Wearing T-shirts bearing the fleur-de-lis lily symbol long associated with the city of New Orleans, 200 participants traveled throughout the South Louisiana community to pray for its residents last month.
Wearing T-shirts bearing the fleur-de-lis lily
symbol long associated with the city of New Orleans, 200 participants
traveled throughout the South Louisiana community to pray for its
residents last month.
Organized by the Louisiana Baptist Convention
evangelism and church growth team in conjunction with the Baptist
Association of Greater New Orleans, the prayerwalk attracted persons
from Louisiana as well as Baptists from surrounding states.
Wayne Jenkins, LBC evangelism and church growth team
leader, described the event as “praying on-sight with insight.” He
encouraged participants to look for opportunities to provide spiritual
or physical help to residents they encountered while prayerwalking
Jenkins said the participants’ T-shirts provided an
in-roads for witnessing to the city’s residents. He designed the piece
of clothing after a similar one used on T-shirts in New York City
following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center towers.
“People would come up to us when they would see the
T-shirt and say pray for us,” he recalls. “So we would have a great
opportunity to pray for them and give them a Gospel tract.”
One such opportunity occurred when members from
First Baptist Church of Kenner talked with an elderly woman and
discovered she needed a new cane.
The team prayed for the woman and later shared the
need with a minister at First, Kenner. As a result, the church
presented the woman a new cane the following day.
Another group, led by Sherri Ingram, prayer
coordinator for Judson Baptist Association, encountered a man who
considered himself “pretty blessed” yet admitted that he was certain he
would not go to heaven when he died. When asked why he considered
himself destined for hell, the individual stated, “Because I’m mean.”
The team then presented him a gospel tract. Ingram
added that the man even committed to attend a block party held at
Calvary Baptist Church in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, Jennifer and Caleb Smith, the wife and
son of Pastor Scott Smith of Highland Baptist Church in Metairie, met a
young man who lost his home in Waveland, Miss., due to Hurricane
Katrina. As a result, he had evacuated to Virginia.
One day, the man ventured into the woods in Virginia
to pray and said he felt a presence as if someone was watching him.
When he looked up, he noticed a section of a tree that resembled two
eyes watching him.
He removed that section of the tree and created a walking stick.
The individual said it served as a reminder that God was watching over him.
During his prayerwalk, Scott Smith witnessed the
magnitude of personal tragedy that families are facing when he walked
past a funeral home. Outside the structure were three refrigerated
trucks that were housing the bodies of the dead until the families
could make arrangements to bury their loved ones.
“There is such a backup of people waiting to be
buried because a lot of the funeral homes are not up and running yet,”
recounts Smith, who stopped to pray for those families that will bury
their loved ones in the near future.
For their part, a team led by Jenkins met a male
named Jason who was resting on the sidewalk while eating his lunch. Two
members of the team asked Jason if he had any needs for which they
Jason began to weep as he poured out his heart.
He inquired about where he could attend church in
New Orleans and the team gave his name to a local pastor for follow-up.
After the team prayed for Jason, he said, “It is no accident that you are here praying for me.” (BP)