Monday, December 26, 2005

Evangelism Today!

Evangelism Today!

HELP! That is the best way that I can say it right now concerning what is about to happen here in New Orleans.

Undoubtedly, the whole nation’s attention was upon New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that followed when our levee system failed and we found New Orleans 80% under water!

Well, the attention that we were getting has decreased and the type of attention that is being paid to the city now is not the attention that will truly have the biggest long term impact.

While the Mayor, the Governor, the President, FEMA, the Army Corp of Engineers and a plethora of other private and governmental agencies argue and debate on the rebuilding of a city—the Church needs to instead be focusing on the unprecedented Harvest and Revival opportunity that this has presented the Gulf Coast and this Nation.

HELP! Is how one could simply break down the vision that Paul received when his brother needed him to come to Macedonia at a pivotal time for that region.

Acts 16:9-10 says, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us. Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

When we began our work full time here in New Orleans in 2003, the Holy Spirit spoke to us that (He) “was sending REVIVAL upon the Gulf Coast of the USA and that we needed to network with the Body of Christ in preparation for this time” Luke 5:1-7

In a couple of months, February 24-28, 2006, RAVEN Ministries will be hosting their 10th annual Mardi Gras Outreach in New Orleans. This is a gathering of believers from all over the country who come to share the LIVING WORD with a DYING WORLD.

In the months since Katrina we have personally seen approximately 400 people come to the Lord Jesus Christ in the French Quarter and on Bourbon Street. The “harvest is ready to be harvested but the labors are too few.”

Please come and help us! You can get more information and contact us through our website at www.BigGrace.com and then click on the Mardi Gras Outreach button or you can email me, Pastor Troy D. Bohn, at ravenmail@cox.net or call me at our offices anytime at 504-304-6534

We NEED you here with us for this time. THIS is where we can break the back of the devil over this city and see revival spread throughout this nation—but we need your help to do it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005





Thursday, December 08, 2005

A date which will live in infamy


"A date which will live in infamy."
Before there was 9/11, there was December 7th.

"Yesterday, 7 December 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

This was the opening statement on this date sixty-four years ago as President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood before the congress of the United States of America asking for a declaration of war against the nation of Japan, who a day earlier had attacked the naval station at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

160 aircraft were destroyed. 18 ships were sunk or severely damaged and the US suffered 3,581 casualties in this surprise attack on our nations soil. Or was it a "surprise attack" at all?

We know from history that the War had already began years earlier. We just chose to call it someone else's war. Just as long as it didn't effect us, we chose to honor a "neutrality agreement" to stay out of the fight. German tanks had already rolled into Poland and Eastern Europe. Many Jews had already been detained in Nazi concentration camps and many had perished in the gas chambers as well. Japan meanwhile was terrorizing the South Pacific and building an imperial juggernaut that would soon be emboldened to take on a world super-power on its own turf.

But, weeks in advance of the first Japanese Zeroes strike on the unsuspecting, early morning servicemen and women of Pearl Harbor, an encrypted message had been intercepted and delivered to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. for examination and determination. On January 27, 1941 Joseph C. Grew, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, wired Washington that he had learned information that Japan was planning a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

No one in Washington believed him and most thought that if Japan was to attack any US interests that it would be in Manila, Philippines to disrupt naval routes. They were obviously wrong--even though they were rightly informed.

History often has a way of repeating itself. While many in the US Military and government would acknowledge that their was the "potential" for an attack, their actions or inactions certainly told an altogether different story. They failed to listen to the warnings of the man, Joseph C. Crew, whom they (the President and Congress) had appointed and confirmed as their Ambassador to Japan. His job was to know what was going on their in the land of the "Rising Sun" and report back from the vantage point of one on the "front lines."

His pleas and warnings fell on deaf ears and the end result was the loss of nearly 4,000 US lives needlessly to a power who had already "tipped their hand" to their intentions.

