2 Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
First of all, let us start with the court case. It was supposed to be a six day trial, the trial was then extended by two days and has now been postponed until the late fall, since the judge felt that both sides needed more time to develop and present arguments. Let us remind you that this particular trial was for use of our amplification system, for noise coming from a motor vehicle, for placing food in various places while we minister, and our favourite, stunting. Apparently, when we feed people we create a distraction to motor vehicles passing by.
Now, we will give you a glimpse of what happened in the court room and the reason the trial is still not over. Every officer gave their testimony on each of the events, after questioning by our lawyers, their testimonies were debunked and they were forced to change their testimonies by 180 degrees. Morris Boyer, an ex-drug dealer, gave his testimony of how his life was changed, since he came to know the Lord. Louis Formaz-Preston gave his. He tried to commit suicide by drinking himself to death, an ex-bartender and a troublemaker, before giving his life to Jesus.
I was able to testify for one and a half days, telling the courts and the crown prosecutors (one from the Attorney General’s office) my whole testimony, of how God healed my son, about the ministry, and about salvation through the blood of Jesus. I was able to expose corruption and many lies that were coming from different City officials, over the course of time that the ministry has operated. One officer fainted during his testimony, and through the whole trial you could feel the presence of God. Some said that they could see two angels in the front of the court room one on each side of the judge blowing big shofars of celebration and of victory. If God is for you, who can be against you? With Jesus you are not just a victorious one, you are more than a conqueror. We all have to remember that no matter what happens all around us, God has the final say, and the victory and the battle is His.
At the court room, when the testimonies where given of how God changed people’s lives, some were crying and even after we left the court, a women was still crying, tears streaming down their cheeks. Telling you the truth, when I was hearing Morris and Louis speaking their life story, I had a really hard time, not to start balling myself. The only thing that held me back was the reminder that I was the accused in a court case, and I kept my composure. I’m telling you, those moments that we thought were bad and even terrible, turned out to be some of the most powerful and beautiful occasions.
There I was, sitting at the court, a criminally accused person, against the powers of the entire province, able to speak the gospel, read passages from the Bible and testify about the goodness of the one and only Living God. What are the chances of having such an opportunity, and how strange to realize that I would be a part of Morris and Louis’ testimony and Christian experience going forward. I felt a little bit like the apostles must have felt, the same opportunity to testify for the Lord was given to me, except on my legs and my arms were no iron chains. Through those eight days, we were in fact not the ones on trial the City and the bureaucrats that opposed the mighty God were. God was so great to us, not only in the courts, but also in our private life. My daughter was scheduled to be born in the middle of the trial, while I was supposed to be in court, but we prayed, that if it was God’s will for me to be present in the delivery room, that she would be born after the six days of the trial. She was born one day after the original six days of the trial ended.
We will give you more detail on the court proceedings after the verdict is issued by the judge. Please remember that we have about five more trials coming. The next case is about feeding the homeless and gathering a crowd.
Calgary Stampede 2009
This year’s Stampede Parade went well, we had a similar setup to last year with the musketeer outfits and the royal wedding theme with carriages, we again had David dancing and playing the Shofar like king David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant, sword fighting children representing the next generation of warriors for Christ, the name of JESUS in big bold letters, riders like a royal escort, and Julianna dressed as a princess the Ten Commandments, and this year we added Jennifer carrying a 19th century Bible the word of God. Also, what I couldn’t do last year because of the troubles we had with horses, I was able to do this year, ride a horse through the parade. I felt truly like a conqueror proclaiming the coming of the King.
I’m telling you that this was one of the proudest moments, to walk through the streets with hundreds of thousands of people, like true ambassadors, lifting only one name Jesus, not a denomination, not the name of a charity, or a project, but simply, as it was in the old days, the name above all names. People were cheering us, the crowd was participating with clapping and some were standing up, and many were telling us God bless you and thank you. I guess they are beginning to recognize that Canada is becoming a nation that stands in opposition to God, and by seeing us walking with His name, many were surprised, some shocked, and the absence of negative jeering was reassuring.
As with anything worth doing for God, there was some opposition which came just before the parade. We had some trouble getting a second carriage. We had meetings with the top parade committee that told us that our music is too in your face. One of the top guys says, "All it is, is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!" Then just minutes before our entry, one of the organizers, a lady, said that we had one too many carriages, and that she was going to stop the entry (of course, it was the devil upset that we would be lifting the name of Jesus, because we had all the permits and we were granted two carriages by the Stampede Parade committee). In the end, this just shows you the power of that name "Jesus". Satan hates that name the most. Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
This year again, we had women and elderly and children in the carriages as a symbol to demonstrate that this is the job of the church, to take care of those who need protection, to show respect to the gray hairs and to prepare a way for the new generation. The youngest participant of 2009’s Calgary Stampede Parade was only 1 month old, my daughter Maya-Grace. The oldest was Daisy at 83 years young.
