Salem Outreach 2010
As with every year, the interns did their annual Salem “Haunted Happenings” outreach in October. It was yet another very rewarding and fruitful Salem outreach. Below you can read more about the festivities:
Phil Wyman is the Pastor of the Gathering, a retired bank (now a church), with the original vault still attached. He taught us some very useful techniques on how to approach witches and members of the occult without projecting feelings of condemnation, guilt or judgment. Phil has an amazing patience for these people and they share the same respect towards him. One notable practice he teaches regards how to rid oneself of preconceived notions on neo-paganism, thus being more affective in delivering the love of God to the lost. For example, witches are not likely to put a curse on anyone, as they believe it will return to them times three. Instead, most witches want to bless people so that blessings will be returned to them.
There were many different things going on all around us at Salem. Our ministry tent was placed right next to the main stage and there were various bands playing throughout the day, anywhere from rock and rap to opera. We had to compete with the noise level often. One time specifically, they had a scream contest going which made for some interesting conversation in the tent. I believe that a few psychics from the psychic fair made their way into the tent, either to test us or just to receive encouraging destiny insights. There was also a dance competition led by Phil where we got to see a dancing Jesus which was very entertaining. Of course Phil, dressed up as a tree, brought life onto the scene as he stirred up the crowd trying to get them to dance with him. If you ever make your way down to Salem during Halloween hug the Phil tree and he'll yell out, “Tree Hugger!” Apparently the Mayor of Salem is a tree hugger.
There were so many people affected by the presence of the Lord it is hard to pinpoint one type of person. We had psychics, witches, and spiritual seekers with many different kinds of spiritual understandings. We would see people step into the tent with a frown on their face and spirit. God would lay into them through us and those people would leave feeling as though burdens had been lifted off of their shoulders; they had a new smile written on their face. Many of the afflicted felt freedom for the first time either in their lives or in years. People were hungry to hear what God thought about them. Skeptics turned into believers. We were also blessed to see some physical healing coincide with emotional strongholds leaving their spirits. God's desire to love on these people is amazing.
Halloween was pretty crazy. There were so many people in so many amazingly creative costumes. The gift of creativity made its' presence known in all sorts of different people. Some of the people were wearing costumes that specifically related to their God-given character. Nurse costumes worn by ladies who tend to nurture other peoples needs is a direct example of that. Some of our team also dressed up to join in on the festivities too, which was fun. We had a skeleton, a pirate, and Nacho Libre on our crew. Devils and witches stepped into our tent for spiritual readings and as it turns out, even those who would have us believe they are among the worst, are hungry for the word of God. It goes to show that God has a desire to bless the lives of those who are sick and they, in turn, are so starved for spiritual things that they are willing to get spiritual council from total strangers. It is the sick that need the doctor. At night we had a chance to sit outside of the Gathering and enjoy the festivities. People walking by would comment on our costumes and we got to do the same. It was a lot of fun.
Overall this weekend was a great learning experience. We had a lot of opportunity to learn how to communicate the love of God to those who are hungry for it. Love is both the first and second greatest commandments according to Jesus and it truly is the best way to approach people in general. Everyone has a hunger to hear from God. God speaks to everyone but not everyone has an open ear to hear what God is saying so, they often need a middle man for the communication. We learned (are still learning) to allow God to move through us to deliver His messages. Praise Jesus for all He has done throughout Halloween and all He is going to do. He is faithful to finish the works that He has started and He started a lot of projects these past weekends.