Gasparilla is an annual event we have preached at for the last few years. This takes place in Tampa, FL and is a celebration of a pirate, Jose' Gaspar, who was a wicked man. The first year we went we were told it was a family event, but boy were we shocked when we got out there! Far from being a "family" event, Gasparilla was one of the most vile events we had been to. Many places we preach are more violent, (although last year people were trying to light the preachers on fire-including my then-15 year old brother), but few are more vile. Anyways, this year was a blessing. We had 4 members of our Church come down to help us, and 2 men flew in from New York and 1 from Chicago, as well as others driving from various places in Florida. We were told the weather was supposed to be pretty bad, but, as we usually do, we headed out anyways. Praise the Lord, the rain held off for a good 2 hours or more! We stayed out for 5 1/2 hours (it didn't seem like it-time flew!), and because of the weather, less people were out. Usually 700,000 people attend this festival/parade, but the number was a little lower today. However, there was still a good crowd, and in a way it was a blessing. We had more conversations with people than normal, although less people took the Gospel tracts. As always, we had a number of interesting discussions! One woman I talked to said that she didn't have to follow Christ today (I told her that drinking was a sin), because it wasn't Sunday! I have to admit, I think that's the first time I've heard that one! Another young girl (probably 13 or 14) approached my Dad and told him that God loved everyone, no matter what they did or how they lived. When confronted with Scripture verses teaching God does hate some people (Psalm. 5:5, 7:11, etc.) she started raising her voice and saying that it didn't matter if she had Scripture to back up her claims-God loves everyone! During the discussion she also took God's Name in vain, and admitted it was a sin. She ended up walking off soon after we opened a Bible, and said that she was comfortable in her beliefs and hoped we were in ours. We had the usual number of hecklers, which always help to draw a crowd. One girl told us that she didn't care what the Bible said (after we showed her 1 Cor. 2:15 about a spiritual man judging all things), Christians weren't supposed to judge! All in all it was a good day of ministry. I'll get some video up in the next couple days, but until then here are some pics.
Our street preaching group!
Bro. Glen and Rob
Clay and Bro. Jeff
Aaron and Elijah-when you see these 2 together...watch out!!
Yesterday a good friend from Chicago drove down to visit us. We stayed up late playing a couple games and had a lot of fun! For the second game of Scrabble we had just 2 teams-boys against girls! The guys were a little outnumbered (6 girls and only 3 boys), so they are using that as their excuse for losing :) It was a late night (about 1:00 in the morning before everyone got to sleep!), so most of the family slept in this morning. Unfortunately our friend will have to leave later this afternoon, as she has to be back for the bus route at her Church tomorrow :( It was nice to have someone drive over to spend a day with us, since where we are right now there are no good Churches.
Here are a few pictures of the Scrabble game!
All the "girls" but Mom and me (I'm taking the picture)