7 men. 4 states. 3 days. 1 gospel. WERT – Friday …

7 men.
4 states.
3 days.
1 gospel.

WERT – Friday Evening 8/25

Jess and I headed down to New Paltz (NP) to meet up with our fellow evangelists. New Paltz is one of the most God-less towns I know. NP gets some of its fame from being the only town in New York State that performed same-sex marriages. The main street is lined with small shops and restaurants (places you can get bongs, tattoos, and Thai food). It is a small little town full of life in upstate NY. As we arrived in NP we get a call from Sal asking us where we were and we plan to meet up with him and Rose at the Mobil downtown.

One of the coolest things we saw on the trip was the sight of the small main street area of NP full of Kingdom-preachers. Jess and I were about an hour later than everyone else in getting to NP and as we drove down main street we saw our people on every side speaking the gospel. Sean and Jim T. preaching to a muslim on the left drawing a small group of listeners, Obo and Jim F. waiting to get into a new conversation, Jaired and Heather B. videoing on the street corner. It was awesome.

We got out of the car and met up with Rose T. and Sal. Jess went with her mom and Sal and I headed down the streets. We were really excited.

Sal and I started up the street, he told me how things had been going so far. The two of us spoke to a few people:

Blonde kid sitting on the street – This young man who I forget his name had been approached by a few of our people already that night. He was sitting on the corner of the street leaning against a building. He said that he traveled to NP each summer because the people were friendly there (this was evidenced by a random car full of college students driving around the corner and throwing him a new pack of Parliament cigarettes after shouting his name). He said that he was a “born again Christian” for some time now. This was an interesting statement in light of the alcohol that was strong on his breath and the word tattooed on his hand that started with the letter “f” and ending with “k”. Sal and I told him that if he was a Christian in fact he had to follow Jesus’ teachings if he was his Lord. We read him Luke 6:46 which he had never heard before he said. He said drinking was not a big deal and we told him that in fact it was to God. After a few minutes of talking to him his friend (whose face was completely tattooed) arrived and told him about a few of the parties that he knew about that night to which our “born again Christian” friend replied “hell yeah.” We ended out conversation quickly after that and moved down the street.

Moses & Karl – older man from NC heading with his daughter to her home in NYC. He considered himself a Christian but didn’t know about Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom. He seemed very interested when we told him that the destiny of those faithful to Christ’s teaching was to be in paradise and not heaven. We used Matthew 5:5, the Lord’s prayer, Revelation 5:9-10 and other points to show him this and stressed the fact that there is no place in the Bible that speaks of the righteous going to heaven. We also tried to encourage him to be faithful to Jesus’ commands….things were progressing very well, until…………..the Trailways bus showed up and gave them a reason to leave!!!!! Perhaps we should have gotten on with them and met up with the crew in NYC the next day…oh well, next time maybe.

After Moses and Karla we walked the streets looking for someone else to speak to. There were a few bars full of revelers and older people leaving restaurants.

Max – Sal and I spoke to was a young man who had pulled up his minivan to park near where we were walking. We approached him and asked for his thoughts on life after death. He was looking for the Thai restaurant to pick up the food he had ordered and wanted to move on. We told him we would be more than happy to walk with him. He was a musician who was in NP from Westchester NY to do some recording. We were able to take him through the good person test thoroughly and left him to think about whether he would be innocent or guilty and left him to think about that when he went to pick up his food inside the restaurant. Sal and I were happy to wait for him outside ;-). Max got his food and he said that he would probably heading towards hell if God judged him based on His standards. He said he never really thought about that before and that “I guess it concerns me.” Sal and I endeavored to appeal to him to repent because of the inevitable destruction that awaited him. Before he got back into his car he told us that his “Jewish mother wouldn’t be too happy if he converted to Christianity.” I told him that the Jewish Messiah would be though…….(okay, I didn’t say that but that would have been cool). I did tell him that Yeshua was the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures and was coming to establish the Davidic kingdom. We gave him a Kingdom tract and he drove off.

We headed back to meet with our excited crewmates who had finished up their preaching also.

We had some quick debriefing with the people who had met up with us (It was so cool to see the excitement on the faces of Rose T., Jim T, Sue V. and Pat B. who had both had great experiences with Chad and Nathan respectively.)

We quickly needed to head out though, it was already almost 10pm and we needed to get to the Knowltons in Old Tappan, NJ. We climbed in Sal LiPuma’s minivan he had donated to us for the weekend

Front Seats – Sean Finnegan and John Obelenus
Middle Row – Nathan Crowder and Chad Lenseth
Back Row – Jaired Crofut, Victor Gluckin, and Sal LiPuma, III

We arrived at the Knowlton’s just after 11pm. Hugh and Susie were so welcoming and hospitable (including the famous Knowlton cookies and a bed for each of us). We talked a bit and then figured out sleeping arrangements before heading to bed. Sal was on the phone with Jacqui Murphy and Onye Kline trying to get them to come and meet us in the city the next day to preach with us but it didn’t look like they were going to join us. I made a quick call to Joe Testa who was planning on meeting up with me at Central Park. He said he was all set to come and would call me in the morning.

I was going to sleep in John Knowlton’s old room and Sean had already graciously taken the floor in the room giving me the full size bed in the room. Sean was tired and went to be rather quickly (as his manner is) knowing that we had to be up in 7hours (it was now past midnight). I stayed up a little while after him full of excitement.

I packed my bag for the next morning, transferring my larger bag for into my back pack to have all I needed for the rest of the weekend. We would take with us only what we needed. Clothes for Sunday, bathroom things, tracts, cards, a camera and Bible. Everything I had I need to carry with some ease on my back for the next 48hrs. It was a great feeling to be up alone that night thinking about the next day and all that was planned. I couldn’t even sleep. Too much excitement.

As I closed up my bag ready for the next day I thought to myself as got into the bed

“This is what I want to do the rest of my life.”

WERT Weather Report – No rain yet, but possible showers overnight


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