We left April 26th and traveled to Minneapolis, MN to begin our outreach. We arrived that evening and met the people who would be housing us for the 3 nights. The following day we had our first school assembly. It was a Lutheran school, but we were told that many of the students were Buddhists, Hindus, or would not acknowledge that they were Christians. We did our school assembly program and then were able to preach the gospel and give a full altar call. Nathan preached and out of 400 students, 100 kids made a commitment to give their lives fully over to Jesus. 39 of those responses were kids who had never gone to church, and 2 of the largest drug dealers in the school were of the first to respond! This was an amazing way to start off the outreach. That night we had our first show. The show went awesome and we saw a great response! The next day we had another school assembly at another Christian school. We were able to preach the gospel in this school as well, and out of 450 students 408 made a commitment to surrender everything to Jesus! God is really moving in these northern states... Here is a brief overview of the rest of the outreach: That evening we had another show. We left the following morning for Grand Rapids, MN where we had 2 school assemblies and a full show. After the two nights there, we left for Spooner, WI. where we held one show at a local church. The next day we left for Fargo, ND where we had a day off, a full show, and then participated in the local National Day of Prayer. Throughout the whole outreach, over 1800 people heard the gospel preached and there were 808 recorded decisions made for Jesus! This is incredible! Although almost all of our shows were in churches, a couple of the event's average responders were teenage males that had never been to church. We saw many people recommit their lives to Jesus as well. We saw people set free from depression, healed from neck injuries, set free from panic attacks and insecurity issues, and saw many people receive truth after believing lies for so long. Jesus made Himself known in a huge way during this outreach. He used us and our ministry to call His children home. He desires that none should perish, and over these 9 days He saw so many hearts turn to Him. He is rejoicing! :) Check out our facebook page "The Bartels" to see some pictures!
Nathan and I led the team of about 20 team members. I was also Program Director and Nathan led worship and was the main Evangelist for the outreach. Being in leadership during this tour was such an amazing experience. We definitely tried to lay down our own abilities and let God lead through us. It was trying at times (especially with a baby :) ) but God is so faithful and always meets us and strengthens as we rely on Him. He is perfect in all His ways, and it is so good to know that we have a good Father who cares about us, guides us and gives us wisdom as we seek after Him. God really showed me that in the busyness of outreach and life, it's those brief moments that we have, where we pause, focus our eyes on Him and say "I love you Jesus" that really touch His heart. It is so important that even in crazy times, that we don't lose sight of Jesus and that we don't let our minds become preoccupied with things that do not really matter. But in the midst of schedules, we must keep our minds and our hearts steady on Him and who He is. And the chaos all of a sudden finds an order, and the busyness and craziness all of a sudden become peaceful, because He is consistent and He becomes our strength and what carries us along. HE IS FAITHFUL.
Now we are home and looking forward to the local ministry we have here, preparing for our trip to Atlanta, and getting things in order for the upcoming Discipleship Training School in Brazil! We are so excited about the rest of this year and all God is going to continue to do!