Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City, Maryland

In this blog post by Mike Barko, he reflects on three days of sharing the gospel on Ocean City's boardwalk in Maryland. Mike is grateful for fellow preacher Erik Dressel's support and the success of friends Karen and Rob, who led 23 people to faith in Christ during his absence. On Day 1, Mike joins Erik's team and distributes blue bracelets with a Christian message link. Despite initial hesitations, he shares the gospel with several groups, including a Christian family and two girls named Masin and Dalton, who express a desire to place their trust in Jesus. Day 2 features a touching encounter with Heather, who initially relied on her efforts rather than Christ's atonement. After understanding the gospel, she expresses gratitude. Despite some resistance and interruptions, Mike continues to share the message of Christ. Joey, from the Christian family he met earlier, returns to offer encouragement. Mike's dedication to spreading the message of Christ and his encounters with individuals from diverse backgrounds demonstrate the power of faith and sharing the message of salvation.


Mike Barko

6/24/20195 min read



What a blessing to share the gospel for three days on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. Many thanks to fellow street preacher friend Erik Dressel for the lodging/food accommodations.

What an additional blessing to have two precious friends and ministry partners covering the downtown courthouse ministry while I was away. Thank you Karen and Rob. Both were able to lead 23 people to faith in Christ right in front of the courthouse.


Erik brought his team from the Baltimore area. Tuesday night was my first night. Bill and Donna passed out free blue bracelets directing people to a website with a four minute Christian message. Juan and Esteban played praise and worship right on the boardwalk.

I sat down on my pull behind cooler and began sharing the message. My first group was a Christian family: mom and dad, with three children. The young man was mentally handicapped, so I focused on the two girls.

Both girls were unsure of their eternal destination. Both said something about 'being pretty good' as the reason God would let them into Heaven.

At that point mom looked at dad and said, "I guess we haven't done our job." They allowed me to share and really appeared to be supporting me along the way.

Both girls were responding well and were appearing to grasp the truth when mom stepped in...

"Sir. Thank you for what you have done tonight. We realize we have more work to do with our girls. We will take it from here."

I asked for two more minutes, to no avail. I fully surrendered the girls to the Lord in my heart and moved on. We must always remember that the people we talk to belong to the Lord. He has a right to remove them any time He so chooses.

God blessed my yielded heart. For the next hour or two, I had a non-stop flow of five groups of people. When one would finish, another would step up right in their place. It was all the Holy Spirit.

In fact, the very first group that I shared with was a family: Joey and Amber with two boys Masin and Dalton. My heart was a little sad after losing the first two girls. The Lord encouraged me with what happened next...

As soon as they heard that the message was about the Lord, all four sat down on the pavement right in front of me! Feed me Mr. Mike! They were looking up at me with eager faces, hungry to be fed with the Word of God. It was very humbling.


None were initially sure of their eternal destination. I shared our children's presentation with Masin and Dalton, with Joey and Amber listening attentively as well.

At the end, each one wanted to place all of their trust in both the person and work of Jesus Christ.


Joey sent me the nicest text message the next day, encouraging me with how much that encounter had blessed him. I actually saw him the following night on the boardwalk and we fellow shipped some more. We are now friends on Facebook and have been texting ever since.

Here are two girls I shared with a little later: Kailynn and Taylor. I was really surprised they stayed to hear the whole message. I was even more surprised they did not walk off in the rain. When I offered them one of our umbrellas, they declined, and continued standing in the rain to hear the entire gospel message.

Both wanted to received Christ as their Savior, and prayed with me. Juan is right next to me.



My favorite story from the second day was the very first person that I shared with: Heather. Heather was standing at the bottom of a long flight of stairs leading up to a business.

She accepted the bracelet and gave me permission to share. Heather, like most people, knew she was a sinner. However, instead of trusting in Christ's atonement to pay for her sins, she kept on using the word 'try'.

In other words, as we were going through the list of commandments, she would acknowledge breaking each one but would qualify it with, 'but I tried not to.'

Even in God's courtroom she told me the following, "I would admit my sins and then say, 'I tried not to.' Heather was trusting in her efforts to not sin, instead of trusting in the work of Christ. Heather simply needed to transfer her trust from self-justification to Christ alone.

She understood the gospel and wanted to trust in the person and work of Christ alone...

"He saved me...THANK YOU!"


Heather sent me the nicest text message Saturday morning, really thanking me for sharing the gospel with her and encouraging me to keep doing what I do!

This particular evening was rougher. I had quite a few people pray to receive Jesus, but I also had quite a bit of resistance. Right after a group of teens prayed to receive Christ, a woman came over and ran them off.

I saw several who were just about to receive Christ, only to be pulled away by a friend. One young man was right in the middle of the prayer when he got pulled away. Another young man who appeared to be high on drugs, came up and grabbed a young man who was just about to pray with me to receive Christ.

There was resistance, but there was blessing. Joey, the father of the family in the first picture, came back the next night and told me how much my ministry had meant to him. He could tell that I was a little discouraged. When he found out about the woman who had run the teen off, he yelled to a group of people behind me...

"You all leave this man alone!"

He then handed me a ten dollar bill with orders to go get dinner.

Here is Tyler and Daniel. Both were initially unsaved, and both really appeared to understand the gospel as I fully explained it to them. Both wanted to place all their faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Before leaving they said, "You really explained that well so we could understand. I guy tried to explain it to us last night, but it didn't make any sense."


The Lord blessed me with this large group right before I left. After understanding the gospel, all wanted to place their faith in Christ alone.

I asked them all how their heart felt. The young man (second from the left with the peace sign) spoke up...

"Amazing! I feel so good that I could swim across the ocean!"


To be continued...