Our History Page 2

carlton_ciov_jp9jThus, on November 4, 1980 (a cool, fall, Saturday evening), the two evangelists walked up and down “the strip” sharing the LORD JESUS CHRIST with the “street people” of South Division. They were so encouraged, that they came back the next Saturday night, then the next ” and the next ” and the next. Soon a weekly Bible study began in different people’s apartments along the avenue, including the old Brunswick and Carlton Hotels.
It was often very discouraging work. For example, one Saturday night a man would profess JESUS CHRIST as his SAVIOR, the next Saturday night he would be drunk almost beyond recognition. One week a prostitute would attend one of our Bible studies or go to church with us, showing a real interest in spiritual things, the next week she would be right back on the street selling herself to anyone who would pay. Although we often felt like giving up, GOD remained faithful, and continued to strengthen us and remind us that it was HIS work, and all we had to be concerned with was doing our part of sowing and watering the seed of HIS Word, and HE would “give the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7b). It was about this time that GOD helped us to formulate in our hearts the main purpose for our existence as a ministry. It wasn’t the salvation of the lost, although we believe strongly that “The Great Commission” of Matthew 28:19-20 is still for today. If this was our main purpose, we have been big failures. For though we have distributed over 5 million tracts, and have shared the LORD with over 35,000 other people verbally, we have seen very few true conversions. The main purpose has not been to build a large congregation of committed children of GOD, although we still have a strong desire to “present every man perfect in CHRIST JESUS” (Colossians 1:28b). Because if this was our main purpose for ministering in the inner-city, we would be big failures as well. For though we have had almost 16,500 different people visit one of our programs, we still average only 25-50 people at either one of our two U.S. church services, and this after forty-one  years! The number one goal of our ministry has been, and always will be, the glory of GOD and the exaltation of HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. For we believe that GOD is glorified when HE gives us the faith to go on, even though it appears no one is listening. We believe that HIS SON is exalted when HE continues to supply all need(Philippians 4:19a), even though we have never made our needs known to anyone but HIM. It is written that, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of GOD” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This is the main purpose for our existence!

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