We sometimes feel like Joseph C. Crew as well. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says that we are "Ambassadors for Christ." We have been named, appointed, and commissioned as His "front-line" representatives in a very hostile environment. From our vantage point on the front-lines of the City of New Orleans and various other places that we regularly take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to--we have intercepted "data" that reveals (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that the enemy has planned a full-out aerial assault on our "soil."

Yet, there is no urgency still. The "Church" at large continues in its lackluster, mundane and often indifferent approach in winning people to Jesus Christ in these "last days." Maybe they have forgotten that these are the "last days."

2 Peter 3:2-4 says, "I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

Much of the Modern-Church has adopted this same mentality--just as it was prophesied that they would! "If we ignore it, it might just go away" is the attitude that is prevalent in many circles. "That is such a negative message" is another common perspective as well.

THIS AMBASSADOR has news for you though: The enemy has devised a plan to attack YOU and take YOU out once and for all. The US thought that they were somehow out-of-reach and untouchable by their adversaries--and it took a catastrophe to wake them up to the realization that an invasion force desired to defeat them on their own turf.

We have got to get ready and launch a PREEMPTIVE STRIKE against the works of the devil BEFORE he invades and claims more lives! You can believe it or not--but from my perspective "on the front lines" there is an attack fast approaching on the horizon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Battle over Soul-Winning


Jesus said in Luke 15:6-7 "...'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

Its funny (in a very sad way) that we here on earth (Christians) just can't seem to get excited over the same things that Heaven gets excited over.
We get excited over new buildings, bigger churches, more "righteous persons" joining our ranks, benevolent endeavors, and the like, but we barely go beyond the courteous, "That's great" or "Praise the Lord" when we hear of someone leading a lost sinner to Jesus anymore. While "heaven is rejoicing" we are yawning and passing this "heaven-worthy" event off like its spiritual chopped liver!

Even in my own denomination, there is rarely a peep regarding soul-winning, grass roots evangelism, or witnessing. You will hear much about new churches buildings, ministerial promotions, visits with foreign dignitaries, seminars, and educational opportunities--(all good things within their proper place) but seldom will you hear the Great Rejoicing over lost souls that takes place in heaven when "one sinner repents."

Our team has seen around 400 people "repent" and come to Jesus on the streets in the (13) weeks following Hurricane Katrina. Of this number there have been: men, women. teenagers, drug addicts, alcoholics, drug dealers, gang bangers, red necks, occultists, atheists, strippers, moms, dads, construction workers, middle-class people, homeless, city slickers, country boys, blacks, whites, Hispanics, backsliders, liars, thieves, fornicators, nice guys, and everything that one could imagine.

THIS must have caused an amazing sight in heaven!

Maybe the problem is that the Church has so deviated from its primary purpose that the we have ceased to even recognize those things that are so close to the heart of the Father. The church of today response is like a football stadium full of fans standing and cheering for pre-game introductions and then yawning when their teams actually scores a touchdown to win the game! Have we forgotten what we "joined the team" for in the first place? To love and serve God---and to validate this love by bringing others to Him.

Do you know that has replaced initial "rejoicing" in regards to people hearing about someone repenting and getting saved? The conversation often goes like this:

"Man! I am so excited! We were out the other night and I had the chance to talk to this man who was here visiting on business. Through our conversation, I found out that he was lost and had never asked Jesus into his life. I shared the Gospel with him and his heart was pricked. He then asked me what he needed to do to get saved! I prayedwith him and He repented and asked Jesus into his life!"

Response (without hesitation) "So, what are you doing for follow up?"

There is typically never a "WOW, that is awesome! I bet you are looking forward to seeing that guys grow in the Lord." or "YES! If any man is in Christ he is a new creation. I know that he will do wondrous things for the Kingdom in the days ahead" or "BOO-YAH! The devil lost another one! That guys is going to be a great asset to someone's church!"

