Jesus said, "Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men."
The Open Air week is the week that all the students dread the most. The fear the students experience is sometimes overwhelming. The thought of standing in the street and not knowing what will happen is unnerving. One student said, "It's a peace of cake to preach to hundreds in a church on Sunday, but the though of attempting to share the Gospel to non-Christians in the street terrifies me!"
This week is the hardest for all the students. Often the students are hoping for rain so they won't have to preach. Often they hope they will get sick so they have an excuse not to attend. Yet despite all their anxiety and fear they all show tremendous courage and overcome their fears. To the students surprise as they preach their nerves that they thought would choke them dissipated and as they look up they se a sea of faces eagerly listening to what they have to say. One of our students as they were preaching the Gospel had over 50 people listening to them. All of the students, when they preached were able to gather their own crowds of various sizes.
Open Air ministry is very fruitful in Fiji. When I started our first Open Air there was hardly anyone around. Within minutes there were eager listeners surrounding me. In just the two Open Air meetings that I was a part of we saw over 30 people respond to the Gospel for the first time. It is so encouraging to be able to preach the gospel and see people respond, and then when you council them you find out they understand exactly what they are doing and are ready to give up their religion and trust in Christ alone.
One Indian man approached me after we finished preaching and were packing up. He said, "I'm sorry. I was listening to your message. I had to go, but I'm back now because I am ready to give up Hinduism and follow Christ. I want to give Jesus my life - am I too late?" Praise the Lord that the Gospel is the power of God!
The students, after the Open Air, were encouraged and excited because what they thought they could not do, they did! The Open Air week, at the start, was the week that was feared the most but by the end of the week it was one of their favourites. It is life changing when you come to realise that the Lord has used you to impact another persons life for eternity despite your limitations, fears and weaknesses.
I'm reminded of the words of Charles Spurgeon, "Why would I degrade myself to be a king, when God has called me to be a soul winner."