Sharing From The Oakland August Street Festival

 

- Written by Grace Tom, 08/31/2016

 

The kids have gone back to school; summer is nearly coming to an end; and, the Oakland August Street Festival is over.  Now we can take a little deep breath in and spell relief.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers from our three Chinese communities (Oakland,  Union City, and Fremont).  We did not know what and how we could touch the hearts of the people who came by our booths, but all we knew we had fulfilled our mission as a Christian to bring more “sheep” to Jesus.  God plans the path for every soul, and that includes all the people who came to meet with us.

I am grateful this year for so many that offered to help.  This mission has proven our ability to be unified under God, no matter where we came from in the past.  We had a common goal, and I always believe that if we believe, all things will be worked out by God.  I would like to share a couple of my encounters from our street festival mission this year.

On Saturday, a few minutes after we set up our booths, I encountered my first challenge of the event.  A middle-aged gentleman came to our booth holding a mini plant in a pot.  He showed some interest and looked around, so then I walked up and introduced myself.  I talked about our church and asked whether he has any religious beliefs, and WOW!  I did not realize it could trigger such a huge reaction from him!  He said, “I have been to a few Christian Churches, and the first thing people asked was, Are you a Christian,” he was upset.  I found out that at that time he actually wanted to volunteer to teach English to new Chinese immigrants at that church, but was turned away because he was not Christian.  I explained that we welcome anyone, any time to our church.  He started to tell me another story of another Christian church turning him away because of his non-Christian status, even though he only wanted to offer his help to read and interpret English letters to non-English speaking Chinese folks.  He said, “I do not trust you, Church people, to me any other religious people can go to Heaven, I do not need to be a Christian to go to Heaven.”  I patiently listened, and felt very sorry for what he has gone through.  I reassured him that I welcome him to our church at anytime and also offered a gift for him to take away.  He refused to accept the gift, but he took our little card with our church info and address.  I thought to myself, I am not worried, because one day Jesus will show this gentleman His plans for him, and bring him to the place where he can use his talents to serve the Lord, and to receive inner joy and peace.

Another encounter happened on Sunday, where a 10-year old girl came with her mother.  After a brief conversation, I asked her to read our MERCY banner.  She read it, and I asked her,” Do you know the meaning of LOVE?”, and she said, “when you do something for other people, that is love”.  I was really impressed. Then I asked, ”Do you know Jesus loves you, like your mother loves you?” and she nodded. And I said, “Your Mama does a lot of things for you everyday, because your mother loves you very much, like Jesus loves you.” She looked at me and I could see her beautiful eyes swelled up behind her glasses.  It was a very touching moment for me.  I gave her the Fr. Junipero Serra comic book to read and asked her to tell the story to her friends.  I felt at that moment, I have fulfilled my little mission for the day.

Did you have an unforgettable experience from the Street Festival Evangelization event that you would like to share?  Good or bad, we would love to hear from you!

Our mission as a Christian does not require us to be on the streets preaching to strangers; outreach and evangelization can be done anywhere and anytime.  It comes from our love for Jesus and our passion to share His love with others.  Let us pray to God that our hearts are always filled with His love and passion.

 

God bless.

Grace



Comments

09-09-2016
Helen Ma
Rosa, thanks for your comment! I also felt very touched when I helped out at the booth. This was my first year volunteering. I also look forward to seeing everyone again during Fr. Ching's event. Please do not forget to register online as soon as possible!
09-07-2016
Rosa Cheung
What impressed me most at the Oakland Street Frestival booth was seeing a big family working happily together for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is true Christian spirit and I felt it. Let's continue to carry this loving spirit from now to Father Ching's "Living with Christ" week in October. I am praying for this intention daily. In Christ we serve. 主佑!
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