PRAISE THE LORD, my precious brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ! I hope this finds you all well and being blessed! We in the Rowe Tribe are all well and blessed!
DURING OUR JOURNEY UP THE MISSISSIPPI ON OUR PRAYER WALK FOR OUR NATION, we ended up parking at a little Missionary Baptist Church on the Amite River (RiverBend Missionary Baptist Church); where Pastor Jim Jantzen and the congregation welcomed us with open arms. We remained there for a month as I carried the cross from Gonzales to Zachary, LA. Many wonderful things happened as far as ministry opportunities are concerned as I walked up the river.
ONE DAY I WAS WALKING UP AIRLINE HIGHWAY (Highway 61) in South Baton Rouge, and was greeted by five brothers in the Lord who were salesmen at Price LeBlanc auto sales. They told me that they had a daily morning Bible study before they went to work. We had some wonderful fellowship there on the side of the road. What an encouragement to see how a big automobile dealership is not ashamed to allow the Name of Jesus Christ be lifted up!
ANOTHER DAY I HAD THE WONDERFUL opportunity to visit with a couple of brothers who were salesmen at an R.V. dealership. As I walk up the river, I am always praying that the finances that are generated by the businesses that I walk by or that are in the city that I am walking through would be used for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. So I saw these encounters as a confirmation of the Lord’s Will being done in this country.
IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY, WE HAD THE PRIVELEGE of seeing the Lord Jesus Christ touch a little two year old girl who was afflicted by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Milka, her mother, told me that she couldn’t run like other children because of her affliction. Because of the Arthritis she couldn’t bend her wrist. Her name is Grace, and she reflects the Grace of God in her life as she now runs and crawls like any normal child, and her once stiff wrist now rotates freely! PRAISE THE LORD!
MARDI GRAS, 2003
ON THE 14TH OF FEBRUARY, we left Riverbend Missionary Baptist Church to go to New Orleans in preparation of Mardi Gras. Before we left, Pastor Jim invited me to come back after Mardi Gras and work to evangelize the community for a month before I resumed my walk up the river. I told him I would, if the Lord willed.
BEFORE WE LEFT, I CALLED BRIAN O’CONNELL, and asked him if he could come to New Orleans and join us a couple of weeks before Mardi Gras, so we could prepare the way before the Christian Army that would descend on the city to share the gospel with those who are held in bondage to the deceitfulness of sin. The way we would do this is by prayer walking the parade routes before they rolled.
THE THRUST OF THE PRAYER WALKS WOULD BE TO prepare the hearts of the people who assembled to watch the parades to be receptive to any gospel tracts and to the laborers who would happen to be present to share the Love of Jesus Christ to the lost. A PRAYER WALK IS ONE OF GOD’S weapons against the spiritual wickedness that rules over an area.
THE LEVITES PRECEDED the people of Israel as they crossed the Jordan into their Promised Land (Joshua 3:13-17).
IN THE BATTLE OF JERICHO, the priests went before the armies of Israel as they circled the city with the ark of the covenant. We know that the result of that walk was that the walls came down, and Israel took the city. THE LEVITES WERE to go before the armies of Israel as they subdued their enemies. The prayer walks I have been involved in are following the same principle. The battle truly does belong to the Lord...we should always acknowledge Him in all of our ways.
INTERESTINGLY, MANY OF THE PARADES that take place during the Mardi Gras season have themes that are representative of the spiritual decay in the city of New Orleans and it’s surrounding area. The prayer walks were done with the intent of canceling the groundwork that is laid every year for these powers and principalities and the spiritual wickedness in this city to thrive.
THE THRUST OF OUR PRAYERS were primarily that Jesus Christ and His Glory would reign and be manifested in this city in 2003.
MANY OF THE PARADES OF MARDI GRAS are named after mythological gods. Bacchus, Zeus, Aphrodite, Atlas, Mercury, Thor, Isis, Saturn, Hermes, Iris, Thoth, Proteus, Alla, and others are honored during these parades. It is like the people who attend these parades are, for the most part, unwittingly giving these false gods their stamp of approval by partaking in the revelry that accompanies the parades.
WE PRAYER-WALKED THE PARADE routes for a week. Some people from Celebration church joined us in these walks. After we finished walking the parade routes, the following Saturday a group of us went to the gates of the city and prayed against the principalities and powers that rule over the city. We prayed that this Mardi Gras would not be a source of prosperity to the businesses that cater to the revelry of Mardi Gras. And we prayed that those who came into the city for outreach would be blessed with a wonderful harvest.
