Saturday, June 29, 2013

LTWW Update: Lighting the Way to the Smokies

Leader:  Claudette Litz
Sugarlands Visitor Center
Gatlinburg, TN
June 29, 2013

After last night's rain, the clouds over the mountains today were large and white.  How beautiful they were against the blue sky!  Some of the conversations with the tourists included the beauty of the sky and how Jesus said, " . . . and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."  (Matt. 24: 30)  This led to mentioning how this is the day of salvation.  "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."  (2 Corinthians 6:2)  "Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near."  (Isaiah 55:6)  ". . . today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts . . ."  (Hebrews 3: 7, 8)

When a young man came over with his mother and sister, he immediately picked up the booklet, After Death, What Then?  His mother started looking at 31 Days of Wisdom and Praise, and his older sister looked at the New Testament.  They were eager for me to tell them about the other books on the table.  The son asked if he could have a Bible.  He didn't care about the print being small or the fact that it was a paperback.  His mother said she and her daughter didn't have one either, but they could share his.  I could tell God was at work.  Their attitude and eagerness to learn about what was available for them let me see their sincerity.  I told the young man that I had a special Bible which a friend had donated as a gift for a special person, and I wanted to give it to him.  It was a beautiful, soft leather Bible, and he said he couldn't take one so valuable.  I convinced him that God wanted him to have it.  His mother asked if she could take a picture of me giving it to him.  After thanking me repeatedly, they turned to go, and the mother turned around to come back.  She told me how my being here today was a sign to her from God.  She had been thinking about believing in Jesus and becoming a Christian but had been unsure of the teachings of Jesus.  She said she knew now that it was God's will for her to study and give her life to Him.  I gave her a DVD of the Jesus film, and she is looking forward to watching it with her children.  She also took Steps to Peace With God.  We talked for a minute about how today is the day of salvation and how Jesus is coming back for His church, as many people believe we are living in the last days.  What a blessing it is to see God at work!

Another lady shared with me about how depressed she and her mother had been lately.  She took a tract about overcoming depression and two sermons by Hollie Miller, the pastor of Sevier Heights Baptist Church, which dealt with grief.  Where Is God When Things Go Wrong? was also given to her.  We prayed together, and she insisted on giving a love offering to LTW before she left.  As she was leaving, a couple who work with young people at their church also gave a contribution to the ministry, as they wanted to take the DVDs, God of Wonders and Transformation.  These would be used in their small group study sessions. 

More than once, there were people at the table while I was talking with someone.  With the increased number of people today, I trusted God to take care of those who were at the table without me being available to meet them.  One man waited to talk with me about his ministry to Russian students who were in our area all summer to work at various jobs.  He wanted to take a booklet of quotes from our founding fathers and past presidents for each of them, so they could understand more about the founding of America.  I gave him all that I had left on the table.  I told him I had CDs in the Russian language in our storage unit, and he will be back on another Saturday to get them.

A man from Venice Beach, CA, was interested in hearing about how LTW started there in 2002.  I told him Dwayna was at Venice Beach today with her leaders, as they are working together in outreach to the tourists.  He was amazed at how different this area is when contrasted with the culture of his area.  He praised God for knowing that the light of Jesus Christ was there on Ocean Front Walk each week.  Not long after he left, a lady introduced herself and said she was from Boulder, CO.  She remembered a Christian table with materials there on Pearl Street, and I told her  it was our LTW table, most likely.  She agreed that our materials were much like those she had seen there.  Again, we thanked God for the light of His gospel, and she wanted to give a small offering to our ministry to show her appreciation for the work we are doing.

Several people took a LTW business card.  One lady wanted to get in touch with Dwayna to see if she had heard of the ministry called Not Forgotten, which helps homeless children in Peru.  She has relatives involved in it and hoped the two ministries could possibly work together sometime.  We talked about Jesus's words in Luke 10:2, "Then He said to them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." 

One lady came by as I was packing the left-over materials to come home, telling me that she was here last year and was given a beautiful booklet about the 23rd Psalm, The Way of the Shepherd.  She misplaced it and was hoping I had another one just like it.  She saw it almost immediately and took it as an answer to her prayers.  I thought that was a most wonderful way to end a perfectly beautiful day, but it even got better  when  a family saw my tote bag, which had the name, First Baptist Church of Sevierville, TN, on it.  They asked for directions to our church and plan to see me there in the morning.  I always feel I need to reiterate that each update is only about the highlights of the day.  Only a few pictures can be taken due to the number of people who come our way.  May God bless each person who took materials or spoke with me today with a special sense of His presence, love, and power.