Monday, May 14, 2007

My "Beach Church" by Sue Scott

What about it? Preaching about Jesus with the surf pounding behind you? What makes people walking by curious, taking a second look?

A tent
A smile
A joyful sound
A musical praise
A child dancing
A bible in someone’s hand
A voice crying out
A sound of angels singing
A whisper of love

As I walked along picking up sea shells on the beach before the service I was praying for the Lord to do something as mighty as the waves that are crashing to the shore.

There is so much to give, so much to tell. When this beach ministry just started
it seems like there was just “us”. Then there were a few that walked near their balcony of a nearby resort that stood and even sang along with us.

There is nothing to compare to singing “Our God Is an Awesome God” with the sound of the ocean singing behind you, the seagulls circling, and seeing some women and men standing with their arms up to heaven, with on-looking believers (that we don’t) know singing with us from the edge of the motel.

It is rewarding and uplifting to be here, to know that the Lord Jesus is still in the business of leaving the 99 and going after that one lost sheep. He has not forgotten. It all makes sense.

When I first got here to Daytona Beach, I wanted to join this huge church, fit in, meet a gob of people and go to the best praise service in the city. But, as I met the first member of our Beach Church, something happened inside me!

I knew that this young man, a former Muslim named Adam, was worth not going to that church service. He is from Iraq and has now been too all three of our services! He has a friend named Daniel, who has come to the second and third services! He wants to talk about the Lord, and hear what he can about Jesus.

He went back up to his place and invited his wife (or girlfriend) to come out and meet us. We got to minister to her and pray for her, and others. She’s getting ready to have a baby…just any minute.

As fun as it would be to sit in a church and be fed in the midst of the great surroundings and with thousands of other Christians, I choose to be here. We have a real chance to reach those that would never go to church; those not expecting church on the beach.
God is doing something here, and I want so much to be a part of it. We never know what the Lord is going to do. Also, after church when we feed these dear people, they are so grateful, just drenched in the Lord’s love. It seems to heal and provide an oasis of love in this little courtyard of Jesus people.

There is something under this tent that is unexplainable. Something strange is happening to us and to the people here. It is new beginnings. It is faith that the Lord will produce something beautiful. I know that as I gather the seashells to place in my basket, some shells are broken and torn apart, shattered into pieces. There is a message here.

I look over as the children play; building sand castles with Adam’s little girl; the hugs and kisses. I smile as I think about the way Adam shouts out during church. After the singing, he tells us “thank you” (even clapping), he doesn’t know how to be “churchey”. He just knows that he is experiencing something more powerful and wonderful than he can explain.

The first time he cried during prayer. He told everyone, ”look at my eyes! He made me cry!” I’m crying over what he said! It was so precious! He’s so childlike and innocent about this time with Jesus Christ.

I collect shells up on the side of an embankment of sand. Its where the storm has washed away all the sea weed. Its a trashy area away from the beauty of the beach. Old bottles, cups, seaweed, and splinters of broken pieces of boards gather upon each other. There is nothing striking, nothing beautiful, just broken up shells. But I look for treasure here.

Near things busted up by the storms of life are where God will show up! Its exciting! I feel honored to be a part of this! I see another sea shell that is broken, probably by the storm that washed in last night. It brought in a high tide with rumbling rough waters. I think to myself, “These lives are being changed Lord, I know it!”

I see it Lord and I pray that today Beach Church will be even more powerful.

During the sermon, Adam seems to be hanging on to every word that Pastor Troy says. He hears more about Jesus. He is smiling and punching Daniel his friend who is staring ahead drinking in everything that Pastor Troy says.

Last week, Pastor Alex preached on Kingdom living. I handed my Bible to Adam. He handed it back and said, “I just want to hear what he is saying!” He listen attentively to Pastor Alex. It’s wonderful to see what God is doing.

After the service today, Daniel comes over and squats down beside my chair to talk. I asked Daniel if his wife has ever given her life to Jesus Christ. He looks down at the sand, and says softly, “No, not really, neither one of us have.”
It is real easy to share with him about what happened in my life; the struggles I had and how I came to know the Lord. He’s listening, and laughing and nodding his head, telling me that he and his wife used to read the Bible sometimes. He opens up and says that he used to be addicted to heroin. He said that he quit because he was using heroin with his dad, and his dad overdosed and died right in front of him.

I didn’t stop to think about it then, but can you imagine your own father dying in front of you after taking heroin with him? This would be totally devastating. It would tear up your life if you didn’t have some hope somewhere. No wonder Jesus has us here.

Oh Jesus! He is the reason that we are here. The Lord Jesus cares about these people that are not in church tucked away somewhere. Jesus goes to them. He loves them so much that he sends a church to them. It is amazing.

I’m glad I’m here, as I pick up a sea shell that is gleaming under the sand. I know that there is nothing too hard for the Lord; Nothing.

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