Oregon

New LTW table outreach begins in Oregon! Materials have been shipped to get this off the ground soon in Portland with a banner reading, “ A Free Gift for You” and tracts, books, booklets and Bibles free on the table to anyone who stops seeking answers to life’s questions based on what the Bible teaches. America keeps changing, and sometimes it feels like the days are getting darker, but the light shines brightest in the darkness! God bless Matthew and the team, as we work to see this new ministry begin, spring, summer and fall in Oregon.

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NEW OUTREACH TO PEOPLE IN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES BEGINS – Sarasota, FL

It has been a happy music-filled day, as we began a new outreach to people in assisted living. I sang the hymns and shared my testimony, and my mother played the piano. I sang my heart out and loved every minute of it! Pictured is about a third of the room. It lasted for an hour, and I was so thrilled when I saw many of them singing along!

I did not want to offend any Jewish person or atheist but knew I was meant to share my testimony and sing the hymns. I thought that some people might leave because of that, but everyone stayed and more people kept coming to make for about fifty people in all. I thank God for meeting us there with the presence of the Holy Spirit where we could feel God’s love. This will be an ongoing, monthly outreach of Lighting the Way International.

Here is the list of songs I sang (and will be adding more): Somewhere Over the Rainbow; God is so Good; I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy; This is the Day; His Eye is on the Sparrow; He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands; No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus; Do Lord; In the Sweet By and By, and Learning to Lean on Jesus

Whenever I sing the old hymns, it seems like yesterday when I was singing them as a child as a soloist in revival meetings throughout the South affiliated with the Baptist church, revival meetings during the week which don’t exist anymore. Sweet memories, and the precious hymns mean more to me the older I get.

I loved every minute of this and look forward to being with them again at Brookdale. Afterwards, my mother and I went out to eat to celebrate God giving us yet another creative way of reaching others and preparing people for eternity through faith in Jesus.

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Kids’ Bible Club (Sarasota)

Kids learning about the Bible in Sarasota.

With pandemic 2020 behind us, Lighting the Way began an outreach of evangelism to underprivileged children living in Sarasota, FL, in January of 2021. Surprisingly, God led us to begin this to Hispanic children living in a rundown trailer park in the poor area of Newtown, which is known for its crime and drugs. Besides that, these Hispanic families live literally beside a town garbage dump as the vultures fly above the trash beside their neighborhood. It was heartbreaking seeing children being raised in such living conditions.

Girl in Sarasota reading and learning about the Bible.With many of these families not even having healthy drinking water, we began by bringing them healthy water and food. We distributed fliers about our outreach to the families there and started the Kids’ Bible Club, led by Claudette Litz. She meets with the kids on a tarp spread out on an outdoor basketball court within the trailer park and brings pillows for sitting on the ground; she teaches them songs from Child Evangelism, reads stories about missionaries, and gives prizes for Scripture memorization. The purpose is to see these children saved through Jesus with a hope for a new tomorrow in God’s love.

Boy and girl reading and learning about the Bible in Sarasota.We were told that many of these Hispanic kids end up in crime, so it was no wonder that these children knew nothing about the Bible when we began working with them. Their parents are now learning the Gospel, too, and they all appreciate us being there. Every week the children are being taught more about Jesus and how to be saved. They are proud of their Scripture memorization each week. We buy NKJ Bibles for all of them, too. There are prizes for doing Bible study throughout the week in his or her own Bible and for memorizing their Bible verses. We buy them lunch and treats and water afterwards, as the families hardly have money for basic food and healthy drinking water. Claudette often stays afterwards to tutor one little girl in the second grade, teaching her how to read, as her mother does not speak or read English.

Kids learning and talking about the Bible in Sarasota.When we began working with the children they had never looked up a single verse in the Bible and did not know answers to basic questions like “How did Jesus die?” and “Why did Jesus die on the cross?” They are now hearing the Gospel, and the mothers sometimes come to learn more about Jesus, too.

Kids’ Bible Club Photos

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Seal Beach, CA

Our outreach location of Seal Beach, CA, led by Susan Young, is alive and growing! She and the team explain to people from all walks of life what it means to know Jesus as Savior, not based on religious tradition but what the Bible teaches. They answer questions with logic and reason and never talk down to anyone, lovingly sharing Bible verses about the Gospel and who Jesus is and what makes Him a Savior like no other. With materials specifically for atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, New Agers, and people from any belief system, this is a ministry of evangelism based on apologetics with depth where Susan and the team don’t just know what they believe but why they believe it.

You may find them at an outreach table on the pier or filling the air with praise and worship songs there on the boardwalk as people pass. They even organized a blanket drive for the homeless in a time of Covid19. In the year of Pandemic2020 where people were often depressed and had all but lost hope, Susan and the team zealously kept at it to help others, as they continue to make a difference and shine a light for Jesus in Seal Beach, CA, offering free tracts and booklets to people seeking answers to life’s questions, meeting them right where they are.