Can you imagine if these scenes had happened in our day and age:

Luke telling someone (Acts 2:41) "Today 3000 people responded to Peter's message, repented and gave their hearts to Jesus" and them retorting, "So what are you do for follow up?"

(or) Jesus saying, "I ministered to a prostitute today and told her to go and sin no more" and her life was forever changed and them saying, "So, what about follow up?"

(or) "Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. And the number of disciples multiplied" and the response was...."But what kind of follow up are you doing?" Probably NONE...seeing that they stoned him to death a short time later!

THE GREATEST MIRACLE IS THE MIRACLE OF THE NEW BIRTH! (You will never see where Heaven rejoices over a "new building" "a new position" or even "someone being physically healed) THIS rejoicing is reserved for SOULS coming into the Kingdom of Heaven!

This might put things in their proper perspective:

First person: "Did you hear about Sally? She was prayed for, went to the doctor and found out that God healed her of cancer."

Second person: "Yeah, but unless she is careful that could come back. She needs to be sure and get periodic follow ups."

Maybe the church just finds it hard to rejoice over something that they have failed to do? (The Barna Group estimates that upwards of 93% of Christians have never led another person to Jesus). THAT is what makes heaven weep!

ON-Going relief, restoration and REVIVAL

We are "hitting the streets" here in the city on a regular basis. While there is much effort being done to get the city back--the process is an enormous challenge.
You just would not even be able to comprehend the level of destruction that has taken place unless you have seen it with your own eyes. Tens of thousands of homes are destroyed with many having to be totally torn down and rebuilt (if they are to be rebuilt).

In the midst of this we are truly seeing the manifestation of EVERYTHING that God spoke to us over (2) years ago now:

Revival is taking place- we have seen more people come to Christ during this past three month period than in any other similar period that I can remember. Hearts are WIDE-OPEN for the Gospel of Christ.

The momentum that the enemy had enjoyed for generations has been halted- Many of the things that had been engrafted into the very social and spiritual fabric of the people of New Orleans were brought down in the wake of Katrina-

Impoverished areas (projects, etc..) are now virtual ghost towns with many of those residents now living in other cities and under much better conditions. I had so many people tell me in the past as we ministered in such areas as the Lafitte Housing Projects, "I want to et out, but there just doesn't seem to be a door out for me." Well, that door has swung wide open and the scope of the damage and the lack of anything to return to may provide many of these good people the chance to get "settled" into other areas around the nation.

Crime (murder)- we went from being the "Nations Murder Capitol" with over 250 murders in 05' pre-Katrina--to just (2) since then. There is virtually not crime and no criminals!

The Occult--the French Quarter was once the home to dozens of palm readers and tarot card readers--now if you see 1-2 in the Quarter it is amazing.

The Debauchery--what had been a generationally perpetuated environment for filth, perversion and wickedness has lost much of its demonic-edge. "The curtain on the Wizard of Oz has been pulled back" to reveal a great illusion perpetrated by the "smoke and mirrors" of fear, intimidation and confusion. THIS is when and where the church needs to take a stand against things such as the annual MArdi Gras and make those events merely historical events that receded with the flood waters of Katrina.

We are now working to assist in setting up a relief and distribution center in the hard hit area of East New Orleans (St. Bernard Parish). There will be hot meals, food, clothing, cleaning supplies and other itmes distributed from this location. It will also serve as a host camp for volunteer workers to come in too.

WE ARE NEEDING a freezer and a refrigerator for this center. If you have one of them and would be willing to bring it here, we could sure put it to immediate use (OR) if you would like to give towrds them and we could purchase them here locally for use. We can probably get what we are needing for around $600.

WE NEED YOU!

The Mardi Gras Outreach is scheduled for February 24-28th here in New Orleans. The cost for this outreach is $165 (with discounts for groups of 5 or more) this includes--local transportation, a place to sleep and shower, RAVEN t-shirts, 3 meals a day, training, and participation in all of the weekends outreach and evangelism events in the French Quarter area.

