Friday, October 1, 2010
Another post about treasure hunts :) This is for a newsletter I am working on that will be mostly testimonies of good things God is doing. It's meant as an encouragment for the whole body of Christ in our valley. I will be featuring our monthly Friday night worship service and the treasure hunts. Eventually I hope to also interview the folks who are running the healing rooms in town and include that as well. This article will be part of the first letter and is an introduction to treasure hunts. I couldn't get it to copy and paste for some reason so I just spent a lot of time re-typing it and I spell-checked but did not proof read. I must get back to the kids and the kitchen and...so forgive any typos etc :)
Bear Perrin (as told to Sarah Stiewig)
A "treasure hunt" is a fun, easy form of street evangelism that was inspired by the book "The Ultimate Treasure Hunt" by Kevin Dedmon. Kevin is the director of Bethel Church's Firestorm ministry in Redding , CA. After reading his book and participating in a couple of treasure hunts at conferences in Redding we saw that it was an easy way to hear God's heart for individual people.
God is eager to touch people's hearts and lives through us, all it takes is listening to Him. All it takes is seeing what He wants to do and acting accordingly. Prayer is finding out God's heart about a person, subject or situation. Then after we find His heart, He asks us to go do or declare something about what He's shown us. Treasure hunts will show you just how easy it is to hear God's heart for someone and watch their lives transform before your eyes. It is amazing to see people come alive, both on the receiving and the giving side of a treasure hunt.
At the start of a treasure hunt we meet and worship. We ask God to show us who is on His heart by giving us clues about that particular person. We write the clues down as our "treasure map" as they come to mind. Clues can be a person's appearance, name, location. what they need prayer for or other miscellaneous. I think the biggest obstacle to this process is trying to think of good clues. In 1 Corinthians 2 it says "No one can know the what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us...But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." (vs 11-12 and 16b). So, knowing we have the mind of Christ, we get to trust that when we ask God for clues the things that come to mind are from Him. I have never been on a treasure hunt where something doesn't happen with the clues that God gives us. Ever. As silly as they may be.
Here is just one example of how God comes through: It was First Friday art walk where people come and walk the streets to check out the stores and hang around, it's a big social thing. It's a really great time for treasure hunts. We've seen a lot of people who say they were raised Christian but without proof of who God is in their lives they've "fallen away" from their faith. We get to prove that God's thinking about them, so ti's been phenomenal. My son, Zachary, on his map had 'pink pants' in the appearance category and in miscellaneous he had 'green'. I had 'star symbol' in miscellaneous and 'left knee' and left eye' under prayer needs, someone else on our team had the location. A guy walked in front of us limping pretty badly, so I walked up to him and introduced myself. I told him about the treasure hunt and said, "I believe you're God's treasure", and he looked at me funny. I asked if he was limping because of his left knee. He said yes. I showed him that i had left knee on my map, and told him I believe God gave us these clues about people he wants to touch, and that I would love to pray for him. He said "No!" and turned and walked away. As he was walking off I was praying for him anyway, just silently.
Zach came up to me and said, "Dad, there's the guy on my treasure map." I asked him how he knew and he said he had pink pants on his map. There was a guy wearing pink board shorts and a green shirt (remember Zach had 'green' on his list too). We walked up to the guy and introduced ourselves and explained the treasure hunt. While we were talking I had a word of knowledge that had a leg length discrepancy. He was telling us he was raised a Christian but didn't really follow those beliefs any more. He said he believes God is like a big wheel, the hub of the wheel is people and no matter what belief system you follow all the spokes lead to the same god. I said "You know, that's an interesting theory, but if you believe Jesus is one of the spokes then that theory doesn't' work very well because Jesus said he is the way, the truth and the life. I have proof because Jesus walks in signs and wonders all the time. I believe you have a leg length discrepancy." He asked what I meant. I told him his left leg was half an inch shorter than the other. He asked how i knew that and i said I believe God is telling me so He can touch it. We also handed him the treasure map and asked if any of the things on it were something he was dealing with. He looked at it and said, "Are you guys following me around or somethings!?" He told us he had very little vision in his left eye because he had worked with a friend who was a glass blower and stared at the torch for two days which ruined his vision.
I had him sit down on the ground with his back against a wall to see what his legs looked like. His friends were looking on as we put our hands on his legs and said "In the name of Jesus, leg grow." And right there and then the left leg came out even with the other. He kind of freaked out and and went, "Um, um, um! The only way I'm really going to be able to test this it ti, um, stand up and move around." So he stood up and moved around and said, "Oh man, what did you do? What did you do?" Then he looks up and goes, "No way!" and I said, "You can see now can't you?" Then he started reading street signs all over the place.
This is just one of many, many stories of God's goodness.