” Casino. As the night time approached, the people started hitting the streets to go to the bars and clubs. That was our opportunity to preach Jesus Christ!
There is a particular wall that we have stood on before that has lots of people walking in front of it on the sidewalk. It seems to be a pretty busy area, especially during the beginning of the night. In fact, that is the same place that the Police will come and block off a street because of the amount of people that walk through there.
When we stand on the wall we hold our banners, which automatically captures attention. Some people will come to talk with us just because of the signs. But many people will just continue on going to the bar or club. Therefore, we try to master the 30 second sermon. We will try to say a few quick points to plant the seed of the gospel. For example as a crowd walks by, obviously dressed for the club, we will say to them, “I hope you guys aren’t out here to sin tonight. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life through Jesus Christ.” Or sometimes something simple like, “God is going to judge your life. Get ready. You will die and give account of your life to God. Give your life to Jesus Christ. Beg God for mercy and pardon.”
It is my hope that we startle sinners as they carelessly head out to live wicked, that these sayings will disturb their conscience and awaken them to their danger. Some people may question the effectiveness of street preaching, but saying something is much better than saying nothing. The gospel was meant to be preached, not kept secret.
What did get a response from crowds as they walked by was when we started saying, “Happy New Year!” They would instantly respond back by saying the same. We would then say, “What is your new year resolution?” But nobody really responded to that. So we would say, “It should be to forsake your sin and follow Jesus” or something along those lines, exhorting them to come to Jesus. Certainly gave them somehing to think about for the New Year.
Of course, most of the people going out to party were telling us that they are Christians already. They said that they will be in Church on Sunday. Girls will walk by in very tight and revealing clothing and yet claim that they are church-going Christians. I sure hope they don’t dress like that for church! We always exhort them by saying that a real Christian is someone that loves and obeys Jesus.
As I already said, at the beginning of the night we stand on a certain wall with a busy sidewalk. But later on in the night the crowds are in line waiting to get into the bars and clubs. So as the night progresses we move around to make sure that we are where the people are. And we are never short of conversations. When people see our signs and t-shirts with a clear biblical message, they come up to us to talk with us.
It is very good to get to the party crowds while they are still sobor. As they are waiting in the lines to get into these sinful places, we stand and preach the gospel. I can recall one man in particular who came up to talk with me. He was sobor and in his right mind. But he seemed very upset. He asked if I had any contact information. So I gave him my card that has my phone number and email address. He said that he had recently gone through a divorce, that the family he is staying with are believers, and that he is really close to becoming a Christian. He had to go but he had my contact information. I pray that our presentation of the gospel helps him to make up his mind to be a Christian!
CAR PROBLEMS ON THE ROAD
I was on my way to Kilgore College to start off the new semester when I got a flat tire! At first I thought it was a minor set back. I planned on putting on the spare and continuing the course. But when I tried to start the car to move it to a better position to change the tire, the car wouldn’t start! I popped the hood and could see right through to the tire. It looked to me like there was some damage caused under the hood with wiring and other things. So I had to call for a tow truck and have it hauled off to a machanic shop. This was not only a set back for the start of my campus ministry for the new semester, but also to our financees. The insurance did come through to help cover some of the repairs, because we had run over some type of animal, but they did not cover everything. We have been praying that the Lord would help provide through the body of Christ.
KILGORE COLLEGE, TX
In 2005-2007 I would preach regularly at Kilgore Jr. College. At first I would use their “free speech” area and go through their permit process, but as their policies became more restrictive in regards to how much time you could speak, I abandoned their free speech area and permit for the nearby public sidewalk. As it turned out, their public sidewalk was a better location anyways. And there was no permit to obtain or time restrictions to abide by. I had some really good open air meetings there in the past but had not been back there since I moved out of the area in 2007. But now that I have moved back to East Texas, I plan on preaching there regularly again.
