For many years, the newsletters for Open Air Outreach were only published through email. Those newsletters were not posted online. We are now in the process of archiving these old newsletters online so that they are available to the body of Christ at large to read and be encouraged and edified by them.
The contents from this post was an email newsletter sent out on 4/30/2009
Our Baby is Due on…..
Apr 30, 2009
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WE THANK GOD FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT
ENCOURAGING THE BODY OF CHRIST
I wanted to preach to the Fayetteville Community College one last time before going to Texas. I showed up right before the noon class change with my “TRUST JESUS” “STOP SINNING” sign. One Christian saw my sign just as he was leaving campus. He recognized me from YouTube and was thrilled I was there. He actually had recently contacted brother John McGlone asking for our open air schedule, because he wanted to come and join us. I thought that this must be the Lord’s orchestrating, because we were all about to leave the area for a while.
I stayed and talked with this man for a while. The first class change came and went. I didn’t do any preaching during that time because I thought it would be worth it to talk to this brother who was interested in doing this type of ministry. I encouraged him to get started on these campuses because we were not going to be able to preach on these campuses for a while. Every campus should have a campus preacher.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
Eventually, a crowd of students did gather. They saw me holding my sign and slowly but surely gathered around. First a man asked me about the trinity. He believed that Jesus was the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I explained to him that the Bible does not say that Jesus is the Father, but that they are distinct persons. That is why Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but your will be done.” He said, “But Jesus said that He and the Father are one.” I said, “Yes, but Jesus also prayed that the Church would be one just as He and the Father are one. If Jesus and the Father are the same person, then Jesus prayed that all of the Church would be the same person. But if Jesus prayed for the Church to be in unity, then Jesus and the Father are in unity.” I went on the further explain the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. “The Bible says that these three are one. So there is a distinction between them because the Bible says they are three. Yet there is also a unity among them because the Bible says they are one. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three distinct but not separate persons. They are united in their purpose and in their essence.”
For more on the doctrine of the Trinity I highly recommend “The Nature & Character of God” by Winkie Pratney
DRIVE FROM NC TO TX
DROVE FROM NORTH CAROLINA
TO ALABAMA WITHOUT 5TH WHEEL BREAKS!
I hooked up my truck to my 5th wheel for the very first time in order to drive from North Carolina to Texas. We were having some problems with the breaks and lights on the 5th wheel. We stopped at a Camping World to buy the part that we needed and the Lord provided someone to install it for free! We were back on the road in no time.
STRANDED IN MISSISSIPPI
As we were driving down the highway, we heard a noise that we couldn’t identify. Then I noticed that we lost our power steering. My wife noticed that the air conditioner stopped working. Then I saw that the engine was overheating! This once happened to me before when I had a van. The cause was a snapped engine belt. When we pulled over, sure enough the belt had shredded and the engine coolant was boiling out! We found a mechanic shop that was up the road less than a mile. They came to where we had pulled over with a new belt. The mechanic was putting it on when he realized that a belt pulley was spining crookedly. That pulley also had a lot of the belt jammed in around it. It was probably the cause of the belt snapping. The mechanic went back to his shop to see if he could quickly order a replacement. Praise God he was able to find one quickly. Two hours and three hundred dollars later, we were back on the road, for a little while.
STRANDED IN LOUISIANA
After driving only about an hour and a half, we suddenly heard another noise! My wife looked and realized that we had blown a tire on our 5th wheel! Only a short time earlier we had checked all of the air pressure on our tires and they were good. But I don’t know how old these tires are or how long they had been parked. We pulled over and had to call someone to come help us change the tire. I had a spare tire but I didn’t have a jack that would lift the 5th wheel. After a short period of time, we were back on the road and made it all the way to Texas! For the saftey of my family I am hoping to change out all the tires with new ones before we start the new fall tour.
We were not financially prepared or ready for all of these sudden and unexpected expenses. We are hoping that the body of Christ on this mailing list will help us out with some financial support.
TYLER TEXAS NIGHT LIFE
Once in Texas I wanted to jump into ministry right away. We went out and preached in front of some of the popular hang outs for the night life. Since then we have gone out many Saturday nights to preach the Gospel.
