For the past 13 years, Rex Whitton, of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship has been
the project manager for an outreach that lasts for more than three weeks each year. This outreach is at the State Fair of Texas, the largest, state fair in the country. Every year millions of people come to the fair to have fun and eat fried food. FGBMF has gotten a booth which allows people to share the Gospel! You might like to follow the State Fair Gospel on Facebook so that you can get updates from the other days at the fair and be ready to pray for the outreach next year!
This is our third year to attend the State Fair and witness at the booth. It is a great opportunity to share the Gospel. The “draw” is the Million Dollar Eye Test. We basically ask people if they would trade one of their eyes for a million dollars. Most will say no, but some say yes. We then sweeten the pot and offer one hundred million for both eyes. We will explain that they could “see the world” with so much money. Yet, most of them will point out that they would not be able to “see” anything because they would be blind. Some will ask if they can use the money to get an eye transplant (I am not sure if that is even possible) and we just tell them they can do whatever they want with the money.
The point of this is to bring them to a place where we can ask how much more their soul would be worth. We point out that the eyes that they have placed a high value on are
Check out those crowds!
merely the window to the soul. This leads directly into the Gospel presentation. The basis of the conversation is to utilize information that comes from the Million Dollar Eye Test booklet (PDF). I encourage you to read over the booklet as it will help you be prepared for witnessing encounters.
There are huge crowds at the fair. We were there on Saturday, October 19th. We open the booth at 10AM and we don’t close until 10PM. Someone has to be in the booth all day long. We are privileged to be able to partner with the School of Discipleship at Gospel For Asia. These students come to work at the GFA office for a year while going through a year long discipleship program. Part of their discipleship program is to learn to share the Gospel. They partner with Bezeugen to do about one outreach each quarter.
Some of the students had never shared the Gospel with anyone before. So it is really
amazing to watch and listen as these young people engage the lost and share the Gospel with them. Below you can read some testimonies from some of the students including how the fair was a launching pad to go and hand out a tract at the store the next day! This is really encouraging to me because while I see the large outreach as a great way to reach a lot of people, there are people in our lives every day that need to hear the Gospel. That is why at Bezeugen we have adopted the “As You Go” phase to sharing the Gospel Everyday!
We had the privilege of having Scott Thompson come to Dallas to go to the fair with us. Scott has been working with our ministry posting to the As You Go BLOG and recently began moderating the Everyday Club. However, we had never had the chance to meet in person. Please read Scott’s BLOG article about the State Fair Outreach as well. I think you will also be encouraged by Scott’s As You Go to the Fair article outlining how he handed out tracts and witnessed on his trip to and from Dallas.
We broke the day into six two hour sifts. While myself, Scott, Craig, Rosie and Arnold were
Rex training the SOD students.
there, the students came in two hour shifts. Rex trained each of the groups as they arrived with the basics of sharing the Gospel at the booth. At one point Rex came to get me while he was training some of the students. He said he needed to ask me a question. When I got to the training area he said, “Carl, are you married?” Immediately I replied, “Yes!” He then asked, “When you got married, did your life change?” Again, I replied, “Yes!” The point he was making to the students is that when people say they are not sure if they are going to Heaven or not sure if they have a relationship with Jesus, then they don’t. If they had that deep relationship with Jesus, they would know it! I will certainly be using this analogy in my witnessing.
As I close, I’d like to share some thoughts that were received from some of those that were with us at the booth. You can view more pictures of our outreach at the State Fair in our Facebook Album.