I went right back to where I used to preach and the weather was so good that there were many people walking around. I had no signs, banners, or gospel t-shirt, but with just my Bible and my voice was I was able to draw a crowd. It didn’t take long to get the attention of the students. All I had to do was preach against getting drunk, smoking blunts, premartial sex, homosexuality, and Obama. I warned the students of the judgment and wrath of God and pointed them to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
I preached the problem and the solution very plainly. Nevertheless, there were those who accused me of only preaching the negative and not the positive, of preaching an unbalanced message, etc. I greatly emphasised God’s forgiveness, grace, love, and mercy through Jesus Christ, so it is my belief that those people just had selective hearing. I think that some people’s opinion of a “balanced” message is one that really is unbalanced; one that does not include any wrath or judgment at all. But I argued that only those who are under God’s wrath are in need of God’s mercy; that only those who deserve to go to hell are in need of salvation through Jesus Christ.
After I had been preaching for a little while a Police Officer came up to me and asked for my student ID. When I told him that I was not a student he said that I would need a visitors pass. I argued that I was on the city sidewalk and was not actually on the campus and therefore would not need a visitors pass from the campus. The Officer said that he wasn’t sure about that so he took me to their Chief to talk about it with him. I explained to the Cheif that I used to preach on that sidewalk almost every week almost 5 years ago and that the Cheif of Police back then even spray painted a line in the sidewalk as to where the public easement was. He said that he would look into it and get back to me, but in the meantime requested that I get a visitors pass.
So I went to the Visitor Center and gave them my name. They wrote my name down on a name badge and gave it to me. So I went back out to the sidewalk and began preaching again. My original crowd had dispersed by now but I was able to draw them in again. Eventually the Chief of Police came back out and said that he spoke with the previous Chief on the phone. He said that I was on the public easement and would be fine to speak there from now on.
The City newspaper heard on the Police scanner that there was a preacher at Kilgore College. So a Journalist from the newspaper came out to cover the story. He took some pictures and interviewed a few students. He was actually a friend of mine that I went through a Christian internship with back in 2002-2003. In fact, he was there with me when I first started open air preaching. Now he is a Journalist in Kilgore. The City Paper did feature a picture of me preaching with a small subcaption and the campus newspaper said that they would be doing an article themselves as well. The campus paper had covered my outreaches in the past.
At the end of the open air meeting there were two students who spoke with me in conversation. One said that he was an atheist who didn’t believe in God or the gospels. I argued that the proof of the infinite is the existence of the finite, since by law of cause and effect the finite could not exist without a cause. And the first cause, by necessity, must be self-existent. And I argued that our cause must necessarily be greater than us, and therefore cannot be some unintelligent, impersonal, thing or energy.
And I argued that the Gospels and the New Testament Epistles were the written testimonies of credible witnesses. I explained that the Apostles testified to what they had seen and heard, that they didn’t merely hope or belief that Jesus rose from the dead but all claimed to have eye witnessed it. And they were willing to seal their testimony with their own blood. I went on to explain how in the court of law, any testimony that a witness gives in his own favor actually has the tendency to discredit his testimony. There would be a suspicious of motives. However, any testimony that a witness gives against his own favor actually yeilds credibility to his testimony. The suspicious of lying for ones own benefit is removed. And since the testimony of the Apostles put them at odds with the Roman Empire and with their own brethren the Jews, who ultimately did make martyrs out of the Early Church, you could not ask for a more credible witness than what God has provided in the Bible.
The atheistic student still insisted that he had no proof of God and no reason to believe in the Bible. I have noticed from long experience that atheists typically continue on in their dream world where there is no God, despite all of the obvious evidence. They have a precommitment to their worldview and are not really governed by reason and evidence but rather by preference. Ultimately they are sinners who don’t want God to rule over them.
The other student, however, who was talking with me had a very different heart. He admitted that what I was saying was very reasonable. He asked me where I learned to preach because he said I was very well spoken. He said, “You are the first preacher that I ever cared to listen to.” When I was preaching I invited the students to a Church that I will be speaking at on January 29th. This student brought that up to confirm the location and said that he might make it.
TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE, TX
The guy with the funny hat made a sign that said, “I’m with stupid” with an arrow pointed at me while I was preaching. It was not a very original sign. I’ve seen better. Its sad that this was his only contribution to our discussion about the Bible. He didn’t have anything more intelligent to say. I really don’t expect much from college students today anymore.
However, I think that this student did help me in drawing a crowd. Since this was a new semester there were certain students that had not seen me before. Its good to make a biblical impression the first week of classes! I’m trying to help them start off this new year right. However, there was the typical heckling and mocking. A few students did ask some good and genuine questions.
One student asked why God gave us free will since now there is so much sin in the world. I explained that God took the risk of granting man free will, knowing that it was possible for man to rebel against His will, because without freedom of choice there can be no love in the universe. The very reason that God created us was so that there would be a loving relationship between God and man. If God did not grant us a free will in creation, therefore, there would be no possibility of man fulfilling God’s purpose in man’s creation. God had good reasons and good motives in taking the risk of giving men free will.
One man came and listened to me for a while. I could tell by the way that he was dressed that he was not a student. He came up to me afterward and said that he was a local Pastor. His wife works at the campus and he sometimes comes here for that reason. He said that he has heard me preaching in the past as well. He wanted my contact information he said, “And we’ll see where the Lord leads.” Then he had to go. It is always my prayer that my outreaches will encourage and inspire the body of Christ to do the work of evangelism.
WEST END, DALLAS TX
The “West End” of the city of Dallas is a bustling place full of people going to and fro. This is the bus/train section of the West End. We arrived just in time for the burst of evening traffic. Many people take the trains and busses to get to work and across the city. Out of all the street corners in Dallas that you can preach on, I have found this corner to be the best after my nine years of experience in street preaching in Dallas.
We lifted up our voices and our banner to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It looked like a lot of teenagers just sit around and hang out at this particular corner. So from the very beginning we already had a crowd to preach to. And every ten minutes a so a train would come through and drop off a large crowd of people. There is also a McDonalds on this corner which wasn’t there before which seems pretty busy, and a new apartment buildling also which we can bounce our voices off of. The acoustics are therefore very good at this spot, except for the occasional noise from the trains and vehicles.
My friend from East Texas came out with me to preach. It was his first time street preaching in Dallas. I always enjoy showing street preachers new great places for street preaching. I still can’t believe that it was nine years ago when I took my first group of Christians into Dallas for street preaching. The years go by faster and faster as I get older. But I know that despite how many street preachers have gone to this city, it is still largely unreached. There are approximately 1,299,543 people in the city of Dallas. That means that if a street preacher reached 500 people a day, it would still take 2,599 days to reach the entire city. That is 7 years! Lord, raise up more street preachers in every city!
When it comes to the Police in this location, it seems to be hit or miss. It all depends on what time or what day you try to preach there. I have had some Police Officers walk right by me without saying anything. While at other times, I have had Police Officers tell me that this area was private property and therefore that we needed to leave. Now with the new McDonalds there, I figured it would be easier to argue that it was public property. During this particular outreach we did have a Police Officer tell us that the area was privately owned and therefore that we needed to go further down the street. I asked him about a particular city street light pole, as to whether that was public and if we could stand next to that. He just looked at it and road away without answering. He knew what we knew, that it was obviously public. So we moved a few feet over to where the city street light pole was, which was also next to some newspaper vending boxes, and preached from there without further problems from the Dallas Police.
SUNDANCE SQUARE, FORT WORTH TX
Sundance Square in Fort Worth TX has a very busy nightlife on the weekends that attracts a large variety of different kinds of people. There are young people, middle aged people, and elderly people that come out on Friday and Saturday nights. Some of them come out simply to enjoy the resturaunts and the stores while others are out to party at the bars and clubs. It is a much safer and diverse place to preach than the other club districts that we preach at in other cities. I always enjoy preaching there.