THE ELECTRIC COWBOY
This is a very popular club in the area. The only problem is that it is located in the middle of a plaza which is supposedly privately owned. Brother Jeffrey Olver has been removed from the plaza a few times already for preaching. There is a parking lot right next to the plaza which is abandoned. We are able to stand there with our signs and banners and preach. Lifting up our voices and preaching towards the plaza, our voices echo and can be heard from far away.
PREACHING THAT STOPS TRAFFIC
During one of our outreaches to this club, we were literally stopping traffic. A truck was leaving but pulled over because they heard us preaching. He was upset because Jeffrey called a man a hypocrite who said they were going to the club but tomorrow were doing to Church. The man who pulled over said that we should not call anyone a hypocrite. We explained how Jesus called some of the religious people in his day hypocrites because they were not truly keeping God’s commandments. After talking to this man for a while, we found out that he was a Pastors son who was a backslider by his own confession. He said that he was “building his testimony”. That is the reason he didn’t like us calling someone a hypocrite! He himself was still a Churchgoer but he was not obeying God. We told him that God was using us to try to get a hold of his life.
CLICKS: A POOL HALL
Across the street from the Electric Cowboy is a pool hall that can get pretty busy. During one of our times preaching outside the Electric Cowboy, we looked across the street and noticed that the pool hall was packed. We decided to cross the street with our signs and banners to preach the Gospel over there.
SHOULD WE PRAY, PREACH, OR BOTH?
Standing on the public sidewalk, Brother Jeffrey lifted up his voice like a trumpet to proclaim the Gospel. It was not long before a crowd gathered around us asking questions. One woman was very upset that we were there. She claimed to be a Christian but was outraged at the things we were saying. She didn’t think we should talk about sin and hell for example. A few months ago she encountered Brother Jeffrey at this same location and told him that he would be doing more good if he simply prayed in his car than if he preached in public. That seems to be a common attitude in the Church today. Many will pray for lost sinners but very few are willing to actually talk to them.
The rest of the crowd asked us what we believed, why we were there, etc. After explaining our beliefs and our ministry, a few of them realized that we were doing a good thing and encouraged us in the Lord. We actually saw two of them in our Church the very next day!
WHERE IS RUFUS? A CLUB
A very popular club in Tyler is a club called “Where is Rufus”. They have an outdoor patio with public grass right next to it. Standing on the public grass with our sandwich boards always gets a lot of attention. Without even preaching the sinners on the patio will start asking us questions and making comments. Some sinners even jumped over the fence of the patio to come and talk with us! Now that is effective ministry! These sinners will entirely leave their friends, leave their drinks, leave their music, and leave their woman just to come and talk to us about the Bible!
POLICE OFFICER MISTAKEN
The Police were called and shortly after arrived. One of the Officers said that we were on private property and that simply because someone called, we were automatically disturbing the peace. He said that we could either leave on our own or leave with him. I explained to him that he was mistaken. The grass we were standing on was public and free speech does not constitute disturbing the peace even if people complain about it. I then asked to talk to his supervisor.
His supervisor eventually arrived to the scene. He read our signs and said that they were good scriptures. He said that he likes the scripture where God tells Cain to rule over sin found in Genesis 4:7. After talking with him briefly about what we were doing, he said that we were within our legal rights and could continue on our ministry.
HOSTILITY FROM THE OWNER
We have returned to this club on Saturday nights three times now. The first night the owner of the club came out and threatened to beat me up. I told him that he could do whatever he wants but I was going to keep preaching. The second Saturday night we were out there, the crowd of drunks sang amazing grace to mock us. As soon as the song ended, the owner turned the sprinkler system on. We were able to dodge the water and keep preaching, though we did get a little wet. The third Saturday that we preached in front of this club, the owner had a completely changed attitude. He said that he had a picture of us hanging up on the inside of his club. He also said that he uses us to advertize, “Come to Where is Rufus, we have protestors.” He even said that he would be my friend on facebook. I have been praying for this man to come to the Lord.
