New Orleans, Louisiana, home to over 370,000 people draws vast numbers of tourists from all over the world. Filled with a wide range of cultures and a diversity of people, this city is a pantheon of religions. Here you will find staunch Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Muslims, atheists, psychics, Wiccans, and much more. Walking amongst the masses, languages of many nations fall upon your ears. The rich, the homeless, families, addicts, religious, pagan, young, old, from all walks of life they gather on the streets of “The Big Easy” to find fulfillment and satisfaction. Looking into the faces of the people you will notice even the children appear aged and weary beyond their years from the effects of sin.
Truly a light from Heaven shone into this darkness as approximately 60 saints from 6 states gathered in New Orleans April 14-16, 2017, to spread hope to the hungry souls by bringing the Gospel to the streets.
Friday morning we walked to Jackson Square to spread the Gospel through singing and passing out of literature. Jackson Square is a market place for any and all to sell their wares. Artists of all sorts, bands, magicians, fortune tellers, psychics, and all manner of vendors compete for business here. As we found a place to sing, many recognized us from past years. Though a few individuals were not happy to see us return, we had a better reception from the majority of the people this year than in the past years. Small crowds gathered as the singers preached the Word of God in song. Countless times people sought out those saints with tracts to find out who we were, so much literature was passed out. Multitudes saw a pure, holy people for the first time.
As the Holy Spirit spoke to souls we saw their different responses. One of the painters, who took a very spiritual approach to her art, said the sobriety of the saints was destroying her “happy art”. At the same time, a young Muslim woman originally from Pakistan, couldn’t stay away from where the saints were singing. Though she wouldn’t take a tract, she came back several times to listen and finally said, “There’s just something about this I can’t explain. It keeps drawing me.”
At around noon we gathered at the French Market to continue the work started in the morning, again with good success.
Friday evening found us once again at Jackson Square. God truly gave His saints great liberty in the meeting. Between songs several saints took their liberty and testified with clarity and power. As the singing filled the streets the saints shouted, leapt for joy, and walked about lifting holy hands as the glory came down on our assembly. The preachers exhorted the listeners more than once through the course of the evening. During this meeting a dear soul of the tarot card reading profession who has openly and fervently opposed the saints in past years was visibly moved as the singers sang “I’m Amazed That You Love Me.” Contrary to her actions of the past, she allowed us to spread God’s message without interference. Not so happy with the success the Gospel was having was a fortune teller who approached the singers and asked when we would be done because we were interrupting him trying to represent the devil.
Saturday morning we were able to set up at the amphitheater. Singing, testimonies, and preaching echoed through the area. Many souls heard and saw God’s people. A large amount of literature was passed out and a number of contacts were made. All throughout the morning groups would stay to listen to several songs and testimonies.
Shortly after noon we convened at the French Market to sing. The people were eager to listen and we had a continuous audience. Souls were so attentive and kept listening in such numbers that we stayed and labored longer than originally planned. One particular young lady who came to listen with her associates was especially moved. When one of the sisters spoke to her, the precious soul said we had no idea how our presence and the singing had touched her. She went on to say that what she had heard (singing followed by a testimony/message) made her long to be able to wipe all her makeup off and become a new person.
As the saints gathered to sing Saturday evening, numbers of people stood around and listened. This was an especially busy and therefore noisy night on the square. Just down the street from where we were singing, street performers were getting ready to do their thing. Their music was growing increasingly louder. At the same time some of the fortune tellers were getting upset that we were back again. They started doing incantations trying to vex us. After we had sung a few songs, a heavy rain came through. Far from being a result of the fortune tellers’ incantations, the rain was a tool in the hand of God to aid His work. Though these misguided souls felt they had a hand in making it rain, God used His rain to help us. While we visited with individuals along the building sheltered from the rain, we saw the fortune tellers and street performers hastily packing up and leaving. Their craft was greatly hindered and they went home with a loss in profit as God laughed and handed the street over to His saints. We owned the street for the remainder of the evening and we took full advantage of the opportunity. God’s glory was evident on our gathering. Several people sat on the benches or stood and listened through an entire 20 minute street message. One contact was deeply moved and showed a desire to be saved. He asked the ministers to pray with him and expressed desire to have further contact with them. The ministers preached several times this evening and the singers sang song after song as souls stayed to listen. One young lady who had been there Friday evening was back. She spent the larger part of the evening talking with the saints. Growing frustrated that we weren’t leaving, one of the few fortune tellers that came back toward the end of the evening, reported us to the authorities. When the officer asked some of our young people what we were doing, they answered, “Spreading the Gospel.” The officer told them to keep up the good work!
We truly feel this New Orleans Meeting was blessed of God. There seemed to be an openness and liberty unlike previous times. Numerous contacts were made that extend far beyond this city’s limits. It seemed we met people from all four corners of the earth. Pray for all the contacts and all the seed sown. Only eternity will reveal the depth of the effects of our being here.