Mardi Gras: Evangel style
March 13th, 2014 | Sean White
Spring break was quite the party, streets full of people, beads everywhere, telling people about Jesus and lots of time with a saw. Welcome to Mardi Gras: Evangel style.
Six of us left Evangel at 8 a.m. by van and arrived in New Orleans at 10 p.m. Car rides are like microwaves for friendships, they either cook well or just get nasty. We arrived in New Orleans after 14 strait hours of car time and disembarked as good friends. The next day we began our work with All Nations Fellowship; a church planted by Assemblies of God U.S. missionaries.
During our first two nights in New Orleans we went down to Bourbon Street and witnessed to people in the middle of Mardi Gras. This was a huge challenge; I have been out to witness to people before but this was different. People were everywhere, crowding around and shouting in congested streets.
But God broke through all the noise and used us to speak into the lives of people. I talked to a man who was hurt by the church growing up, he was bitter and drunk, but I was able minister him. As it turned out, he had a friend with the same first name as me who was killed recently. I knew this was not coincidence; God lined it up. I was able to share my story with him and though he was very closed off to speaking about Jesus he did recognize how odd it was that we met each other. I know that connection is one that God can use to bring this man closer to Him.
Throughout the day we did everything from pulling up tile to building outdoor showers. These projects got us to work together and have a ton of fun at the same time. There is nothing like cutting apart an old Ping-Pong table to bring people together. We even learned new skills like tiling and electrical work. I got to spend plenty of quality time with a saws — all cutting metal pipes.
The staff at the church helped us so much and were extremely welcoming. They kept us busy, but in one week we got several key projects done.
The week was full of great times sharing Christ in a city that is full of history and darkness. As we walked through the French Quarter we walked past bookstores, bars, clothing stores and occult shops. I have never seen such a place before in my life, people degrading themselves for a string of beads and drinking themselves to the point that they could barely walk. In this place we saw God use us to touch hearts and plant seeds of change in their lives.
Want more? Read about service trips at Evangel.