MORE LABORERS IN THE HARVEST FIELDS
During one of our outreaches to the club, a couple was visiting from Virginia. They came out with us and even held a sign and banner for the first time! Jonathan, the husband, open air preached to the crowd for the first time. The next day we talked to them and they said that they were extremely excited and encouraged by what we had done the night before. They said they would even like to start doing this type of ministry in their home area in Virginia!
TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE
I have preached to Tyler Junior College a couple times now that I have been in the Tyler TX area. When I first arrived in the campus area the first time, I marched up and down the sidewalk with my banner but had not talked to anyone yet. A Police Officer approached me and said, “We received a complaint that you called a woman a whore.” “I said, that is funny because I haven’t even talked to anyone!” Sinners will make all sorts of accusations to make us look bad or to get us to leave. The Officer must have realized that he had been lied to because he simply walked away.
Talking to students one on one was very good for this campus. I spoke to one man who was from New Zealand, another from South Africa, and a whole group from England! The great thing about preaching on University and College campuses is that international students attend there. I was able to speak to them about their sin and their need of salvation though Jesus Christ. While some of them mocked and cursed, others listened and considered. Image how many countries we could reach if we had more Christians witnessing and preaching on America’s University campuses!
DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD?
One student approached me and said, “I have seen all of your youtube videos, and I don’t think you are doing any good.” I thought about this for a while and then replied, “If you have seen all of my videos, I am doing pretty good!” He also said that I was doing “more harm than good.” I said, “The truth won’t harm anyone. The Bible says you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” He also said, “You are not doing it right.” I said, “I like the way I am doing it wrong better than the way you are not doing it right.” A friend of his who was standing with him said, “That is true. At least he is doing something.” She looked to him and said, “You are not doing anything at all.” After this, he seemed to have a change of attitude towards me.
USING SIGNS AND BANNERS REALLY HELPS
During another outreach to this campus my friend Joel Park came out with me. He helped me draw a crowd by holding a banner. Using these signs and banners really helps get the attention of the students. If I try to preach on campus, the Police will arrest me (they have in the past). Therefore I have to preach on the city easement.
The only problem is that there is not too much student traffic in these areas. That is why it is important to use these types of signs, because students can read them from far away and see that something is going on. Many students saw our banners from far away and came to see what was happening out of curiosity.
CREATED TO SIN?
One of the points I hammered out with the crowd was whether or not we were created to sin. The crowd said, “It is human nature to sin.” I said, “The reason that we feel shame, guilt, and remorse when we sin is because that is how God designed our nature. God is the author of our nature.” They said, “But God knew we were going to sin and created us anyways.” I said, “In Genesis 6:5-6 it says that God repented of making man when He saw that they were sinning. If He knew that they were going to sin, He would not have created them.” I continued to explain to them that sin is not the plan of God but is rebellion against His will. It is precisely because we have chosen to rebel against the will of God that we deserve punishment and are in need of a Savior.
We also face opposition and hostility from the campus. Mainly it was the professing Christians that viciously opposed us. Even though they tried to intimidate us, we held our ground. As I read the Bible, I realize that time and time again it is the religious that oppose the Word of God the most. For example it was the Priest who betrayed the prophet Amos, and it was the Chief Priests and Scribes who opposed and arrested Jesus. I have come to the place where I do not expect acceptance from the religious world, which seems to be so full of hypocrisy and is comfortable in a lukewarm condition.
One night we decided to check out the local Carnival. It was being held on private property so we knew that we probably could not get away with preaching there. But we decided just to check it out and see what was going on.
WHY YOUTUBE IS A GREAT TOOL
We walked through the area with our Christian t-shirts on. My shirt said, “Freedom in Christ” and “Turn and Live”. Jeffreys shirt said, “Fear God” and “Obey Christ.” One man named Craig approached us and said that he really liked our shirts. After briefly talking to him he said that we looked familiar. He then asked if we have any open air videos on YouTube! He had apparently seen our videos before! You never know who you are reaching through YouTube.
At one time he was actively involved in evangelism but has not been very active recently. We encouraged him to get active again in soul winning.
