PRAISE THE LORD AND GREETINGS FROM BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND!!
Those of us who are old enough, we remember the nightly images that played out on our TVs of the hatred, violence, car bombs, fighting and divisions between the Protestant and Catholic factions here in Belfast. One of the many tragedies, of the 20th Century. The world watched on as “Christians” fought it out! Though that was not what it was all about. It was mainly about having a unified Ireland. Instead of a North and South Ireland. (Though, just like our own Civil War in America that is a bit of an over simplification). But, Many of those feelings, still survive here today and can be sensed simmering just below the surface.
But Doreen and I, felt led to take the Cross…. (a symbol both sides recognize) into the heart of this area and boldly proclaim, there is Peace,… only, in the Jesus, of the Cross. It’s only When we know God forgives us, that we can find peace, “with” God. Then, we can move forward to find the peace “of” God in our hearts and with one another!! Then, can healing really begin here. Healing begins with forgiveness.
The last two days we walked through the city of Belfast were amazing! Though Saturday, our 2nd day, was quite interesting to say the least! As we walked down Shankill Rd, a few of the men that we handed tracts to, warned us to not go any further as, “you may get shot!” They all were quite open and friendly yet firm. One young man, about 30, received our witness eagerly! He listened intently as I shared the TRUE gospel with him. “It’s not religion!!” I told him. The answer is Jesus and a vital relationship with him!!” He said he agreed with that. He didn’t ask Jesus into his heart then but he gladly took a gospel tract and a flier of our story. He looked me in the eyes as we were leaving and he thanked us for our stand and courage!
The tension here is still thick and it breaks our hearts to see it in the faces of the people, but we, Doreen and I, both feel privileged to share the love of Christ. The Bible tells us,”Where sin abounds, Grace does much more abound!” His grace was with us! As we felt His presence, all day as we walked and shared. The same was true with the three men we shared with outside of a pub. They listened politely and thanked us for coming and sharing with them. Then they warned us “they will shoot you out there, be careful.” They graciously shook our hands and wished us well as I shouldered the Cross and we headed on. Keep us in prayer as we will be here in Northern Ireland sharing this next week…. God bless you, let us know if you are holding the Rope for us. It does mean so much to us.
From the side of the road,
Rick and Doreen
After the borrowed taxi driver dropped us off, remember we were needing refreshment from a very arduous 2 weeks which actually felt like 2 months, we started up the Main Street in chippenham, briefly ducked in a charity shop and on our way back out we heard preaching! We noticed this beautiful black brother preaching in the street. We stood quietly listening for a little bit and then went up to shake his hand and thank him for his obvious love for The Lord and the sharing of his gift!
He started to cry and shook our hands and thanked us so much for the support and encouragement! (What a tender heart!) We went on our way and told him that we would be back by after we ran a few errands and if he was still there, we could fellowship more! Joseph was still there about a half hour later and so then he asked if he could take us for a cup of tea or coffee. After 2 hours of joyous fellowship and some wonderful coffee, we did not want to part ways so he asked if he could give us a ride back to our van to see if it was finished. Though the rain continued and the van still was not ready, our hearts were celebrating the warmth of new friendship and joy of sharing our love for our amazing, loving papa!! Joseph suggested we go to dinner to continue this fellowship! He blessed us with the dinner and then took us to pick up the van which was almost finished but one of the parts was the wrong part so we had to wait yet another day. The next morning, the part had arrived early and they put it in and sent us on our way. We called Joseph to see if he wanted to meet us for a farewell coffee. Though he faithfully preaches in a variety of different villages weekly, he said that he wanted to take the day off to spend with us! Again, what a day we had!! He showed us around the village of Trowbridge and we all just thoroughly enjoyed each other’s fellowship! After we blessed him with lunch, I asked if he felt led to preach at all this day?! He chuckled and said that he was just wanting to enjoy our fellowship but as we approached the spot where he stands to preach, we all sensed the spirit nudging and he began to preach! I stayed off to the side and sang softly and prayed while Rick stood closer to Joseph and prayed and made himself available to The Lord! Soon, two men approached and were so very excited as they had sensed The Lord was doing something! The younger man started to talk with Rick as Joseph continued to preach. Rick ministered to him for almost an hour and after they prayed together, I heard him say that he was so overjoyed, as he has been longing for guidance and a mentor to help with some of his questions! That one hour, as we all shared the love of Jesus on that street corner, the sprint descended and we knew God had winked!!
