What is Faith Outreach? Faith Outreach is based on Luke 10 and Matthew 10. It is the part of the Bible when Jesus sends out the 12 disciples with zero money, zero food, and zero plans except to share the Gospel. Each person that joins YWAM Redding staff and does our School of Supernatural Frontier Missions has to do a faith outreach.
Here are some of the rules: 1) Students are not allowed to bring any money, or food. They trust the Lord to provide for what they need! 2) They pray about where to go and they go, fully trusting God to provide for 5 days! 3) Students are allowed to contact churches ahead of time, but cannot tell them what they are doing, just that they want ministry opportunities. If people ask then they are allowed to say, but they are not allowed to ask for food or for a place to stay. Again, the purpose of this trip is to pray for people and tell people about Jesus! 4) They are to ask God if He wants them to focus on a specific unreached people group. Just like asking God where to go, they need to ask Him who He wants them to minister to, and how they are to do it.
Continue to read to learn about one of our recent students faith outreach Testimony:
I was assigned to go with two classmates/friends of mine; a married couple that I did my DTS with — Candi and Jonathan! We prayed the morning before we were to head out. We got a bunch of words from God about our trip including that we were supposed to go to Oakland. Oakland is a city in the Bay Area. I had been there once before and it wasn’t the safest city, so I was pretty nervous about going there with no food, or place to stay but knew that that was where the Lord wanted us to go. We start our journey (it is about a 3.5 hour drive down there), and on the way we saw a license plate that said ‘BANK OF DAD’ on the bottom! I think it was God’s way of reminding me that He is in control – that we don’t have to strive, but we are withdrawing from the Bank of Dad!
In the car ride we prayed about what people group God wanted us to minister to, both Candi and I felt like God said Afghans!! We were super excited about this! We googled to see if there were any Afghans in the Oakland area but there really wasn’t. We also started contacting churches in the Bay Area. We found some churches and we attempted to call them but nothing was coming through! Everyone was either busy, going to call us back later or didn’t answer. At this point we were getting a little bit anxious; we had no plans and we were heading to a city we were supposed to stay in for 5 days.
Fast forward a few hours and we arrived in Oakland. We looked up another church and decided to go there to look for serving opportunities. Long story short the church was another dead end with no ministry opportunities. It was about 5 o’clock at this point, we were getting pretty hungry. Candi, Jonathan and I left the church and just started to minister to people on the streets. We prayed for a lot of people, although most of them were Christians or didn’t speak English. Nothing seemed to be working. We were disappointed, frustrated and felt purposeless. At 9:30, we settled to sleep in the car. Never have I slept in my little Pontiac Vibe with two other people in the middle of a city.
We woke up in a pretty good mood, compared to what you might expect. We started the day off with prayer and worship at a park. We thanked Jesus that HE is our daily bread, and did a mini Bible study on Matthew 10. It was refreshing! Someone the day before recommended that we should go to CityTeam for ministry opportunities. As we were praying at the park we felt like that would be a good place to go. Jesus also told me that wherever we were to find favor, we were supposed to do a Bible study! So with purpose back in our systems, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance we drove (we are on less than 1/4 tank of gas) 15 minutes to downtown Oakland.
We showed up at CityTeam and they immediately put us to work! They informed us that CityTeam is a homeless shelter and food distribution, but it is also a Drug and Alcohol Rehab center. The people in the rehab program live in the upstairs part of the building — they do AA meetings, Bible studies, find Jesus, and get better. They also are in charge of running the kitchen and the men’s homeless shelter, they serve about 300 meals a day to the homeless and host about 35 guys a night. We started to do food prep for their lunch meal. At noon they opened the doors and the homeless people were lined up. Keep in mind that we still haven’t had any food since yesterday at breakfast. We were all convinced that they were going to offer us some food. As the homeless people went though the line, the food started to disappear, and then it was gone. AND I can say that that was one of the coolest things I have ever done: serve homeless people on an empty stomach — give when you have nothing left. God was teaching me something very important.
