Texas couple finds place to serve during Crossover Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn.?When Texas pastor Chet Haney arrived at the Crossover Nashville kick-off rally late Saturday morning, the volunteers assigned to help 147 area churches were walking out the door. That didn’t stop Haney and his wife, Terri, from finding a place to serve.

When he saw group gathering at nearby First Baptist Church of Nashville, Haney asked if they could use any extra people. “When we got over there they had a group of good volunteer drivers and they were glad to see us,” said the pastor of Parkside Baptist in Denison.

In a nearby government housing area known as Shelby, the Haneys found “a lot of ministry to be done.” At the first house they found a friendly face and distributed Bibles to the woman and her four grandchildren. “She wasn’t really open to a full length gospel presentation so we didn’t get as far as we’d have liked,” Haney told the TEXAN, adding that she allowed them to have prayer with her and the kids.

As they continued up and down the rest of the street, the Haneys saw a woman walking to meet them who asked, “‘What are ya’ll doin’?'”

Haney said, “The Bibles we were passing out caught her eye and she took one. We got to share the Lord with her and she prayed to receive Christ,” Confident that the woman was sincere, he remembered, “She thanked me four times. She said, ‘Thank you so much for being here, for coming to our part of town.'” Haney said he imagined from her weather-beaten face that she had some sad stories that grew out of a difficult life.

The downtown Nashville church that organized Crossover visits in the area was working on behalf of nearby Edgecliff (Baptist Church). “It’s an older church that had to go bivocational just last year due to decline, but it was well known in that neighborhood as we talked with the people,” Haney said.

The second person the Haneys led to the Lord was the same age as their oldest daughter. The 22-year-old woman was a marginal member of an area church, but had no assurance of her salvation, Haney said. “She listened very carefully and was glad to get the Bible,” he added, noting that his wife talked with her at length about the need for discipleship.

Haney said the first words of a next-door neighbor were “‘Praise the Lord'” when she heard about the young woman’s spiritual decision. “We encouraged her to pray and follow up with her,” Haney said.

When they asked the neighbor how they might pray for her own family, she said, “‘Pray old forky toes will keep out of my business.'” Haney said the Devil’s presence was evident throughout the neighborhood where they visited. “We literally prayed for Satan not to discourage this young girl.”

Further down the street the Haneys met an elderly woman sitting on her porch to avoid the heat in her kitchen. “It was like she was sitting there waiting for us to arrive. When Terri was explaining the gospel to her, saying ‘H’ stands for heaven, she said, ‘I’m not going to heaven?no way! What are you thinking? Me go to heaven?'” Haney’s wife explained how the woman could receive the gift of eternal life and while she seemed to clearly understand the gospel, she would not accept it, he said.

A few doors down the sound of gospel music could be heard from a radio. At the exact moment when Haney was praying with a woman who received Christ as her Savior, they heard a song about the joy of having Jesus come into a life. “I’m hearing this song while we’re praying,” he shared. “It was the coolest thing!”

Haney’s commitment to evangelize continued throughout the week, making an appointment to pursue a discussion he had earlier this year with a storekeeper in a Nashville mall. The Pakistani Muslim read a tract Haney gave him when he was in town for a conference and the two continued to correspond by e-mail regarding the man’s faith.

Meeting for breakfast at a downtown Nashville hotel, the man was eager to discuss the questions he had about Christianity and ultimately accepted Christ as Savior. Haney is working with a Southern Baptist church near the man’s residence to be certain he is discipled.

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