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Our Last Outreach in NYC 2014

27 Jul

As our entire team of 39 Jews For Jesus team approached Washington Square I had great reluctance. I knew that this would be the last time this year to be together to share the good news that Jesus Christ is the only Savior for mankind. Friday was our last coffee handout and today we were going to have our prayer board. Before the board was put in place we all circled around in prayer. Several of us prayed that God would make this a special day for the sharing of His love for the people of NY.

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In the middle of our prayer a Jewish lady with her daughter approached and asked what what we were doing. Deb, on the right, broke away to speak with her for the next 25 minutes. An answer to our prayer had been answered while we were still praying.

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We placed our blackboard up and armed with sticky pads we all spread out an asked most passing by if they had anything that they would like for us to pray about for them. Almost all asked the question “why would you want to pray for me, you don’t even know me”? We respond that we know the God of Heaven through His Son, Jesus Christ, and He hears our prayers, do you know Him? Many times this opens a dialogue that allows us to share the entire Gospel with them.

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I had a very special young man walk up to me named Bucky. I asked him if he had a prayer request. Instead of the normal response I mentioned above, he said “I pray all the time”. I asked him who he prayed to and he responded that he was a believer in Jesus Christ. I asked him how long he had been a believer and he began to share his testimony with me.

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He pointed with his left hand and said he had been a gang leader for years just a few blocks away. He was serving a 30 year sentence in prison when he received a visit from a person working with Prison Fellowship. He listened as the Gospel was presented to him but he didn’t make a decision. Bucky said he went to his cell and for the next 2 days did nothing but cry out to God for mercy but he didn’t believe he could be forgiven for all the things he had done. After 2 days of no sleep he passed out with exhaustion and when he awoke he said he felt different. The same day he received another visit from the Prison Fellowship worker and he explained to Bucky the grace of God. At that point he knew he had been forgiven and was a new creature in a Christ and that salvation was not something he had to work for because he was forgiven by the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ.

Bucky was visited very often over the next years and since he couldn’t even read his mentor read to him the entire Bible. Bucky learned how to read and he began to share his faith immediately with his inmates. After a few years he had a parole hearing and went before the board. The board asked Bucky why he should be released early. Bucky told them that he didn’t deserve to be released early but that he was a new man. Jesus had saved him and wherever he was is where God wanted him to be and that he was content.

The parole board decided to give an early release to Bucky. Immediately after release he met the pastor of a church in his area from Dallas Seminary who is originally from Tulsa. He took a great interest in Bucky and began to tutor him and to teach him the Bible one on one. Bucky told me that he couldn’t believe that he was preparing to be a preacher. I told him that he was one already even though he may not know it. What a powerful testimony he has and I’ve given you a lite version of it. I had prayer with him and he asked if someone would take our picture together and email it to him. Here is the picture.

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There were many great conversations yesterday and within a couple of hours we had hundreds of prayer requests.

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I have to admit to you that the last 15-20 minutes I walked around with tears in my eyes. I have done many great and wonderful things in my life. I was a missionary in the largest city in the world at the time, in Mexico City, but I have never been as touched as I am with the people of NYC. This is a truly the most wonderful place I have ever experienced in sharing the Gospel. I only wish I were 30-40 years old again. The opportunities are endless. This is all for today because my eyes are full of tears, AGAIN!!

Until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 
48 Comments

Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

48 responses to “Our Last Outreach in NYC 2014

  1. Skye

    July 27, 2014 at 4:35 am

    What an amazing post to wake up to. I have tears in my eyes as I read about how God moves in lives. Oh, Dear Levi, I am so thankful you had this experience and that you chose to share it with us. Thank you!! 🙂 God is so very good.

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 4:40 am

      Good morning Skye. Sorry to put tears in your eyes as soon as you wake up. God certainly has burdened my heart for this melting pot of the worlds people. I have a sense of what Paul must have felt when he entered Athens and Corinth and the other great cities of his time. It is my pleasure to share a very small portion of what The Lord has let me experience. Have a great day today Skye. Lord bless you and your family!!!

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      • Skye

        July 27, 2014 at 4:42 am

        Oh, Dear Levi…tears of joy over the God’s goodness are always welcome!! 🙂 I am keeping you in prayer daily for your upcoming adventures.