Well, there are different ways to describe His blessings and we are just calling them winks right now, big and small! His mercies are new every morning right?! Well, we just want to share the beautiful mercies that God has been showing us even in the midst of the battle! Yes, the battle!! We know that He will never leave or forsake us but we also know that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood and the enemy does NOT want us out here sharing Gods grace and love!! Sometimes the obstacles are overwhelming, but yet what the enemy means for evil The Lord always uses for good!
Let me go back to 4 weeks ago when we first laid eyes on what is now our little “Holy Roller!” Rick and I were making due in the cargo van we had rented and The Lord definitely blessed along the way, with all the little things we found here and there in the charity shops, to make it our home! It was a wonderful month even living in a dark small box but soon our backs began to ache and we could not cook which would certainly save money even though we were only sharing 2 meals a day! I didn’t want to complain to The Lord because we really were grateful but I did ask The Lord to put a camper blatantly in our path if It be in His will to allow us better sleep and to be able to cook! The next day Rick was out carrying the cross and as he was walking by this car dealership, the man in the parking lot was surprised but very interested in what he was doing. Rick shared with him and then said that he just felt a nudge to ask this man if they happened to have a campervan for sale and Jason said, “yes, I sure do, in the back!” After Rick looked at it, he called me on the phone and said that he thought I should come look. As I drove in, I noticed the BMW’s and Audi’s and sports cars and I was thinking, “this doesn’t look like a place that would have an old campervan but there was Rick talking to Jason and as I got out of the cargo van, Jason just greeted me with and great big smile and handshake, thanking us for what we were doing! He excitedly showed us the VW campervan and said he would like to help us. Rick and I were reluctantly excited as well, wondering if this could be an answer from The Lord, though so quickly?! We told him that we needed to pray about it. We came to the decision that this was Gods hand and so we soon became proud parents! However, the next two weeks proved to be quite trying! We actually had come to question whether we had missed God! The van was in and out of the garage 3 times and though it wasn’t costing us money, it was costing us time and we wondered whether it was even able to be fixed since every time we got it back, it ran worse! This is where more of Gods little winks come in….
After much prayer, Rick and I decided that we would not look at the circumstances! We would just praise God in the storm and thank Him, for we knew this surely was from Him though the troubles were many!! (Psalm 46:1) So….The 3rd time that we brought the van back to the garage, meanwhile camping in their lot since we had no where to go, we decided to take the day and go into town to just get away! It was the coldest, rainiest day since we had arrived so we asked if there was a bus that we could catch into town. We were told that a bus stop was only about a half mile away so we bundled up, grabbed our umbrella and set out. Just as we were crossing the road to the bus stop, there went the bus!!! We missed it by 5 seconds and they only run on the hour! Rick decided that we would grab a cab since it was so cold and rainy. A few minutes later, we noticed a cab at the stoplight soon to head our way. Rick stepped out into the road to flag him down only to have him drive right by! We just looked at each other and shook our heads. Was this really happening?! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! Well, we noticed another cab at the light and as he was coming toward us, Rick stepped out again to wave him down. The cab started to drive past us again but pulled over a ways down. We walked up to him and asked how much it would be to bring us into town. He said, “£10-12″ which is $18-20 for us! We opted to take it though it was only 3-4 miles into town! As I climbed in, I heard “amazing grace” playing so I asked him if that’s what it was?! He said, “yes” and so immediately Rick asked if he was a believer! The next 7-8 min. was filled with rejoicing and short but sweet fellowship! David shared with us how he wasn’t even a taxi driver and that’s why he almost passed us by, but he works in the office and decided to just grab one of the taxis to run into town to do an errand! He shared his excitement about the ministry so when he dropped us off he said, “this one’s on me!” (First wink…thank you Jesus!)
To be continued…tune in later for more “Winks!”
THE UK HOLY ROLLER !!! And temporary home for the Newtons. A 1985 VW camper van, and most of it works ( at least if you hit it hard enough. God is SOOO good! The dealer where we bought it guaranteed to buy it back in Aug when we are done with it. So that is home base for us.
We have now crossed into Wales and we are carrying the Cross here. Wales of coarse is where the great Walsh revival took place a century ago under Evan Roberts. That revival changed a nation. And it needs it again, so we pray, Lord do it Again, do it Again!
Please keep us in prayer as we go. Doreen and I, like Paul are being troubled on every side yet not in distressed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed…. 2 Cor. 4:7- 11. Write us and say Hi let us know you are holding the Rope for us.