More Photos Here

Weekly Updates on the LTW Blog

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Kids in the Projects (Nashville)

There is an unreached people group in Nashville that only gets bad press in the local news: the families living in the projects of East Nashville. Even churches are afraid of doing evangelism there, as no one had been going until members of our team set out to love especially the children and tell them about how to be saved, something most of them had never even heard of before.

How absolutely thrilling and humbling that God would let us go into this high crime district of domestic violence and drugs to light the way weekly with Bible verses, Bible stories, books, Bibles and tracts for the kids to offer them new hope. We play games with them, teach them songs from Child Evangelism, play live music for them with other songwriters and musicians in Nashville, and tell them how to be saved according to the Bible and have a relationship with God as their Father through Jesus.

These sweet kids run up and greet us with hugs when they see us coming every Wednesday. They love the songs we are teaching them like “Did You Ever Talk to God Above?”, “This Little Light of Mine” and “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.” They all clap and sing along and have learned the right answers about whether or not Jesus is God and how to have a relationship with Jesus as their Savior and Friend through being born again into God’s family. The Gospel is truly a light in the midst of darkness there in these rough projects.

At the close of one of our times together, an intoxicated parent was passing by one of the little boys there with us and began cursing at him. It was truly like night and day after all we had shared from the Bible about God’s pure love. When I asked one little girl to give an example of a “sin,” after just teaching her the meaning of the word, she said, “Shootin’ somebody?” I answered, “Yes, shooting somebody would be a sin.” They are raised in a whole other world from what most of us have known.

Lighting the Way International has an outreach of evangelism to these children in the projects of East Nashville. In this area known for its shootings, telling these little kids who are being raised there about Jesus is no doubt close to God’s heart. When we first began telling the kids how to be saved and who Jesus is and why He came to die, it was like we were off somewhere in the outer regions of Africa, as the kids could not answer even the most basic questions about Jesus. As we returned week after week, the children really began to understand and respond. Publix donates food, and I plan to speak with Walmart about a donation pertaining to basic needs of the kids like school supplies. Thank you for your prayers and donations to make this outreach possible and to keep it going.

We work with accomplished musicians in Nashville who bring their instruments for the kids to even get to strum a mandolin, guitar or banjo for the first time. Slowly we have begun to get to know the parents as an evangelistic outreach to them also. Especially the single mothers have been receptive as we continue to give the children materials to take home for their parents to read to them, which also lets the parents know more about Jesus, too.

We began doing one “Bible Club” program in the area of their main playground, which grew in number week after week as the kids would gather and word began to spread. When we then saw children playing outside afterwards in a whole other section of the projects, we felt led to repeat the program there for another club. We do two programs in different areas, back to back on Wednesdays beginning at 4:30, so as to reach as many kids with the Gospel who live in these projects as possible.

“Let the little children come to Me… for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God.” 1 John 3:1

Video of Outreach in Action to Kids in the Projects

How the Character Counts Club Began

More Photos

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Nashville

We finally began an outreach in downtown Nashville in the summer of 2019 after praying for God to let us have one there for many years. The mission field is mainly to the tourists who are coming to Music City from all over the world. Copies of my book for women ‘Happiness No Man Required’ about the meaning of truly falling in love vs. humiliating addiction and God’s faithfulness in the area of dating are also available in this location that boasts of having more bachelorette parties than even Las Vegas.

The downtown culture of Nashville has become a cross between Canal Street in New Orleans and some sort of wanna-be Vegas in that many of the tourists come here to get wild. Though the money keeps flowing into this gentrified area with a few posh highrises, downtown has been described as “trashy” and “raunchy.” More MGM casinos are soon to come for gambling. Since Amazon has moved its headquarters to downtown, the traffic will only get worse as they are working on the road expansions. How sweet of God to give us a spot to set up in the heart of it all for His glory with nearby parking (at 27.00 per every two hours).

In this location, our materials are mainly addressing addiction and the true meaning of a relationship with God through Jesus vs. mere religion. We also have booklets for people practicing occult spirituality as America’s New Age foray continues to be sweeping through parts of the Bible belt.

Many of the free tracts and booklets on the table can easily fit into a woman’s purse or a man’s back pocket, as we have chosen these things on purpose as this Christian outreach is about the last thing most pedestrians would expect to find on their beeline into the bars. Loud country music blares from 5th down to the river in all of the honky-tonks downtown. Crime is also continuing to escalate with pick pockets and even some shady homeless characters who line the sidewalks sometimes becoming rambunctious from too much alcohol. It actually feels unsafe to be walking there late at night. Due to how so many people are drunk at night, we have made this a day outreach of evangelism based on apologetics for any of the tourists or locals passing looking for love, offering God’s love through Jesus to any lonely heart who wants Him.

