"Monday started the 24 hour prayer and worship leading up to The Send (thesend.org) on Saturday. This week is called, "The Flood". People from many different organizations and churches have descended on Orlando, FL to flood the streets with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's so exciting!
Yesterday we went to a very busy shopping area to show people the love of Jesus. I was talking with one of my friends who just got back from the Philipines. He took his family of 7 there, and saw people come to know Jesus. His group also witnessed miraculous healings!
We were talking about how many see a family as a hindrance to sharing the gospel. Our day was about to prove that wrong.
We had been in a few stores, talking and praying for people, and decided to go to Chick-fil-A. All four of the Hoeckle kids and one of my friend's kids went straight to the play area. We sat around a large table in the middle and prayed together for direction.
During the prayer, I felt like I should go into the kids area. I did and I immediately met a 5 yr old boy named Ethan. He began showing me all his "ninja" moves. Then he flipped me off. He looked at me and raised his middle finger high in the air. I was speechless and as if I didn't notice, he explained, "I'm showing you my middle finger."
Now, a 5 yr old kid learns this stuff somewhere, so I felt an urgency to share quickly with him. I hadn't seen his parents the entire time and I had visions of an angry parent coming in to yell at me. I eventually talked to him between kicks and jumps to ask him if he knew Jesus.
He said, "Oh yeah, I know all kinds of stuff about Jesus. I go to Christian school."
I replied, "Well, you keep learning about Jesus, because He's awesome. OK?"
It was then about time to leave and I walked out and waited with Mirabelle, our youngest. An elderly lady commented on what a cute 2 yr old we have. If someone talks to you, this is always an invitation to talk with them. So I did. I asked her lots of questions about her family and found out she only knows where 6 of her 7 grandkids live. I asked her if we (at this point it was Xander, Judah and I) could pray for her 9 yr old grandson. We did and she was very thankful. The love of the Father is a precious gift.
My friend was praying for a family on the other side of the store, and Mary was praying for an elderly man near the back corner. I went back by her, thinking she was almost done, when I saw a guy with a scowl on his face... sitting as far from the play area as possible. He was covered in tattoos and piercings and could possibly inflict fear into more than a few people.
As I'm praying about what to say to him, my ninja friend walks up to him and grabs the drink on the other side of his table and smiles. I say hi to Ethan as he walks back to the play area and turn my eyes to the man I now know as his dad.
Any fear I had was now gone.
"Hi, how are you doing? Is that your son?""
"Yes," he replies as his face changed from scowl to confused.
"He was just teaching me ninja moves in the play area," I said.
He began to laugh and I had an open door to share Jesus. This hard man's heart had a soft spot and the Holy Spirit knew it.
Think back over this story:
1. I wouldn't have went in the play area if I didn't have kids
2. I wouldn't have talked and prayed with the elderly lady had Mirabelle not been there
3. I had no idea how to get at a hard man's heart without first meeting his son
I would say without a doubt that children only help in sharing Jesus. They lighten the mood. They can create an instant commonality. They have childlike faith! They're a blessing.
You can do this with your family or with a friend. It just takes time, some prayer and a willing heart.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!