Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Testimonies from our 5th Annual Gay Pride Parade

On June 24th we completed our 5th annual outreach to the Gay Pride Parade.

Why? Why do we keep going back to the parade every year? To put it simply, the Gay Pride Parade is an environment of deception, and it is exactly those places where Jesus went to minister truth, healing, and freedom!  So we believe that's where the "church" should be because we bring His love and light into darkness. That's why we go.

Outreach at the Gay Pride Parade isn't easy. You see things you wish you didn't see and hear things you wish you didn't hear, and you have a lot of very sensitive and difficult conversations. Yet, in spite of all of this, God has been faithful to open up some tremendous opportunities to discuss the nature of God, the gospel, and the wisdom of God's sexual ethic with the people we meet at the parade. So, yes, the parade is always very difficult, but it's also always very good. And it is worth a few hours of discomfort if it means you can share the saving message of Christ with people who are perishing.

We had a small team this year (only 7 people total), but we were able to engage about 30 people with our surveys, getting their opinion on a wide variety of questions pertaining to human sexuality. Conducting these surveys serves as an easy, non-confrontational way to initiate conversation with people and it helps them open up to us as we try to steer the conversation back to the things of God.

Here's three quick testimonies of good interactions we had this year:

1 - The Pain Behind His Self-Perception
One of our volunteers names Audley was doing a survey with a transgender man (biologically male, but identifies as female). When Audley asked him questions about his family relationships and family history, the man broke down and disclosed to Audley that he was raped by his father when he was nine years old. He recognized that this traumatic experience had an impact on his own self-perception and his own experience of gender-dysphoria. He was noticeably broken and still hurting from what his father had done to him. He continued to tell Audley that he has been seeing a psychiatrist to help him deal with this painful experience, and then he actually gave us his phone number and asked us to reach out to him because he wanted to talk more with us! How remarkable is that?!? Audley and I will definitely be reaching out to him this week so we can help him through his pain.

2 - Addressing Misconceptions 
One of the longest discussion I had this year was with a man named Sean. He asked us why we were doing these surveys and I explained that we are out here because we've noticed that there is a tremendous lack of communication between the Church and the LGBT community, and so we come to the Pride Parade every year to initiate conversations with people to learn more about their experiences and what they believe while trying to share our beliefs with them. He was pleasantly surprised by this answer, but then, after giving it some thought, he said, "If you guys are out here to talk with people and help those who are hurting, that's great... but if you're out here trying to save people from their sexuality, then I am going to have some serious problems with you." I thought to myself, "Save people from their sexuality?? Um... that is NOT what we are out here to do..." So I asked him if he would give me a few minutes to speak into that. I went on to explain that he does not need to get "saved from his sexuality", he needs to get saved from sin and the judgement that is coming because of his sin. I explained that God is not trying to eliminate our sexuality. After all, human sexuality and gender were God's idea in the first place, so God doesn't want to take that away from us. Rather, he wants to teach us how it is that he intended for us to function as sexual beings, and that, ultimately, we must submit our sexuality to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

3 - He Came Back to Learn More!
There was another man named Richard, who identified as a "straight man". Even though he was not LGBT, he was just out at the Parade to enjoy the festivities. But he did tell us that due to the popularity of the LGBT community and all the friends that he has who are LGBT, he is thinking about experimenting with men and possibly becoming more bi-sexual (it was sad to see how the LGBT ideology was influencing Richard to experiment with sexual sin). He also told us that, even though he is not a Roman Catholic, he is currently attending a Roman Catholic College, and that he has been required to take a few theology classes. He knew some of the basics about Jesus and the Bible so we had a good discussion about Jesus' position on sin and homosexuality. It didn't seem like he was very receptive to what we were saying, so after he left I was a little discouraged. I just wasn't sure if anything we said would stick with him. But then, about 10 minutes later, he came back over to me and said, "Hey can I get your contact information? I really enjoyed our conversation and I think I want to learn more about Jesus and Christianity." At first I was speechless... I didn't think anything we said had gotten through to him, and now he's asking me to learn more - awesome! So I gave him my business card with my cell and email on it, and I also gave him the information form my YouTube channel so he could go and watch some of the videos. I told him to call me if he has any questions. I really hope to hear back from him!!

Overall, it was another good year at the NYC Pride Parade. Thanks for praying!

1 comment:

  1. There is a saying that goes.. "Only one life will soon be passed, only what's done for Christ will last". God blesses what you've done and continually do . What a BLESSING to serve HIM..