Candi, Jonathan and I went for a walk to find some place to rest. We were getting exhausted, we hadn’t eaten in 32 hours, my hands were tingling and I was dizzy. We found a park and laid down, and actually called our leader asking him “What if we don’t get any food for all 5 days?” “What should we do if it gets really bad?” We were desperate. I remember thoughts going through my head like “Why would they make us do this thing?”, and “I have no idea how I am going to make it another 4 days like this.” Jonathan had ran to the car to grab my water, and came back to let us know that he parked in a No Parking Zone and had an $83 ticket. Our purposeless feeling came back to us, and we had NO HOPE of it getting any better. We couldn’t see anything except for the fact that we were probably going to have to sleep with empty stomachs in the car again.
As we were literally crying in the park, a guy walked up to us. He started sharing about what he believed and his past (a lot of Eastern religion) and we got to share with him what we believed and pray for him. At one point he asked us where we were staying and we told him “We don’t have a place to stay”, and he turned to the homeless tent village, pointed and said maybe you’ll end up there. At that point, it wasn’t about where we were staying, it was about the person who was standing in front of us and that he NEEDED to know who Jesus was! We got to pray for him and give him a book about a missionary called Sundar Singh!
We then decided to go back to CityTeam to serve for their dinner meal. As we were walking back we ran into Jason, one of the guys in the program that we met while making lunch. We stopped and talked with him and all of a sudden he was asking us the right questions.
“Where are you guys staying?”
“Ummmm, we actually don’t know yet.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well we are on this faith outreach thing…”
“You mean you haven’t eaten?!?”
Jason figured out everything — that we hadn’t eaten, that CityTeam didn’t give us food, that we slept in our car the night before. He whipped out his wallet and pulled out the only money he had: $6!
There was a market going on a block up so we went there to buy some quick food! The market was about to close so we came to the first stand that was open and asked “What can we have for six dollars?” A man replied, “I’ll give you three samosas!!”
The samosas were the best thing I have ever tasted!! We eventually asked this guy where he was from and guess where he was from? Afghanistan! Jonathan began to talk with him and share the Gospel. Meanwhile another man came up to Candi and I. We got to talking with him and he was also from Afghanistan! (For this man and his family’s security I won’t mention their names.) Within 30 seconds of conversation N told us that he wants to leave Islam and go to Christianity. “How do I follow Jesus?” “Where is your church?” “Can I go to church with you?” We were so excited to hear this news!! We downloaded the Bible app on his phone and got connected with him on Facebook. Within the next couple of days we met with him again, brought him to church and got him connected to a local Oakland guy that is going to teach him about the Bible! I can’t expand too much on this story for security reasons, but it was one of the most amazing ways I have seen Jesus work, setting things up perfectly on every angle! God is so good!
It seemed like all of the breakthrough happened in two minutes. We ran into Jason, he bought us food, and we met not one but two Afghan men. Everything that Jesus was telling us started to fit together and we were filled with so much hope! We immediately called our leader back and told him that Jesus had provided. I mean come on, what are the chances of meeting a man who wants to give his life to Jesus on the streets of Oakland without even trying. Jesus is so good!
We went back to CityTeam and Jason was there. He prepared us a huge meal, fried chicken, salad, fresh smoothies, berries, scones, green tea, coconut milk, and cookies. After we feasted we were so full and so grateful of what God had done for us. We started to prep for dinner and then we served. We also got to talk with and minister to a bunch of homeless people during dinner.
At this point I remembered that God had told us to do a Bible study where we had favor! It made perfect sense! We asked Jason if that was ok and he said yes, he announced it to the whole rehab staff and to all the homeless people staying in the shelter! We decided to do a Bible study on the prodigal son. After we were done with this amazing Bible study we were able to pray for everyone that showed up. We listened to their stories and asked them what they needed prayer for and prayed. We got to prophesy hope and love and a future into the men’s lives. By the end of the time you could tell that these guys were touched by Jesus, some of them were even crying. A lot of them had come from backgrounds of deep pain, and Jesus was in the process of healing!