God bless you as you read these posts. If you don’t know Jesus and peace with God click on the tab above, How to receive Jesus, and it will show you how then let us know, so we can pray for you and help you grow in The Lord.
Cheers from the side of the Road in the UK.
Well, here we are in England! Actually, after 3 weeks of searching for what is now our home on wheels and learning how to drive on the left hand side of the road with the steering wheel on the right and the stick shift on the left, we are making our way west across England headed towards Wales! We couldn’t find an affordable campervan or motor home yet, so we made our own out of a rented cargo van! Rick had a piece of 3/4″ plywood cut and made a platform in the back for our air mattress to sit on the wheel wells and therefore we can store all our luggage and things underneath so as to make a small bit of floor space. It’s really quite funny and interesting how The Lord has led us to various things to help make it functional and somewhat comfortable…as you see in the pictures, we found a small, what they sell as a “greenhouse”, but which we use for shelves for our clothes and things! The plastic covering that zips open and close actually helps to keep SOME of the dampness away from them and also keeps things from sliding off the shelves! (It’s so damp and rainy here all the time so everything feels wet!) We met some lovely Christians the first week we were in England and frequented there little church through the Easter season. They helped us in many ways, especially with their love and hospitality! After we got our van they also helped us with things like plates, pot and pans, pillows, towels, a comforter and my favorite, a small “single burner” camper stove that comes in it’s own little carrying case! That has truly been a “God send” since the evenings have been so cold and damp! I could go on and on about all the little things The Lord has provided to make our little house on wheels, a home!! No, it certainly isn’t easy but each day I remind myself of what Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay his head!”
The response to the Cross has been interesting here! They are so “rich and increased with goods” that so many have truly forgotten from where their blessings come! This truly is the dark continent! We are finding that there is a small remnant of believers but just that, “small”! Rick carries the cross almost daily, in between the rain drops as much as possible! lol! We’ve had many beautiful encounters and many opportunities to share with people on the street but overall the people seem indifferent, in fact, many share that they just don’t believe in God at all and 50% will not even receive a tract! It seems to be consistent, however, to the vision The Lord gave us just before we arrived here, that this trip will be more of an “encouragement to the saints” to pray for Revival for their country! Just the other day we met a delightful man in his late 70′s who was so thrilled to see the Cross being carried on the streets of his little village! He shared his discouragement too,of the lack of openness and receptiveness of this generation, though he forges on doing his part and being faithful! He and Rick bowed their heads together right on Main Street and prayed for Revival! In spite of his concern, he had a beautiful glow and joy of The Lord about him! We fell in love with him and took him to share a spot of tea together! Thank you Lord for that little solitaire light in the darkness!!
Ricks post…(May 9)
One thing that happened today that was quite interesting was that a truck driver saw me and just stopped in the middle of the highway, then pulled over to my side of the road, blocking traffic, and rolled down his window to find out what I was doing. I shared the message of the Cross and he did receive the witness very eagerly while seemingly indifferent to the long line of cars backing up behind his rig! We had a wonderful visit and he promised me that he would read through the tract that I agave him. Just as he was pulling away he said, “who knows, maybe someday you’ll see me carrying a cross down the road the other direction!” That was an encounter we both needed! Thank you Jesus!!….. I do want to share….. The Lord has given us a real Love for this country and it’s people. England and all of the UK has seen many powerful men and moves of God. The Wesley brothers, Charles Spurgeon, the great Welsh Revival under Evan Roberts and others. It’s time again for a New Work and move of God. Christians need to press on past the fear of mans opinion and take the gospel message into the market place and be lovingly bold. While we can… We need to work while it’s day, For the the night is coming when no man can work. The hour and time is urgent but many a church is not. They have become like people straightening pictures in a burning house, busy about the wrong things! We need to Repent! We are Gods children but we lack His heart! When was the last time you or your church genuinely saw a real convert come to Christ? Many of our messages lack the power to convict the heart. There is sin in our churches and therefore sin in our communities. We need to pray earnestly, Lord as you did it under Wesley, as you did it under Spurgeon, as did it under Roberts, Do it again, Do it again! Lord wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee? Psalm 85:6. As I walk and carry the Cross through this land, Jesus has burdened me to pray for a genuine Revival and to call His church here to prayer and I want to pray with as many believers as I can, right on the streets of their home towns and villages…