TYLER BLUE’S FESTIVAL
In downtown Tyler, there was a Blue’s Festival that was going on until late into the night. They blocked off two streets for the event. The public square was right next to these two streets and was not blocked off. We were able to stand in the square with our big banners without having to pay to get into the event.
THREATS OF VIOLENCE
One man read my sign and approached me to talk. He didn’t like me saying that Jesus Christ was going to judge the world. I explained how the Bible says that the Father has appointed Jesus Christ to be the judge of the living and the dead. He said that God was going to judge the world. I explained how Jesus Christ is God. At this, he became very angry. He started calling me a fool and an idiot. He even threatened to beat me up and take my sign if I didn’t leave. I told him I was not leaving but was going to be preaching the Gospel. He stormed away very upset.
THE TRUTH BEHIND ATHEISM
A group of teenagers left the barriers of the event to come and talk to us in the square. We talked to them about many things such as atheism, moral law, the existence of God, the Bible being true, Jesus Christ dying for their sins, etc.
One man said that he was an atheist. I asked him, “Why are you an atheist?” He said, “That is my choice.” I said, “Why did you choose atheism?” He said, “I don’t like the rules of Christianity, such as no premarital sex, no drinking, etc.” But he didn’t want to continue to talk to me. At least he was being honest. He didn’t have a good reason for being an atheist. It was simply his arbitrary preference. An atheist is someone who simply doesn’t like God, someone who wants to rule their own life. It is not convenient for a selfish person to have a Sovereign God over him telling him how to live. That is why they deny the existence of God. Atheism is a crutch for the morally depraved. It makes living a sinful life easier.
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL SHOOTING THREAT
I had not preached on this campus for a few years. This was one of the first campuses I had preached on when I started traveling full time. I was very excited about returning to campus but I heard on the news that they had a school shooting threat. Someone has written threats, warning about a shooting, and placed them all over campus. I thought that if I preached on campus, I could really be putting myself out there for being shot. On the other hand, maybe the school shooter will hear the Gospel and get saved. It looks like this campus really needs Jesus. I decided to go to campus anyways.
We preached on a Tuesday and on a Wednesday. On Wednesday, a girl confessed to the Police to making the threats. I wonder if she heard any of the preaching and felt convicted. It is possible.
DO YOU SIN?
The first day we preached on the busy side of the student union. We had a permit to be there. After preaching for a short period of time, a crowd gathered on a wall and on a stair case to listen. The students were very interested in what was going on because it was very rare for this to happen on their campus. Many students started shooting out questions to me. Many asked, “Do you sin?” I responded with, “Not usually. I obey the Lord most of the time. Sin is a rare occurrence in my life.” They said, “You sin every day.” I said, “No. I repented of my sins. I choose to obey God on a daily basis.” Someone asked, “have you sinned since becoming a Christian?’ I said, “Yes, but I didn’t have to sin. I could have obeyed God. And if I didn’t repent, I would have perished. But I repented and asked God for forgiveness.” I was asked, “So you’re not going to sin in the future.” I said, “I am not planning on it. I am planning on never sinning again!” Someone said, “You are self-righteous.” I said, “No. Jesus is the one who changed my life. And Jesus Christ can totally transform your life as well. Submit and surrender to the Lord today.” I began to quote the Apostle John, “He that sins is of the devil!” and “Whosoever has been born of God does not commit sin!”
POLICE & THE DEAN OF STUDENTS
We caused such a commotion on campus that it was not long before the Police and the Dean of Students arrived. They had apparently not been notified that I had a permit to be out there. After checking my permit and making some phone calls, they left us alone for the rest of the time.
FROM HATER TO HELPER
My friend Joel came out with me to campus. He helped by holding a banner. He even spoke to the crowd for a while. He told the crowd how he used to literally hate me and my ministry. He said I was lucky we never met face to face because he had violence in his heart towards me! He was a vicious opponent of the ministry but the Lord has changed his heart and now is he a supporter of our ministry! Joel was the last person I would have ever imaged getting involved in this type of ministry. He has now been faithfully witnessing for about a year! He explained to the crowd that the reason he didn’t like what I preached before was because he wasn’t living right and because I could support what I said with the Scriptures. That is also why many in the crowd did not like what I was saying and doing. If they get right with God, they would rejoice that the truth is being preached!