At 9 o’clock all the guys had to be upstairs for curfew. At this point we still didn’t know where we were going to stay. I looked at my phone and realized I had a missed call from 3 minutes ago from an Oakland number. I called the number and Raul answered offering us a place to stay. It turns out one of the guys found someone who wanted to host us. Candi, Jonathan and I started jumping up-and-down, literally three minutes after we had finished what Jesus told us to do he provided a place to stay. We didn’t have to sleep in our car tonight!
The place we stayed was a bit small but a bed nonetheless. Candi, Jonathan and I all slept on a king sized bed, while Raul slept on the floor of his kitchen. After good night sleep and a shower, went to a park to pray and worship Jesus!
We went back to CityTeam and helped them with dinner, again. While we were there, a team from a church in Fremont showed up to serve. We got to talking with them and they eventually invited us to their house that night. We were so excited that Jesus was providing! That night we did another Bible study, and we studied the Samaritan women.
Around 9:30 pm, we drove to Garrett and his wife Stephanie’s house! It was an amazing house and I got to sleep in my own bed, in my own room! That doesn’t even happen at the base. The next morning, which was a Sunday, they made us a beautiful breakfast! We felt so grateful and were so aware of all that God was doing in our lives! (We have an outreach team in Fremont right now, and Garrett and Stephanie have been hosting them, and Pastor Garrett had our Outreach team speak at their church! Jesus makes the best connections!)
It was our last day before we had to go back to Redding. We prayed again and felt like we were still not done in Oakland.
We ended up going to a park in Oakland, and just started ministering to people. For a couple hours we just talked to people and listened to people, and offered prayer. In that time we talked to three people; Patricia, Joyce and Clever. All of them were without a home and in need. We got to pray for Patricia to find a community of believers. We got to share the Gospel with Joyce, and listen to her story. We got to pray for Clever, help him download some apps on his phone, and listen to his story. All three of these people were in so much need, and all we could do was pray. I heard the depth and hurt of their stories and I was so affected. I felt like I had to do something — yet I had nothing to do except trust God to take care of them and serve them in the only way I could: prayer. I was “homeless” for a night, but when people learned where I slept, they offered me a place to sleep. People see homeless people in need every day and do nothing about it! It was so humbling.
We went back to CityTeam one last time to serve and then to do something after dinner with the guys. We felt like we should spend time in worship. The guys at CityTeam also blessed us with huge boxes of English Bibles they had laying around, and we got to take them back to the base to use them for outreach. Then they gave us enough money for gas to get home! It was insanely hard to say goodbye to them! I was in tears! I had gotten so close to these guys, in just three short days.
What did we learn from this huge excursion?!
So much! I think the thing that changed me the most is how involved God is with every detail. Through this Faith Outreach, we prayed about everything! And it was so good! As I have been brought back to “real life,” I haven’t lost the reality that he is involved with everything and he wants to be!
The other thing that I learned was when I was talking to the homeless people. I had nothing to give them except my open ears and prayer, yet all I wanted to do was solve their problems. I felt the Lord tell me “trust me with them, just pray”. It was so hard to let go and trust that God has THEM!
Another thing I learned and that the Lord really spoke to me was about His faithfulness. And I know this seems obvious, because of all He provided, but it changed me! I look at things differently, I trust Him so much more, I know that He will show up! And not just in getting me food, or a place to stay, but giving me rewarding ministry, and people I need to talk to!
People that I will connect with! He is faithful and has my best intention!! Realizing that He is always faithful, and perfect in love helps me trust Him and give my life to Him more every day!
Thank you for reading one of our student’s faith outreach testimony! She was a part of the school of Supernatural Frontier Missions! To learn more about the school click here!