Monday, October 15, 2007

Van Essen Ventures

We, together with Donna Kovacs, our newest committee member, attended MissionFest in Toronto from March 1-3. Donna’s talents were greatly appreciated.
Special guests included the African Children’s Choir and speakers Ravi Zacharias and Franklin Graham. In spite of bad weather, huge crowds attended. Marilyn and Donna had planned to share with the school children on Friday, but the event was cancelled due to an ice storm.
The three busy days were very fruitful, and we thank the Lord for the many people with whom we had contact. (Marilyn saw friends she met in the 1980s!) Pray that in the coming year we may be able to find people whom God has given an interest in helping us in this ministry.

The following two items were submitted by Donna Kovacs, John and Marilyn’s helper at these events:
Biker Day
Port Dover, Ontario: 150, 000 people visited Port Dover on Friday, July 13, for Biker Day. A record number of bikers converged on this small community on that day.
And we were there as well! We handed out approximately 160 New Testaments for bikers in three hours and then helped the various Christian Biker Associations hand out their Scriptures, tracts and magnets for another hour. We experienced many blessings in serving the Lord in this way.
One woman, known for her adulterous lifestyle, received a New Testament and gratefully said, “Heaven, help me!” That was not an empty plea!
As we attempted to hand another woman a NT, she said she needed “hope.” We told her that this NT would bring hope, and she gratefully accepted it.

Friendship Festival
Friendship Festival, Simcoe: The Friendship Festival is a civic holiday in Simcoe. We entered a float in the parade and handed out 430 goodie bags. Each one included a LifeLight Ministries newsletter, a story about Jesus, and some candy. Our float featured the Great Commission verse, … go and make disciples of all nations…, and the LifeLight banner was carried in front of the float. In this way we reached out to all who were there, not just those who received the goodie bags.
Praise God for the many other ministries represented in the parade and for the positive reaction from the crowd—clapping, cheering and some positive comments! There seemed to be a sense of gratitude at seeing the Gospel being shared so publicly.

Future Events
Pray for us as we participate this fall in the Norfolk County Fair here in Simcoe, a mission conference in the People’s Church in Toronto, and the annual Pumpkin Fest in Waterford. There will be a LifeLight table or booth at each of these events.
John and Marilyn Van Essen are the LifeLight Ministries reps in Ontario. They make their home in Simcoe.

The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change the people of God.

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