Some other things to take note of during the parade were, for example, officers taking off their hats as we walked by as a show of respect, other officers saying hi – nodding their heads, some people game the thumbs up sign, Susan showed the crowd the Jesus loves you flag, pointed to it and to the crowd, and people responded very positively, smiling and pointing and clapping. We had a new sound track playing this year with some old favourites but also many new additions including Amazing Grace sung by a young boy. When Bogdan played this song, there was something very moving about it, the crowd were visibly touched, you could see people responding. It was awesome.
Let me finish talking about this year’s, parade by relaying Mike’s comments, lifting the name of Jesus was the most powerful thing that a man can ever do, and he said that he was proud to be a part of it. I think we can all give a resounding Amen to that.
One interesting thing happened this year which we are accepting as spiritual warfare is that during the live coverage of the parade, all three networks that were covering it dropped coverage as street church went by. Isn’t that interesting, for a non-believer, this should be proof that the Bible speaks the truth. Jesus said, they hated me first, they will hate you. For the believer, this should bring comfort that the Bible speaks the truth. Great is your reward in heaven when you are persecuted for righteousness sake.
The videos that we recorded will be available shortly, and we will post this on our website, so visit frequently (www.streetchurch.ca).
Check out these photos from the parade:
When Louis preached, standing on the cooler (Street Church preaching pulpit – inside joke), one man came forward for his brother in Brazil who has cancer. Louis prayed for him and he later came back very happy saying that his brother was better.
When we were serving food at the tables a man shouted, it’s a miracle!!!, and a guy asked twice if we understood what the impact we were having by being down there on the streets. Louis answered "no". The man proceeded to explain that he had not seen drug dealers on the streets by City Hall for a long time now and that the environment is a lot better than before.
It’s amazing how the power of God and the name of Jesus Christ being lifted up changes everything. The atmosphere, criminal activity, and the Holy Spirit, when He shows up, there is no other option than darkness fleeing and being stirred. We can only pray that finally City officials would see that.
A little while ago a man came to us saying "Miracles!!!, God is doing miracles!!!". The man explained that he had come to receive prayer and after that God opened the door to go to see his daughter and the rest of his family, his employer gave him the money to go. He also reported that he was freed from his addictions (cigarettes and gambling). He was very excited and said that if anybody would have told him that this was going to happen a couple of weeks before, he probably would smack them and laugh.
There was a lady from Columbia that gave her testimony publicly in front of everyone. Some rough looking kids were listening and several of them prayed to accept Jesus. Totally amazing!
Street Church to receive funds for public service
I know this will be hard to believe for many of you. It was hard for me to believe as well. After years of battling in the court systems and providing countless testimonies, sending criminals from the streets to give themselves up to the authorities, finally we are seeing some breakthroughs. Recently, a court judge instructed an accused of paying a fine for crimes committed to Street Church. The judge indicated that the reason for this ruling was that for years Street Church has been faithfully contributing to the community and that by allocating the funds to Street Church the judge felt the money would be put to good use, for improving the conditions on the streets of Calgary. Wow, what an incredible thing. It seems that we are finally being recognized as being part of the solution instead of "part of the problem", as some have charged.
Another cool story came to us a few days ago. A lady pregnant with twins just arrived in Calgary with her husband and two kids. Due to state of their finances, she went out desperately seeking some way to provide for her family. She decided to pan handle hoping that the generosity of Calgarians would carry her through for at least a few days. Unfortunately, the police had a different view of her struggle. She was threatened with arrest if she would not stop, and behold, the officers told her where to find Street Church and they said, "They will give you whatever you need." They then sent her to us for help. This is not the first time that officers, either police or bylaw officers, would send people who were in trouble to us for help. Praise God. Let us, let our light so shine before men so that they will see our good works and will glorify our Father in heaven.
Our next festivals will occur in a few weeks. When we have the details we will post them on our website.
May our Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, give you as he gave us strength, boldness and perseverance, to keep fighting the good fight of the faith. As we have seen in our lives, Satan has only one weapon the lies of fear, but perfect love casts all fear away. That is what I pray for you and for myself as well.
More love, more power, more of you Lord Jesus in our Lives.
In our ministry it is important for us to hear testimonies. It is an encouragement and a blessing. Often time’s people don’t think to share, but we would like you to keep sending your testimonies of times or ways that this ministry has blessed you or ways that God has demonstrated His power to you through us. Don’t keep it for yourself. In Revelation, it says that we will overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Live today as though Christ will return tomorrow,
Blessings to you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
Artur Pawlowski on behalf of Street Church Ministries