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        • Levi Thetford

          July 27, 2014 at 4:44 am

          They are tears of joy and not sorrow. Than you so much for your continued prayers and encouragement!!!

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  2. Andy Oldham

    July 27, 2014 at 5:34 am

    What a wonderful and fruitful trip for so many. One I’m sure you will take home in your heart fired up for God. Thank you for sharing Bucky’s story. We serve an amazing Savior!

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 5:37 am

      We do Andy. I go home Tuesday and am returning here Sunday for another week of follow up. Have a great day!!!

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      • Andy Oldham

        July 27, 2014 at 5:39 am

        My prayers are with you! Do you do this every year?

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        • Levi Thetford

          July 27, 2014 at 5:45 am

          This is my first time for Jews For Jesus. They have asked me to join their group so I will be doing these around the world as they come up. There are several and I won’t go to them all but the ones that I’m able to. I will be starting a ministry in Oklahoma for them as well. I’m not receiving any pay because I don’t want any. This has been a dream of mine with this organization since it was founded in 1973. Since I’m a Gentile and it is a ministry of Jews trying to reach predominantly Jews I am very blessed to be a part of it.

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  3. atimetoshare

    July 27, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Thank you, Levi, for making the Gospel known to so many in such a short time. No matter what our age, I think it’s still our responsibility. I admire your ability to get out there and do something that many are afraid to do. God bless your work.

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 6:23 am

      Thanks Kathy. I’m so thankful for the opportunity and the strength to be able to do it. Have a great day!!!

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  4. Sharon

    July 27, 2014 at 7:53 am

    How absolutely awesome. God is wonderful and it is great that He allowed you to experience this mission trip. Thanks for sharing. It is encouraging to know that God is still at work and that it is possible for any of us to be bold in witnessing. I thank God for your faithfulness and surrender to Him. You are making a difference in many ways for the kingdom of God. — Sharon

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 8:43 am

      All I can say is that God is awesome and it’s amazing that He chooses to use any of us. Have a great day and thank you, Sharon!!

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  5. Michael

    July 27, 2014 at 8:11 am

    To God be all the glory! He is doing wonderful things everywhere!

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 8:44 am

      He certainly is working everywhere, Michael. Have a great Sunday!!!!

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  6. a gentle iconoclast

    July 27, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Praise God!

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  7. Anna Waldherr

    July 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you so much for this outreach to NYC. There are many who still bear the emotional scars of 911, many who turned away from God in their grief. I am sure you brought comfort and hope.

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Hello Anna. I pray that we may have brought some comfort and hope to some of these people. I have to tell you that I fell in love with them. Lord bless you!!! Thanks.

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      • Debbie

        July 28, 2014 at 12:32 am

        My eyes are full of tears just reading this. Thank you, Levi, for sharing some of your experiences there. God bless you!

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        • Levi Thetford

          July 28, 2014 at 7:02 am

          Oh, Debbie. You’ve a tender heart too. I happy you were blessed a little by some of it. Thank you. Have a lovely day.

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  8. Sue C.

    July 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    We have an awesome God and He equips the saints to do all He has called us to do. God bless you Levi for being obedient in His call. It isn’t always easy but it sure is worth it and many have been touched through you and the others. Have a safe trip home. Praying for you.

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks so much Sue. I’m just thankful that He still uses me in a small way. The pleasure was all mine. Lord bless you my friend!!

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  9. Stacy Tolbert

    July 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Blessings to you all, and I pray for God’s traveling grace and mercies to rest upon all of you as you prepare for your return to your home’s.

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

      Stacy you’re a real brother and friend. Thanks so much!! Lord bless you.

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  10. Paige Givens

    July 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. What a wonderful testimony of God’s great work!

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      The pleasure is mine Paige. I wanted to share Gods grace with my followers. Thanks for reading and sharing.

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  11. vw1212

    July 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Beautiful; absolutely beautiful. You are doing what many are afraid to; may God continue to bless you. vw

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      July 28, 2014 at 7:13 am

      We can’t be ashamed of the Gospel. We need to do our part in proclaiming it. Thanks for your encouraging words. I hope your day is lovely!!

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  12. paulfg

    July 28, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Coffee in NYC, and your testimony all around the world. I feel privileged to share your joy, touched by your words, and strengthened by your sharing! Wow!!

