Ocean City, Maryland Part 2

Ocean City, Maryland Part 2

In this blog post by Mike Barko, he recounts the events of his third day of ministry in Ocean City. Starting the day with a prayer for guidance, Mike shares his experiences of sharing the gospel and spreading the message of Christ throughout the day. The post highlights his encounters with various individuals, including Naryan and Nupe, who had different religious backgrounds but engaged in meaningful discussions about faith. Mike also shares a challenging encounter with a young man who raised questions about the Bible's authors' ethnicity. Despite the challenges, he maintains love and patience throughout his interactions. The post also describes Mike's involvement with a ministry called the SONSPOT, where he shared the gospel with a diverse group of people. The day ends with a heartwarming series of encounters with young teens who eagerly listened to Mike's message and prayed to accept Jesus. It's a story of faith, persistence, and the transformative power of sharing the message of Christ with others.


Mike Barko

7/1/20197 min read




In my morning prayer, because of the resistance from the day before, I asked the Lord to guide me one step at a time. I wanted to be very sensitive to His Spirit, so as not to make things worse on myself.

During my prayer time, I asked the Lord that if he wanted me to do anything differently, that He would have Erik (ministry leader/friend from last newsletter) ask me to do something. Well, sure enough Erik gave me an invitation...

There is a ministry adjacent to the boardwalk called the SONSPOT. It is a Christian mission which feeds the homeless and also provides a place for foreign exchange students to come hang out as well. Eric asked me to share the gospel with the entire group.

I headed out that afternoon, planning to be at the SONSPOT around 5:30 p.m. Until that point, I just wanted to be led of the Lord. He did not disappoint...

The first young man I shared with was a parking lot attendant Naryan. When I gave him our bracelet and asked permission to share, he told me 'no'. Naryan knew it was a Christian message and was not interested. So, I explained to him that I could not share with him, since I would be violating his boundaries and that would not be love.

Instead, I gave him one of Erik's blue bracelets with the four minute message on the internet and said he could watch it if he wanted to. Sensing I was not going to force anything on him, Naryan spoke up and said, "Tell me about the colors."

When we respect people's boundaries and do not force the issue, the Lord blesses and creates desire in the person's heart.

Even though he had a Hindu background and was no where near wanting Christ, I really enjoyed sharing with this young man. His buddy Nupe showed up just as we were finishing and he wanted a bracelet too. Unlike Naryan, Nupe had a Christian background, but he too, was not interested in placing his faith in Christ.

I set out for the boardwalk...

I met a young African American man standing in the same place that I had shared with Heather the day before. He wanted a bracelet, and things were progressing very well until about half-way through the presentation...

He spoke up...

"What color is all the men who wrote the bible? What color is God? Do you know? Tell me!"

Everything had changed. This young man began to get angry and was grilling me with his questions. I took a few steps back and said, "I love you."

"It's not about color. It's about Christ." I made this comment, to no avail.

He continued attacking me. I took a few more steps back and said, "I love you." When he kept attacking me, I let it go, and told him one more time, "I love you my friend." He continued preaching to me as I walked off, very upset, having turned Christianity into some sort of racist issue.

It was probably around 4:15 p.m., and since the SONSPOT was a few blocks away, I headed in that direction, sensitive to whatever God wanted to do.

Guess who I met on the way there? Daniel and Tyler! If you remember from the previous newsletter, they were two young man who had received Christ the night before.

I sat down next to them on a bench and we fellow shipped for a few minutes. Three youths with Church t-shirts approached and I knew I needed to share with them...

Joe, Zach, and one other teen eagerly accepted the bracelet and wanted to hear the message. None were 100% sure of going to Heaven, each initially believing that Christ's work on the cross was not enough to get them into Heaven. They each thought they also had to do something in order to be saved.

As I began to share, their two leaders came over, Matthew and Jonathan. Once they recognized what I was doing, they both sat down to listen.

All was progressing very well, with Joe really seeming to be drawn in by the Spirit. After sharing the resurrection receipt, "Paid-in-full!", Joe spoke up...

"Does this mean we can do anything we want to?"

Joe's question really blessed me. Listen to what Protestant minister D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said...

"The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it, and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. This is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel."

I thanked Joe for validating my gospel presentation and invited these three young men to put all of their faith in Christ alone. Did they understand who Jesus was? No. Each said he was the Son of God, but did not know that He is God. After clarification, they wanted to pray with me:


Matthew, their leader from a church in West Virginia spoke up at the end...

"I really want to thank you for what you did. I have been thinking all week that I needed to share with them, but I did not know how to bring up the subject. You took care of that for me."

About this time Bill and Donna (friends from Erik's team) joined me and we headed towards the SONSPOT...

Guess who I encountered next?

Five more youth from the church in West Virginia. They approached me with fliers in hand, invitations to a local festival...

I explained that I would take a flier if they each took a bracelet and heard my message. I let them know that I had just shared with three in their group. Yes, they each took a bracelet and gave me the floor...

Only one was initially 100% sure. The rest were 'still working on it', also telling me that what Christ had done was not enough for them to get into Heaven. They had to do something as well.

As I was sharing, leader Jonathan walked by and gave me a smile. Each of these church youth wanted to place all of their faith in Jesus and prayed with me...


The time was past 5:30 p.m. and Bill, Donna and myself headed for the SONSPOT...

I sat down in a chair at a podium on a stage inside the mission and got to share the gospel with around 40, most seated at tables enjoying a spaghetti dinner. Some were homeless, but most were foreign exchange students.

I asked for a volunteer. A young man named Martin agreed to take the 'good person' test. Another man named Peter helped out as well. I began to take Martin through the ten commandments, sharing with the entire group as well.

Martin thought he could be accounted as 'good' simply by changing. I had to explain that if a criminal in a court changed, he would still have to be punished for his crime.

Some were listening. Most were eating spaghetti and enjoying dinner conversation. I tried not to preach, so as to not interrupt their dinner conversation. At specific points in times, some faces were definitely locked in on me.

When the invitation was given, 2 or 3 raised their hands. Martin was one of them. I did hear quite a few more praying with me as I led everyone in a prayer to trust Christ as their Savior.

For some reason, after I shared at the SONSPOT, my heart was more filled and encouraged. It set the stage for what would happen next...

Not having eaten the spaghetti dinner, I sat down at the top of a ramp after having left the SONSPOT to drink one of my smoothies shakes.

The Lord sent three young teens...Anna, Jessica and Sarah. They wanted to receive Christ...

He sent three more...Cali, Chris, and Allysa. They too wanted to place all of their faith in Jesus...

He sent eight...

Brennan, Kira, Jahn, Bailey, Kara, Maddie, McKayla and McKenzie.

They were so excited to receive a bracelet. I explained that it would take 5-10 minutes. No problem.

God gave me special grace to remember all of their names. None was initially 100% sure of Heaven. When they found out that I wanted to share with them how they could be 100% sure...

They all sat down on the pavement!

As I shared, I would look at each of them and call them by name. It was all God. I was humbled.

I shared the gospel and gave the invitation. Some were eager to receive. Others were hesitant. I assured them that they did not have to receive. Only the ones who really wanted to should pray.

I believe 5 or 6 wanted to receive Jesus and prayed with me. They were very thankful and told me that God had saved them. They said their hearts felt...'light, happy, joyful, relieved.'


God saved the best for last...(to be continued)