Amidst the neon lights flashing, if any place needs a light for Jesus in the midst of darkness, it is downtown Nashville. We are thankful to shine such a light with the Gospel that sets men free where we can share the good news of how, though Satan sets us free to sin, Jesus sets us free from it.

“…My peace I give to you not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

“Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin…If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-35



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NYC – Union Square

This park is different from the other areas we have done outreach in Manhattan in that it is known for being the most liberal. It is the most popular area of activism where New Yorkers frequent to protest against conservative agendas in politics, which they associate with Christianity. It is about the last place in NYC you would think of finding a Christian table, which makes it the perfect place for our Lighting the Way International outreach of evangelism based on apologetics.

With people embracing occult spirituality in the form of selling talismans and tarot card readings, we offer a safe space right there beside such vendors to people from all backgrounds, belief systems and walks of life, where anyone is greeted with dignity and respect, if they would like to know about Jesus.

We have books specifically for this area like Be Still and Know that You are Not God and The Light that Was Dark. For NYU students passing, we also have booklets about the veracity of the Bible like Why Believe the Bible?, Where Was God on Sept. 11th? and Is Anybody Out There?

It is like the Venice Beach of NYC. No wonder a taxi driver said to me, “Be careful. It is very dangerous in Union Square,” when I told him about beginning a Christian outreach of evangelism there.

In this artist hub, our table actually fits right in. The evil spirits flee as the team likes to begin with praise songs at the table with a guitar. And, like any other location, God draws people over to find out more about Jesus.

“Our lives are invincible until He calls us home.” –Charles Spurgeon

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Atlanta (Outside a Mosque)

With courage, the Atlanta team is now setting up on a regular basis in outreach to Muslims outside a mosque in Atlanta with materials specifically for reaching Muslims with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This mosque is also in the area of GA Tech. Since they expect GA Tech students to be passing as well, they have a few booklets and tracts for students who may have questions about the veracity of the Bible.

It’s touching that God would use us to shine a light for Jesus, offering peace, hope, Truth and love to a people group touted as being against Christianity, thought by some to be “a religion of hate.”

The team is using the same table they have to set up elsewhere around Atlanta in places like Little Five Points and Marietta Square, except that this location has a banner reading “A Free Gift for You” with materials in Arabic, English and other languages specifically for Muslims.

Our Christian team of men explain to Muslim men the difference between the real Jesus and the Isa of Islam, as Surah, chapter 4, teaches he never died on a cross for our sins. Using discernment and answering every question with answers based on logic and reason about what the Bible teaches, this is a very exciting outreach location of evangelism based on apologetics!


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Tampa

When Lighting the Way International began in 2002 at Venice Beach, we had the pleasure of meeting Jimbo Mullen and his family when he was attending the Master’s Seminary at Grace Community Church, where LTW began as a church-wide ministry in Los Angeles. We were instant friends.

After all of these years, Lighting the Way International is honored to partner with Pastor James Mullen and his team at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Brandon, FL, as they literally reach prostitutes and addicts on the streets of Tampa, as well as have a powerful jail ministry. They are lighting the way for broken people –who are often otherwise rejected by the church—by giving them Bibles and telling them how to be saved through Jesus.

Lighting the Way partners through sending the Tampa team resources specifically for people struggling with sexual addiction, alcohol and drugs. We have sent various materials through the years, including copies of our Christian-based book for women Happiness No Man Required—50 Tips for Single Women to be Happy With or Without a Man to give to prostitutes and booklets for addicts from RBC Ministries called When You Just Can’t Stop as we pray for Pastor James Mullen and the team from Westminster Presbyterian Church in their powerful, weekly outreach on the streets of Tampa.

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Asheville

LTW has an outreach based on apologetics in Asheville, NC. It did not take long to discover why Asheville is known as “The Boulder of the South.” We set up our witnessing cart alongside tarot card readers, psychics and “dancing rocks” in the market square. Our book ‘The Light that Was Dark,’ by Warren Smith, seems to be the favorite—it is the true story of a well-meaning man who was following a light that he thought was God but found out his spirituality was demonic in nature. In this spiritual fantasyland of witchcraft and psychic phenomena, we offer Bibles and other materials for free to witches, goddess worshipers, Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics and atheists as we invite them to our “Free Thinking” table. We also use the same sign we began using at Venice Beach reading “Come Find Out What God has to Say About Your Future for Free,” as we answer questions based on what the Bible teaches about this life and all of eternity and how to be saved through the Gospel. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment in this exciting mission field, loving people from all walks of life and telling them about Jesus with the only Christian outreach in downtown Ashville.

First time setting up in Asheville

Photos of our Asheville Outreach in Action

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