A WEEK BEFORE MARDI GRAS FESTIVITIES BEGAN, we prayer-walked around the French Quarter for a few days, taking authority over the spirit of revelry that exists there, and praying against the wickedness that prevails in that area. We prayed that the people who came to the party would be receptive to the Word of God. We were going to walk around the French Quarter every morning for seven days, but the Lord began answering our prayers, and three days of parades got rained out and were cancelled!
I WATCHED WITH JOY AS THE LOCAL NEWS SHOWED THREE DIFFERENT BAR OWNERS LAMENTING OVER THE FACT THAT THE CANCELLED PARADES WERE BAD FOR THEIR BUSINESS. THE CAMERAS PANNED EMPTY BAR STOOLS AS THE RAIN POURED DOWN, AND THE OWNERS COMPLAINED THAT THEIR ESTABLISHMENTS WOULD NORMALLY BE PACKED ON A PARADE NIGHT!
PERSONALLY, I DID NOT PERCIEVE THE RESISTANCE AGAINST THE GOSPEL to be as hard this season as it had been in the past.
A precious sister in the Lord, Pat Hornick, who is on the staff at Celebration Church blessed me with a beautiful banner to carry into battle in the French Quarter. The Banner says "NONE TO PERISH, ALL TO REPENTANCE". I had several people approach me because of the conviction they felt from the banner that Pat made for me. One young lady asked me why I was out there condemning every one. I asked her what I said that made her think I was condemning anyone. She pointed to the banner, and said, ”When I saw THAT, it made me feel bad.” She was fighting back the tears as she was being convicted by the Lord.
A MAN CAME UP TO me in a feeble attempt to justify his sin, but shortly thereafter he dumped out his drink and decided to turn away from the revelry.
ANOTHER MAN KEPT ON TELLING ME that I wasn’t going to convince him to surrender to Jesus, but he stood with me for several hours, and even passed out tracts with me, and listened intently as I witnessed to others who came by! The banner was a definite attraction to the crowd. I ministered to and prayed with many people during this outreach.
THE PRESENCE OF THE FORTUNE tellers on Jackson Square was less than previous years. Some one said the revenue normally generated by Mardi Gras was down by 30%! There was resistance to the preaching of the Gospel on Jackson Square on Fat Tuesday, but there were definitely fewer mockers than in times past!
COOKIE AND DEBORAH BOUDREAX cooked wonderful Cajun cuisine to serve to the Homeless on six different days during the Mardi Gras festivities. This wasn’t just standard street fare. Their motto is that if they are going to feed someone, they are going to feed them the quality of food they themselves would expect to eat. It was truly a blessing to work with them! PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LORD WOULD ABUNDANTLY BLESS COOKIE AND DEBORAH AS THEY EXERCISE THEIR GIFTS TO BLESS OTHERS.
Many wonderful things happened during our stay at Celebration Church...too many to include in this brief Newsletter.
PLEASE PRAY THE LORD’S BLESSINGS ON DENNIS WATSON, THE PASTOR OF CELEBRATION CHURCH, RICKY RIGSBY, CHRIS AND CINDY MEILLEUR, PAT HORNICK, AND THE REST OF THE STAFF OF CELEBRATION CHURCH FOR THEIR CONTINUED HOSPITALITY THEY SHOW US WHEN WE ARE THERE.
AFTER THE MARDI GRAS OUTREACH, we returned to the Church at Riverbend, to work the work of the Lord here in this community. Brian is also with us to do the work here.
We have begun a community get-together on Friday nights where we serve food and show Christian based movies in an effort to bless the community, and to get to know the people here.
PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL GIVE US WISDOM AND THAT HE WILL DO A MIGHTY WORK HERE AS WE REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. ALSO PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR JIM AND HIS WIFE DEBBIE; THAT THE LORD WOULD BLESS THEIR EFFORTS HERE TO ESTABLISH THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THIS AREA. AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR US, AS WE ENDEAVOR TO SERVE THE LORD IN WHATEVER CAPACITY HE CALLS US TO.
IF THE LORD SAYS THE SAME, WE WILL BE IN ELKHART, INDIANA, TO DO A REENACTMENT OF THE CRUCIFIXION FOR EASTER LIKE WE DID A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS!
Love, Lance, Michelle, Talitha, Feather, Elijah, Grace, Noah, And Abigail…The Rowe Family. On the Road for Jesus!