“It was a blessing to be a part of the spreading of God’s word at the state fair. I was blessed as I watched and listened to many hear the gospel message. ” Arnold
“I had a great time at the outreach! Giving out tracts and witnessing is what I love to do! This was an encouraging day, knowing that we have got people thinking about eternity! I had some great conversations. I’m glad that I was able to meet everyone that worked the booth. It’s encouraging to meet others who have a passion for the lost. Thanks to Rex for allowing us to have a part in the outreach! ” Scott
“My favorite account is that of Teresa because she was a woman who was probably my age or older. A lot of the people who come to the booth are young, though I have prayed with people who would not be in that category. Teresa is proof that even older hearts can respond to the Holy Spirit. She is a seventh grade science teacher who needs to decide if she should retire or not. She was going to heaven because she has done so much good in her 30+ years of teaching. I tried to show her that her standard of good was far below God’s standard of righteousness but she would not budge. She said that she had kept God’s law pretty much perfectly. I somehow got her to confess and boldly state that God’s Word was absolutely true, every word of it. Good! Because it says that there is none righteous, no not one. Her eyes got full of tears and she started responding after that. When we prayed we also asked God to guide her in the decisions that she needs to make. She also thanked God for me and that really touched my heart. ” Rosie
“I got to talk to a lot of different people, but there was one couple in particular who were very receptive to what I was saying. They knew all the answers, but they had never come to know Jesus personally. They didn’t receive Him then and there, but I told them to think about it seriously and they promised they would. They were very sincere and I know they will! Praise Jesus!” Judy (GFA SOD Student)
“I always hesitate to give out a tract. “What good will this do?” I never seem to shake. As I stood in front of the booth giving people the Million Dollar Test, God laid Romans 10:14 heavily on my heart. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” I’ve read this verse multiple times but it never clicked before. The verse immediately changed my perspective, my fear is gone and I actually want to pass out tracts…On the train I wanted to give some out but I knew we were not allowed. Yesterday at the store I made sure I took one with me and gave it away. Yay one point for God, zero points for my flesh!” Rebekah (GFA SOD Student)
“Praise God for being able to talk with 3 or 4 groups of two or more people for several minutes each about Christ and His Gospel. One group included an oriental man and his son. I was able to share about Sin, moral conscience, heaven, hell and the grace of God through Christ. They both (father and son) listened intently, but the father got distracted and left. The son, however, remained and I got to share the Truth with him for another 5 or six minutes. I asked if he had a Bible but he refused to take one on the basis that he “isn’t a religious person” I said “great, I’m not either.” I then began to share with him the difference between religion and relationship; works verses grace, with the “Living God.” He listened intently, as if his spirit was hungry for the truth (he was). In the end the young man didn’t make a decision for Christ but a seed of faith was planted. At one point I asked the young man, “you are going to be thinking about this conversation tonight, aren’t you?” He said, “Yeah.” I encouraged him to pray to God (even though he didn’t know for himself if God exists) and ask Him to reveal Himself to him. I told him that God is faithful to reveal Himself more as we ask out of a pure heart. I told him that it was God who allowed me to share the Gospel with him in the first place. “ Joshua (GFA SOD Student)
“I had the privilege to lead someone to Christ when I worked at the fair last Saturday. It was not my first time doing evangelism, but it was my first time leading someone to a relationship with Jesus. How sweet His name! A young lady whom I assume was in her twenties approached the booth to take the Million Dollar Eye Test! After a quick transition, the realization of heaven and hell became a topic she was interested in. I asked her if she would like to hear about what Jesus did on the cross. She quickly responded, “Yes.” A few minutes later I asked her a new question, “Would you like to invite Jesus into your heart tonight?” Again she responded, “Yes.” I offered to pray out loud, and she could repeat what I said out loud as well. She again responded positively. Even though it was busy all around us, she stopped, bowed her head, and invited Jesus into her heart. Her boyfriend listening, watching, and encouraging her all the while. After we prayed she thanked me profusely, took some literature, and went on her way. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have this moment. Praising Jesus for my new sister in Christ!” Aubrey (GFA SOD Student)
“Humbling for me because God was showing me through the whole event that it is His work at the fair, it’s His Gospel and it’s His salvation. I have to remove myself from out of the picture many times because if I don’t then I put all the pressure on me and the Lord doesn’t want that.” Caleb (GFA SOD Student)