I used to street preach in Sundance Square every weekend back in 2005 and 2006. But when we lived on the road I only got to come through maybe once a year. Now that I live in East Texas again, I will be able to come out more often. Though it seems that there are plenty of street preachers that go out to Sundance Square on the weekends now. That is why I started going to the Red River District in Shreveport instead. I’m the only street preacher that goes out to those bars and clubs, except for any street preachers that I might bring with me! I have the whole place to myself! And both Sundance Square and The Red River District are about the same distance from my house. Although the Shreveport nightlife is much more dangerous than Sundance Square in Fort Worth.
One plus that I always liked about Fort Worth is their amplification laws. Street preachers can preach on a bullhorn or an amplifier until something like 10:30pm. That is a great help to us. We usually preach for hours at a time and we can really wear out our voices, especially street preaching because we have to compete with all the noise. So we brought our bullhorn with us and preached to the whole block easily!
Our message was plain and simple. “You know in your heart that you have broken the law of God. You are guilty. You deserve to be punished by a holy God. You deserve to go to hell. But God doesn’t want you to go to hell. God sent Jesus Christ to die for you. Jesus shed His holy blood for all of you. Through Jesus Christ you can escape the punishment that you deserve. But you need to repent of your sins and turn to Jesus. Cry out to Jesus Christ tonight! Beg God for mercy! Plead with God for pardon! He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that you turn and live. The Bible says let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and return unto the Lord and He will abundantly pardon. God is calling all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day when He will judge the world in righteousness by the man Jesus Christ. Its heaven or hell when you die. Make sure you make the right choice. God sets before you life and death, therefore choose life. Choose you this day who you will serve.”
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A PERSONAL REQUEST FROM JESSE
I wanted to write a personal support letter to my friends and supporters to raise up the necessary funds for me to go to Connecticut to meet some of my immediately family, for the first time.
Since I was 3 years old I have not seen my father. For the past 25 years I have wanted to get in touch with him but he has been very hard to find. He has alcohol problems and is often homeless.
Recently, I was informed that he was in prison and so I wrote him a letter. I was very excited when he wrote me back. In the letter he told me how to spell my older brothers last name. I had not seen him in about 20 years. I just got in touch with my brother through the internet. He has spent some time prison but has recently gotten out and wants to live a better life. I myself came to know the Lord after spending some time locked up.
My father also told me the names of my younger brother and sister. I had heard before that I might have a younger brother and sister, but never knew their names or how to get a hold of them. I have not gotten in touch with both of them. My brother is with an adoptive family right now and is 18 but my sister is 14 and is in the foster care system.
My father, sister, and two brothers, are all in Connecticut but I am living in Texas. So I want to make a trip up to Connecticut to meet them, get to know them, and to be a Christian witness in their lives.
A plane ticket would cost me about $230.00 to fly up there just myself. If I were to drive up there with my wife and two small children it would cost me about $600 in gas there and back. I’m asking my friends and supporters to help finance me to travel to Connecticut so that I can meet my family and witness to them about the Lord and what He has done in my life.
While I am there I will also preach on the streets and campuses. Particularly, I plan on preaching at the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, and Yale University. So it would be a mission trip in many ways.
If anyone would like to help my cause, you can send a check to:
Jesse & Krista Morrell
P.O. Box 1527
Lindale TX, 75771
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HOW YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT THE MORRELL FAMILY
The Morrell Family is supported entirely by personal gifts from individuals. The financial support we receive from the body of Christ makes it possible for us to continue to live and to travel and preach. All personal gifts from $5 -$500, either monthly or one-time, makes a huge difference. Will you consider being a monthly supporter, giving as little or as much as you can?
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Physical Mail (NEW ADDRESS):
Jesse & Krista Morrell
P.O. Box 1527
Lindale TX, 75771
Special thanks in advance to our supporters.
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