WE NEED YOUR HELP desperately! This is really the time and place where the Body of Christ can make a very significant stand in the City of New Orleans and change the world's perspective on this place---but I need YOU here to help. You can get the detailed info at our website www.BigGrace.com and then click the "Mardi Gras Outreach 2006" button.

Bus Headed To Mexico!

The Bus is One its way to Mexico!

While I was in Mexico ministering this past June, the Lord really impressed upon me to give our bus to the Church there that operates a orphanage and minister to children there in Tijuana. They reach out to so many kids, many of who have been abandoned in garbage dumps--but they were in great need of transportation.

The thing was, I had just recently gotten the bus and needed it here in the city for ministry--but I was sure that the Lord wanted us to sow it sacrificially into Mexico. I told our friends Bobby & Dot Chance that we wanted the church there to have the bus so they informed the pastor---who was elated! Since then, we have had several churches in Texas "fill the bus up" with food, clothing, etc.. to be taken to Mexico.

I am pleased to report that the bus is on the edge of New Mexico, headed into Arizona and will soon be delivered to the church/orphanage! Bobby himself flew into Amarillo (minus 15 degree wind chill) and met up with my oldest brother, Ray Jr and his son, Matthew, to drive the bus there. They will be taking it there on the 17th for the Streetwise Tijuana Christmas Party and will be joined by a team of around 60 put together by Raven West Coast's Rudy Gonzales (www.UGO4GOD.com). Rudy's girls have also gathered over 1500 BRAND NEW toys that will be distributed at the Jesus Birthday Party!

Because of your generosity, we were also able to send the $700 needed to pay for the transfer and importing of the bus into Mexico---thank you all who helped and who help regularly in reaching and ministering to so many!

A Message from Melanie

Life after Katrina” has by no means been easy, but I can see the hand of God in each and every situation– both great and small! God has remained faithful. The Lord has met every need—and right on time.

There are a few things that have been changed through all of this and have caused me to view things differently than before. I have learned that:

Stuff is just stuff! It can never bring true happiness or fulfillment. It can be easily lost in an instant and guess what—it can all eventually be replaced! People and life are what’s precious.

God is God! Before the storm, in the midst of the storm, and after the storm—only HE can calm your storms! (THIS I know now more than ever)

Time is of the essence! Of those who lost their lives as a result of Katrina—I wonder how many of them knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Did anyone ever warn them that life is short and really just a vapor? Did anyone let them know that we are not promised another day?

Lord, let me never again miss an opportunity to share Jesus with all that I come into contact with! I would also like to personally thank all of you who have stood by our side, prayer for us, supported us, and just plain “loved us!” You are truly our family. I love you and thank God for you always. Melanie melaniebhn@yahoo.com

A message from Kayla

Since Hurricane Katrina hit things have been a little C-R-A-Z-Y around New Orleans—but I have loved every minute of it!
Just being able to see the faces of people when we are able to give them a new pair of shoes or a case of bottles water is a blessing. Sometimes it is when you are going through things yourself, it is the best time to focus on helping other people.

Recently I had the opportunity to preach at a New Creation Christian Academy in Elkhart, Indiana. I spoke to the kids there during their 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM chapel times. I really enjoyed it and they seemed to really be interested in what I had to say that day—hopefully I’ll be able to go back again one day.

I talked to them out of 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Don’t let anybody put you down just because you are young—but YOU set the standard for them to follow in the way that YOU live and obey the truth in God’s Word.”

It has been awesome to go and do the things for Jesus that you read about in the Bible; like go and minister on the streets of Los Angeles, New York City and here in New Orleans. You may not have the chance to go to places like that yourself—but that should never keep you from getting on Fire for Jesus right where you are now in your life.

Thank you everyone who have called or written to us! I love you! Kayla Bohn kaylabohn@yahoo.com