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 28, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Paul, this has been a very humbling experience for me…. Every aspect of it. In church yesterday at Times Square Church there were 104 different nations and languages present worshiping the only True God through His only son Jesus. When I experienced the fellowship with these fellow believers I sensed a little of what Heaven will be like. We worshipped and fellowshipped with the love that transcends all national, political, and racial barriers through the blood of the Lamb. I’m so happy you were blessed in some part by my sharing a wee bit of the experience. It has been life changing for me.

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      • paulfg

        July 28, 2014 at 6:59 am

        You reflect that back. Beautifully.

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  13. lookingthroughanotherseyes

    July 28, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Tears of joy indeed, and wow Levi, like me you feel we ARE now in End Times, I can feel the power of The Lord at work through you and this work you have been doing, now more than ever there is an urgency for His children to know Him. I feel so privilidged (sorry for the spelling) to witness His work through you and yes i have tears in my eyes too, tears of joy. The beauty in your soul shines like a beacon in your face Levi. I will reblog this if that’s ok. God bless you, Su x

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 28, 2014 at 6:57 am

      Hey Su. I’m so happy that you feel the urgency to also share the Gospel with as many as you can. It really is the most important thing we can be involved with. Thanks for your kind words and the reblog. Have a great day!!

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  14. lookingthroughanotherseyes

    July 28, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Reblogged this on Outside The Box and commented:
    Here is God at work, and using such amazing people, such a blessing to have followed Levi’s journey over the last two weeks. Su x Ain’t THE BIG BOSS AMAZING!

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  15. Sheila

    July 28, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Thankful that the evangelism time was productive, and NYC is definitely a special place. When Mario worked at a bank in Manhattan, he used to go out on his lunchbreak, and always reported a good time. Praising God, and praying for fruit from this!

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 28, 2014 at 10:29 am

      This is a very special place. For quality of life it isn’t my favorite place but evangelism, which is my heart, this is the place. I am burdened for this place and will return often, Lord willing. Have a great rest of the day girl.

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      • Sheila

        July 28, 2014 at 11:42 am

        You too! And actually, living there isn’t that bad. We spent a year there before coming to Italy, and some of my most valuable lessons were learned there. And the fascination of the place doesn’t wear off!

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        • Levi Thetford

          July 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm

          I don’t think I would ever not be fascinated with this place either. Have a great day!!

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  16. beverley

    July 29, 2014 at 8:06 am

    As i have been trying to explain to a friend is all we can do is plant the seed of Jesus Christ and then allow others to nurture that seed until it bears fruit, which they can then share with others.

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  17. Kim Fernando

    July 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Levi, that’s an amazing testimony and what a powerful experience. I’ll be honest, God has changed my life through the last ten years of NYC. He brought me back to Him in a powerful way, and I want the people of NYC to know Him. I’m so glad for groups like Jews for Jesus and for missionaries who come here. I’ll also be honest that I’m tired… I don’t have the energy for NYC anymore. I’m worn out. I need God to take me somewhere else and refresh me for a time. So as I read this there’s a tinge of guilt at the same time as gratitude, and I’m thankful there are people who can feel about NYC the way I once felt.

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Kim, thank you for telling me of your 10 year ministry there. I have been to NYC in the past but only as a tourist. I had never engaged with the real people like this time. The need is so great that it is indescribable by me. I also understand how you could be worn out by it. It takes enormous strength and perseverance. If I were 25-30 years younger that is where I would be. Don’t feel guilty about anything I’ve written. I was only there 18 days not 10 years. You need to go where God is leading you because that’s the only place He will really use you to the greatest extent. I applause you and i

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    • Levi Thetford

      July 29, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Sorry, I hit the wrong button. I applaud you and may God give you rest, Kim. Thanks so much!!! Lord bless you!!

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      • Kim Fernando

        July 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        Levi, thanks for the encouragement. It’s been something I’ve been wrestling with for a while, and this month has been particularly difficult. I’m so grateful for your updates. It’s been awesome to see how well your trip went.

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        • Levi Thetford

          July 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

          I’m glad. The Lord saved the best treat for last. I’m home now for four days before I return but yesterday was a real treat for me in Jewish evangelism. Rest my friend!!

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