January 2007

Parkway Plaza El Cajon
1700 Tracts in 5 hours!

Over the years this ministry has had literally several hundred out reaches, primarily in the San Diego area. These were designed to educate Christians and to reach those primarily in the two major cults, the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons.

With the continuing downward spiral of our culture we see the increasing need to communicate to the general public a clear message of the gospel. This has been increasingly diluted and undermined by the liberal society in which we live. Our conviction and experience is that most Americans would consider themselves Christians, but cannot accurately explain what exactly a Christian is or, what exactly is the true gospel!

We therefore are expanding our ministry to reach the culture with our only hope, which is the pure gospel centered on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This expansion will initially involve mission out reaches in public gathering places. We would like to do this about once a month at various locations in San Diego. We've named this new aspect of our ministry, "Fishers of Men." The first outreach of this kind was just a few weeks ago inside Parkway Plaza Mall.

Furthermore, plans are underway for yet another outreach at the San Diego Jehovah's Witness convention in June. As last year, we are attempting to obtain permits from the city to distribute literature inside the stadium grounds and to talk with witnesses during the weekend they are there.

Let me tell you what the "Parkway Plaza Mall" outreach was like last month. The background to this is I stumbled upon an article that stated that the United States Supreme Court had ruled freedom of speech was valid even on private property. This would be valid if there is public access such as in a shopping mall. This is known by the Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins case. The California Supreme Court has likewise upheld this decision. There are some rules that mall's are entitled to have, but basically you may hand out Christian literature, or non-Christian for that matter, inside the mall.

Having this information I contacted Parkway Mall here in El Cajon (east San Diego) and requested a permit. Initially I was told that it would not be possible until mid January. I left disappointed and decided to check further. I walked through the Mall and there was no-one handing out any leaflets. This indicated to me that it wasn't because of any type of "congestion" that would result from too many people handing out literature but there was some other reason. After checking further on the Internet concerning rulings on this I discovered they would have to make a "reasonable" attempt to accommodate our handing out tracts. This time when I contacted the management I asked to speak to someone higher up in authority and ask why we would have to wait nearly 2 months. This time management told me that I could come on any day that was not blocked out because of the holiday season. I was given a list of 30 days that no one could hand out literature because of busy shopping days. This was certainly fair to me given that I was able to chose, Saturday, December 9 an open day.

The amazing “Ricky”. Just mention tracting and Ricky is ready to go.
He shared Christ with this lady for some time at the mall.

A dozen people volunteered to work shifts to cover the entire day. We had an orientation at our house the night before on our approach as well as the tracts we were to use. The ultimate purpose was not only to distribute the literature, but to actually talk to people about the gospel.

The mall allowed me to choose the location (in front of the new Wal-Mart entrance) and even provided a table with a new tablecloth and 4 chairs. I brought initially what I felt would be plenty of tracts. Around 1200. After only 3 hours we had given all of them away and had dozens of conversations with a wide variety of people. I quickly left for home and brought all I had in storage (another 500) which we gave away in the next 2 hours. We had extended conversations with perhaps 100 people and distributed 1700 tracts in 5 hours. Everyone was delighted. PRAISE the LORD!

Fred (in the wheel chair) shared the gospel with this man from Iran.
He came back several times to talk and of course to get a another million dollars.

What was it that attracted people to the tracts? MONEY. We used a $1,000,000 tract that looks about as real as is possible to a real bill, but a gospel tract on the backside. Of course if a million dollars doesn't attract you we had another larger bill, a "billion dollars". We also used flattened pennies that had the "entire 10 commandments" in miniature on one side. These were great to spark an interest in God's standard which would speak to the conscience, followed by the gospel that delivers us.

Ricky with son Luke showing the million dollar bill.

This approach has been used by "The Way of the Master" ministry for many years. I have been intensely studying this approach and feel that indeed there is perhaps no simpler, more effective way to witness to anybody. As a matter of fact, I will be teaching an eight week course using The Way of the Master materials at Mapleview Baptist in Lakeside beginning Sunday, January 21, 9 a.m. If you live near San Diego I'd love to have you.

If you would like to be involved in any upcoming outreach please send us your email address and phone number and we'll call you on the details. Even if you aren't able to physically help your prayers are certainly desired. You may also want to consider helping financially with these out reaches as many expenses are incurred.

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E-mail: challenge.min@cox.net
web site: www.challengemin.org

Direct all correspondence to:
Challenge Ministries
P.O. Box 20195
El Cajon, Calif. 92021

All donations are tax deductable.

Thank You.

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