Mardi Gras Outreach
Invading New Orleans With The Love of Christ
For the second year in a row Tom and I joined Scott Hinkle Outreach Ministries and The Rock Family Church at the annual Mardi Gras Outreach to share the love of Christ with the lost and broken. Over 150 believers from churches and ministries across the nation rallied together for one common purpose: To seek and save the lost, and reconcile them to God!
Last year we left the city of New Orleans with a heavy heart and this year was no different. Many who are searching for something or running from something are found at the Mardi Gras festivities filling the void in their hearts with drugs, sex and alcohol. Our teams face great opposition in a city that is filled with violence, witchcraft, perversion, idolatry and immorality. This year was particularly violent, but we did not retreat because He sent us and greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. We carried our light into the darkness and invaded the French Quarter with the love and power of Jesus Christ and saw transformation of hearts before our very eyes!
We ministered to the homeless on Jackson Square, to the street kids along the Moonwalk and Washington Square Park, and to many people of all walks of life in and around Bourbon Street. It was truly awesome to see the course of several college kids altered. One was on the way to a rave but instead he turned around and went home. He along with others were on a road to destruction, but after encountering the love of Jesus made a U-turn toward life!
Street evangelism in a setting such as Mardi Gras can be very challenging. Often times in in these types of outreaches you dont see immediate fruit and that can be discouraging. At one point I asked myself, What am I doing here? Why am I here? As the night went on a team mate and I talked to a college student named Steven who was with a friend and we had a very good conversation. However, when they walked away we didnt really know if we had made a difference. Moments later they returned and Steven said to us, You are right. There is nothing for me here. I am leaving. Thats when I remembered why we were there. Its not about the masses. Its about the one (or two or three) that God wants to touch.
Among the street kids (homeless teenagers that move from city to city and live on the streets) that we met, Heather and Leila remain on my mind. I have not forgotten that encounter or the words Heather spoke, This isnt living (referring to their drug addiction). Although she was high as a kite and dosing in and out she was listening and receptive to the message of hope. She received more than food and simple conversation that day. She received the truth that Jesus died for her, loves her and wants a relationship with her. She held on tightly to my hand as we prayed and we are believing God for great and mighty things in her and Leilas life!
There are many more testimonies of lives that were impacted. Our teams saw many prodigals sons and daughters return home to their Father and we could not have done it without you! Thanks to your faithful support and prayers many hearts were touched, physical needs were met, souls were added to the Kingdom, and eternal seeds were planted in everyone we encountered!
Until next time
Tom & Lyly Ledbetter
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. – Acts 1:8 NKJV