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO?
One student asked me, “What are you trying to achieve by coming out here? What is your objective?” I said, “We are trying to get people to think about sin, hell, judgment, and the Jesus Christ.” He said, “You are doing an excellent job!” He clearly saw that we were achieving our goals. He looked around and realized that a lot of people were thinking about those topics for hours because we were on campus.
THE TOWN PAPER
We stayed at a host home over night. In the morning, the town paper was delivered to the house. That is when we realized that we were on the second page! It has a short write up about our outreach on campus and even listed my website and phone number. In the picture, it has the banner that said, “Go and sin no more!” Who knows how many people read the paper and saw that scripture!
MOVED TO THE WOODS
The administration said that we made too much noise during our first outreach and therefore we were moved to the backside of the union, to the wooded area. This area had very little student traffic. Nevertheless, the students still came out to see us. We caused enough of a stir the first day that they were willing to come to the wooded area to hear some more.
ATHEISTS MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK LIKE FOOLS
One of the first to come out was an atheist who dressed up in a kilt and held a God mocking sign. This actually helped us to draw a crowd. It brought more attention to what we were doing. Some students saw him and came over to see what was going on.
THE SINNERS DREAM ABOUT US
One of the atheists said that he saw our banner in every single dream he had the night before! I have prayed that the lost won’t be able to sleep until they get right with God. In this case, God was in his dreams and the banner followed him from dream to dream! That is good as well! The thing about using banners and preaching in the manner that we do is that we are not easy to ignore and we are very hard to forget!
CAMPUS NEWS INTERVIEW
During the preaching a student approached me with a video camera and a crew and asked if I was willing to do an interview for the campus news. I said sure. She asked what I was doing and why I was doing it. I explained that there are many sinners in the campus who are in trouble with God because of their sin and therefore need Jesus Christ. I came out to warn the wicked to forsake their sins and turn to Jesus Christ. She asked me if I was a prophet. I told her that I am walking in the foot steps of the prophets. Many of the prophets preached in the open air and warned the wicked about God’s judgment, calling them to repentance. That is exactly what I have come out to do.
LOVE US OR HATE US
Though we were verbally attacked from all sides, one student said, “I love what you are doing. It inspires me!” There can be no neutrality to what we do. A person either loves it or hates it. Though many on the campus hated what we were doing, because they are God haters, there were a remnant that enjoyed it. I spoke to one group of Christians afterwards who wanted to know more about us. After talking to them, they were very appreciative that we had come out to the campus.
TRUST JESUS SIGN ON CHANNEL 7 NEWS
Driving down Broadway in Tyler I saw a man standing on a street corner, with a card board sign, waving a Bible around. Leaving Wal-Mart a few days later, I saw the same man. Then a few days later, I saw the man again! He had a small card board sign that said, “Jesus is Lord”. The words were very small and hard to read. I had a whole lot of yellow “TRUST JESUS” signs in my truck and my wife recommended tat I give him one.
I parked my car and brought him the sign. He told me that he was homeless but he was also recently saved. He did not appear to have any drug problems. He said that he was out there every day open air preaching. I gave him the sign and thought it would be good for him to have. The sign is bigger than the one he was using, so it would be easier for cars to read.
Last night I randomly saw a news story on Channel 7. Late at night a teenager tried to burglarize a store. An alarm went off which caught the attention of a homeless man who was living in a tent nearby. The news showed the homeless man and it was the same man I gave a sign to! The homeless man wrote down the burglar’s license plate number. When the Police arrived, he gave them a description of the man, his vehicle, and the plate number. They then showed a picture of the man’s tent in the woods with the man holding His “TRUST JESUS” sign! Channel 7 News is broadcasted all over East Texas! Praise God!
Our baby is due May 24th! That is only about four weeks away! Krista and I are very excited about being parents, to have a child to love, enjoy, and train in the fear of the Lord. Please keep us in your prayers. Pray that the birth goes well without any complications. Thanks!
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Jesse & Krista Morrell
P.O. Box 1527
Lindale TX, 75771
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