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"The seed grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches." (Lk. 13:19)

March through the Valley #3: Hitchhiking

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Nick Holovaty:

This past summer, Rus Lyons started taking missionary brothers out on evangelistic hitchhiking trips, three-day trips. They would walk out of Evansville on a Thursday morning with a sign that said “Terre Haute” or some other town, and they would come back in time to open the Lord’s Day on Saturday evening. That meant there were certain restraints on the distance they could travel in that amount of time. They’ve made seven trips since July. Rus will give the first sharing about them.

Rus Lyons:

The People of Praise moved in next door to my fraternity house when I was going to the University of Minnesota, and that’s how I got connected with the community. I’ve been doing mission work in Indianapolis and Evansville since 2007.

It was overcast when we got dropped off in Rockport, Indiana. Peter Coleman, Joe Bulger and I decided to share words we’d received. We had just finished a prayer time, which is what we do before we go out to do some mission work. We don’t really have a script, because we rely on the Lord to give us what to say.

Joe had a word to talk about the Holy Spirit and a word to “speak simply. The people you are going to go to today are already prepared.” So with that we hit the streets and were led to one house, and to another house farther away, and then to another house farther in.

But no one was answering the door until we get to a house where a young woman comes out--Eve--and we say, “The Lord sent us here to Rockport to talk about the Holy Spirit.”

She says, “Well, we’re Pentecostal.”

So we said, “You all probably know about the Holy Spirit,” and her husband, Adam, comes up and says, “Yeah, we got baptized in the Spirit last weekend. Do you want to come in?”

He invites us in and we sit down. He’s in his early 30s, thin, and a pretty mellow guy. Eve is a little shorter than he is, with long brown hair. They were both looking for work right then.

So, we often have these ten-minute personal prayer times where we each ask the Lord, “What do you want to do, Lord?” Then we wait. So we did that, and then after that Adam says, “You know, while I was praying, there’s this speech that I have to give and it keeps coming to mind, and the Lord said, ‘Give glory to me.’ I have to give a speech tonight before some prosecutors and judges about the faith-based rehab program which my wife and I were saved in. We gave our lives to God and got free of drugs, and these prosecutors and judges are wondering: Do these things work? Are these programs doing any good?”

We talked a little bit about that, and he invited us to stay for the night so we went out to do some more mission work and we left him to work on his talk. And while we were walking around Rockport, nobody else wanted to hear about God. Nobody else. We arrived back a little bit before dinner. We were actually going to have a free dinner! It was awesome.

That night Adam gets up there in front of all these judges and prosecutors and organizers and says, “There is one reason I am standing here before you clean. The Lord Jesus Christ.” And he just took that meeting for God. He glorified the Lord. The next day, he dropped us off on our way to Tell City and said, “My wife and I were talking and we have never had a prayer time like that before. We want to do that every day, and you have always got a place to stay in Rockport. Please come back.”

Responses

  1. Mark Timleer says:

    What a way to recruit young men! What better reason for a young man to go hitchhiking than to serve the Lord Jesus Christ! If I were just a little younger . . .

  2. Terry Bomkamp says:

    awesome, keep up the great work in the Lord, you inspire me
    Glory

  3. Frances Gauthier says:

    Keep up the good work, Rus. I really admire the courage you and the others are showing in going house to house and speaking up in spite of disinterest and probably even derision. God bless your work.

  4. Carmen Fraga says:

    Thanks for sharing the story with all of us, Rus. It looks like the Holy Spirit is operating powerfully on these trips of yours and the others. We're all inspired and continue to pray for all of you. This is something all of us can do where we all live perhaps not on the road but where we're working and in our cities. Glory to God! Carmen

  5. Robin says:

    another fire breaks out in Rockport - Glory

  6. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am so inspired by the simplicity and boldness you exhibit in your encounters! Praise God!

  7. Linda Finke says:

    I am glad that this is working for all of you. Do you all stay together when you hitchhike? The mother in me shudders.

  8. Bob Linczer says:

    To an old man like myself who has been a member of the People of Praise for over 30 years you are an inspiration. Keep up the great work, the Father will continue to bless you and cause you to bear great fruit for Jesus the King. The Kingdom of God is alive and well. We just received word that an 8.8 earth quake hit Japan and we are now under a tsunami warning. Please pray for us.

  9. Richard Helmus says:

    God bless you and your efforts. It is really awesome what you are doing and to hear of your successes for gods glory.

  10. Fred Smith says:

    RUSS & BROTHERS, JESUS IS THE LIGHT! YOUALL IN MISSION BRING HIS LIGHT TO USALL! I AGREE WITH C. FRAGA , WE ARE TO FOLLOW YOUR ANNOINTED WITNESS . PLEASE PRAY FOR US ALL, TO WITNESS! GLORY TO GOD !

  11. Gregg says:

    Another awesome event!

    Hope to see you guys in the Louisville area sometime soon!
    God Bless.

  12. tom caneff says:

    For me, it's goosebumps on goosebumps every time I hear your stories. And that SONG, "ride on King Jesus" is awesome.Thank you for providing such tangible evidence of the Lord in our midst!

  13. Liz Brewer says:

    Awesome! Praise God!

  14. Bruce Wansart says:

    So many blessings from this encounter,It is hard to pick what struck me the most.

    I like the part at the end of the article where it mentions about the husband and wife praying together about the situation they were in.It sounded like they prayed often together.

    Praying together, will keep your relationship sound and loving like know other medicine.

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