‘Tourist or Witness?’
Many times as I carried the cross in the Bible lands a tour bus would stop and a bus load of Christian tourist would come charging off with cameras and video to take photos and film of this odd sight…a man carrying a twelve foot cross. Often some knew who I was but many did not. I was like a pop star for five minutes. I would be kind and greet the people, then make my way to the bus driver and tour guide. I’d ask how they were enjoying taking the tourist and always there was a smile and words of praise. Then I would ask “has anyone shared with you about the good news of Jesus personally?” Most of the time it was no; then I’d begin explaining about Jesus and often lead them to Jesus. Many times the American tour guide would come up and interrupt me and say they needed to go. Off they would drive to see more stones, ruins, paintings and of course the mandatory tourist shop where everyone buys things to take home and we leave the sales people still lost and on the way to hell as they stand among trinkets but knowing nothing of the message except that it brings in dollars!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against going to the Holy Lands and seeing the historic places and ruins. I love it.
I’ve carried the cross four times in Israel and many other times in the other nations where Bible events took place and wanted to see these and study the Bible and read what happened there. I have been tremendously blessed to experience these places. Hear me clearly. I’m not saying don’t go but ‘Share Jesus’ AS YOU GO! Share with the hotel check in person, the porter, the taxi driver, the restaurant waitress, the shop sells person. As you buy a cross tell that sales person what the cross means. Share your testimony. Take an afternoon off and go on a walk about. Meet and greet people. You will find them eager to speak English or hire and interpreter to go with you. Visit with the locals. They will ask why you are there and you can share that you wanted to see such and such and it’s in the Bible. Tell them what happened there and then share about your love for Jesus.
This will lead to you telling about Jesus and the message that they can be saved and know Him personally. You can even lead them in a prayer to receive Jesus. Exchange e-mail, etc so you can stay in contact. Not all will make a decision for Jesus but many will.
I’d suggest you take along a DVD movie of “The Cross” or even a few to give out to people you meet. They will love getting a movie from you and will then get more of the message of Jesus and why He died on the cross. Take at least one Bible to give away, etc.
Turkey is a very historical and beautiful place with lovely people. Yet it is a very sad because the good news of Jesus and the early churches lie in ruins and the present day church is suppressed. That ‘ole time Gospel’ etc is now found mostly in the writings of Paul, Peter, James, John and etc. Present day Turkey is the one of the greatest places in historical Christianity. Today it is about number two or three on the tourist trail.
Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every person…You shall be my witnesses!” We are called to share Jesus and to save those who are lost. The scripture refers to us as ‘pilgrim’ and ‘strangers’. Once do we see the tourist mindset “The disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple…how it was adorned with beautiful stones” Jesus said, “not one stone shall be left here upon another.” Then Jesus preached about the destruction to come.
Are you a Christian tourist or a Jesus witness? It’s ok to go see but Share Jesus!
Are you and observer or a life changer? Jesus saw lost souls, what do you See!
The world is filled with beautiful but lost people. As you go Share. Do not let fear rule in your life. Are our gospel roots only to be historical ruins or will you take the life of Jesus there in our time? Go and be a witness!
To read more of our crosswalk in Turkey I have two links at “Crosswalk Stories” Top Left
God bless you and praying for you as you go and share! Blessings,
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt,
Weeks ago I started with the letter A and will go to Z focusing on a nation or island group, and what I learned in that place. If you are looking for perfection then just read the Words of Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. I’m only a pilgrim that has and is still on a journey with Jesus. He is constantly working on me like a potter does the clay. Welcome to the potter’s house!