Smartphone technology helped to overcome a language barrier as Temple members ministered in Los Angeles in early June 2018.
An opportunity accompanied by a problem arose while Scott Felder and Taylor Davis passed out free bottles of water on a hot day in downtown Burbank. When a Spanish-speaking man wanted to pay for the water, they tried to convince him that it was free, but they spoke no Spanish and he spoke no English. As efforts to communicate continued, a translation app on Felder’s phone and a Bible app on the man’s phone played a key role when he and Felder located scripture passages from Isaiah and Ephesians, which led the man to make motions indicating that he prays to God.
Felder summed up his feelings after the exchange by saying, “It warmed my heart that he was as into [Christianity] as I was, and that I got to share what I did with this Spanish-speaking gentleman.”
Felder and Davis were part of a group that left Ruston on June 4 and returned on June 10. While in the Los Angeles area, they helped with outreach efforts of the Story City Church, one of Temple’s mission partners. The group’s members worked not only in Burbank, but also in adjacent areas, such as North Hollywood and Pasadena. The two-a-day projects (morning and afternoon) included giving out free movie tickets, free ice cream and free doughnuts in addition to water. “These were all great ways of getting people’s attention,” Felder said, “filling basic needs, and sharing the love of God and our story with the Californian people.”
Jason Walsworth wrote in The Tidings that during the week the group also distributed almost 800 cards inviting people to the church and painted an apartment that will be used to house the church’s staff.
Felder noted that outreach is always on the minds of the staff at Story City Church, starting with pastor Matt Lawson and extending through all staff members. “Every time we met with anyone on staff,” he said, “they always wanted to think of how they can continue to impact the community around them for the Kingdom’s cause.”
Beyond the benefits to the local church plant, Temple’s people came home feeling beneficial results in their own lives. Felder said, “God tore down many barriers on this trip, such as comfort, prejudice and even language.” He added that God used the team members’ skills in special ways and prepared the hearts of the people to hear His message from the folks from Louisiana.