Why we go to New Age Festivals
There’s no doubt that New Age Festivals are bastions of false and dangerous teachings, often promoted by well-meaning people who have no idea of the forces they are dealing with. And these festivals are attended by people who are earnestly seeking truth and meaning as well as physical, emotional and spiritual health.
That’s why it’s so important for us to have a presence in such places and to reach out to those who are genuinely seeking. “Mind Body Spirit” gives us the opportunity to do just that. “Mind Body Spirit” is the name of the ever popular (New Age) festival in Sydney, Australia. This year it took place from November 8-11. In the midst of tarot readings, medium “consultants,” crystals and kabbalah, Jews for Jesus always has a booth called “The Yeshua Alternative.” It’s an opportunity to be a light shining in the darkness. Rahel Landrum, who has organized this outreach for the past four years, reports:
“It was extremely draining to be in the presence of so much darkness from 10 am to 7 pm each day of the festival, but it was an amazing opportunity as so many unsaved people allowed us to share the gospel with them and pray for them. We were blessed with a wonderful team of 14 people–all mature and grounded in their faith with amazing gifts–who were passionate to shine the Light of Jesus with us. Some of them have been on this outreach with us since we started four years ago. For others this was the first year, and they are excited to come and help again next year.
“We shared Jesus with a variety of people of different cultures and ages. Most came seeking a spiritual connection with their Creator, but in the wrong places. Some came from desperate situations searching for hope. Many left their contact information with us to know more about Jesus, including 12 Jewish seekers and 89 Gentiles. Six people (not Jewish) prayed with us to receive Jesus as their savior.
“As part of our outreach, we offered free ‘Psalm Readings’ and we also offered to ‘decode’ their names, using Hebrew and biblical interpretation to share about God, the Creator of the Universe, who is a personal being, not a merely a force or energy. We also offered prayer. One of our volunteers prayed for a young man who was a backslidden Christian. At the end of the prayer, he told us he now wanted to reconcile with his father whom he hadn’t been in touch with for years. We also offered people portions of Scriptures to meditate on; they could close their eyes and pick a laminated piece of paper. One woman picked up a verse from the pile, and read: ‘The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’ (Psalm 34:18). She started crying, pouring her heart, out telling me how this verse was for her, as she feels stuck in an abusive relationship.
“Our big banner with the name of Jesus in Hebrew attracted Jewish people. Gila, an Israeli living in Sydney, is into yoga and meditation and seems open to everything. She listened intently as I shared Jesus with her and is willing to meet again to study the Bible. Marnie, who had just recently visited our website at the suggestion of a friend, realized God’s timing in making it possible for her to meet some Jews for Jesus in person. She also is willing to continue to meet. Daniel, a young Reiki instructor who claimed he was happy in his current spiritual path, kept coming to our booth; he and sat and listened to us and allowed us to pray for him. Elliot spent more than an hour gravitating around our booth, talking with Mark and a couple of other volunteers. Finally, he came into the booth and allowed me to share the gospel with him. He didn’t want to give us his contact details, but said he knows where our bookshop is and will be in touch with us. Hannah, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, was very interested, but I explained that she will have to wait four more years for us to be able to be in touch with her. In the meantime, we pray the Lord puts other Christians in her life and that Jesus will become real to her.
“We also talked and prayed with many Gentile people. Some were very open, like Ashleigh who said she didn’t come from a Christian family, but used to pray to God when she was little. She prayed with me to receive the Lord and now is eager to go back to have a personal relationship with Him, with the assurance God listens to her prayers.
“Barry told me he was gay and explained how he had a severed relationship with a friend who recently became a Christian. When Barry asked me if I think he needs to change his lifestyle, I told him that first he needs to experience the love of God through Jesus. Changes are part of the results of that relationship. All of us find that many things in our lives need to change, once we get to know God personally and are confronted with who He is. I shared with Barry some of the changes I needed to make, and that I knew that what God had to offer me was far better than what I had to give up.
“Julie felt stuck in a desperate situation, got divorced and had to take care of her two daughters alone. After she prayed with me to receive the Lord, she had peace. She found hope in Jesus, and the assurance that He will never let go of her and she will not be alone anymore.
“Elizabeth was working across from our booth, promoting the services of a man who was eager to tell people their ‘past lives’ for as ‘little’ as $50. The first day, she came straight to Mark, saying: ‘You’re from Jews for Jesus, you came to speak at my church.’ Later in the fest, she came for me to ‘decode’ her name and pray with her. In a gentle way, I asked what she, as a Christian, was doing there at that booth. She’d only been a believer for six months and genuinely didn’t know what was wrong with that, as she had believed in reincarnation before coming to the Lord. I shared with her the verse ‘And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many people. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation’ (Hebrews 9:27-28). As I prayed for her, floods of tears started pouring from her eyes, as the Lord was confirming to her the Scriptures I had shared.