Yes, The Cross is a powerful witness and Testimony, all by its self. Without me saying a word, but when people see someone carrying a huge Cross it touches them deeply. The other day a young man who saw the Cross from a restaurant/pub window was so moved when he seen it he came charging out the door to hear the story, as he did, he was moved to tears as the impact of the Cross hit him squarely in the heart. I know to some the preaching of the Cross is to them foolishness but to others it is the power of God unto salvation. Please, if you can in anyway help us financially, it will help keep the Cross out here on the roadsides of the world touching lives of those who encounter it. If you can send a check to Rick Newton Evangelistic Ministries at PO Box 2 Lanesboro Ma. 01237. Do it right now. Don’t put it off, Or give through Paypal on the donate page of this website. Just so you know the Dollar is weak against the British Pound and it is hard on us. We share meals where we can and just sleep on the side of the road and not in campgrounds to cut corners and be good stewards of Gods money. But we are touching lives; be apart of it, however you can…. God Bless you, we Love you! From the Front-lines, Rick and Doreen
I was carrying the Cross one day here in Colorado and had just sat down on a guardrail to take a short break. When this young soldier dressed in Camo about 24 yrs old pulled over, jumped out of his car and as he came back toward me. I got up to greet him and introduce myself. He said “I drove past you a little while ago on my way home. In fact I was almost home, but the sight of that Cross, as he pointed to where it was leaning… I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. So I had to turn around and come back and talk to you.” So we sat back down on the guardrail and talked. He knew Jesus in his heart, he was sure of that. But, the reason he stopped he said; he is deploying to Afghanistan in a few days and seeing the Cross “brings me Hope!” Of course he has all the concerns of any soldier deploying overseas in harms way… The family he leaves behind, the things he will see and do and his friends and comrades going with him. You could see this young man was growing up fast. We talked for quite a while, then I said “Son I am very proud of you. Can I pray for you?” He said “Please do”. So, I put my arm around him and prayed for him. Oh, I loved that young man! His courage. His faith. Blessed me so… I felt the Lord say to me, he will be alright, in fact he will be a great encouragement to his fellow soldiers. So I spoke that into his life and I told him what I felt The Lord say. Then, in that straight forward military way he said “Sir, thank you for being out here and for praying with me.” I looked deep into his clear sharp eyes as I shook his hand and said” God Bless and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and keep you may He give His angels charge and watch over you.” With that, he headed to his car and was off… I sat back down and smiled and thanked God for those of you who pray for me and help me financially to keep the Cross out here on the roadsides of the world. Just for people like that young soldier…
Right after that I got up shouldered the Cross and started on. Not 300 meters down the road another car pulled over. It was a news reporter with TV’s FOX 21 News. He said “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” “Yes” I said. He then told me “People are calling in all over the place saying there is a guy out here carrying a huge Cross… We want to do a story and find out what your doing!” I started to tell him. He said “Just a minute let me get my camera” Kurt got his camera out of the car and all setup. Then the interview went basically like this. Kurt said “Tell us what you’re doing out here with this huge Cross.” That was it. With that he let me talk. I shared the Gospel message and the importance of the Cross and how and why Jesus died on it the for us. Because, ” The wages of sin is death” and Jesus died in our place, and in all its forms for us. I shared how I had spent the first 20 years of my life not believing in God and all the anger and emptiness that was there and how through Jesus’ death on the Cross and faith in that, He changed my life. And now I am carrying the Cross around the world sharing with others that if your life is empty and needs a change He will come into your life, no matter what you have done, forgive and change you and any ones.. I shared some stories of bikers and others who have had their lives change through an encounter with the Cross. Kurt just kept saying “This is amazing, This is amazing!!!” and he just let me share… He filmed me walking, people honking and waving. When the story aired they had edited very little of it… it was Great! I had the privilege through that interview, to share the gospel with the whole region…. Before Kurt left he said “I think this is my favorite story I have ever done!”
Now let me ask you to do something right here, Pray for me and the message of the Cross as it goes forth… If you’re a believer don’t just read the stories and move on saying in your heart that’s nice. Pray for me! Right now…. Then Hit the Donate button, through Paypal or send a check to my address listed on the contact page. This way you can help keep the Cross on the roadsides of the world. Give $5, $10, $100 whatever you feel led of The Lord to help with. God will bless you for it… and because you will have the peace that comes from being a part of sending the Gospel message into all the World…Jesus in Mark 16:15 says” GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE… ” By Gods Grace that is what I have tried to do since 1975 when I began with the Cross… Let’s work together. Be part of the team!!!