MT. VERNON — No matter how many times Brad Bennett speaks to an audience at a Real Encounter event, witnessing the real encounters people have with God never gets old.
Recently the extreme sports outreach team traveled to Baptist Hill Camp here to provide a thrilling Family Night event for Ozark Prairie Baptist Association’s (OPBA) Children’s Camp. The event, which featured motorcycle stunt riding and BMX biking, would not have been possible if not for Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) monies appropriated by the late Gary Taylor, former MBC evangelism director.
“It really was a great climax to our camp,” said Jim Albers, director of missions of OPBA. “When I explained to Gary that not only would the children benefit from Real Encounter, but that it would be opened up to the campers’ parents and Mt. Vernon area churches, he was excited by the possibilities.”
Doing it this way allowed more than 200 children and another 150 adults to attend the large event.
And, after Bennett presented the gospel message that night, he witnessed about 10 children and one man, a father of one of the campers, come forward.
“As I looked into the man’s face it was obvious that this man had encountered God in an amazing way,” Bennett said. “I will never forget the look on his face. So broken, you could tell he was under conviction and experiencing true repentance.”
When Bennett approached the man afterwards, the man began to tell more of his story. He said his wife, who was already a Christian, had been praying for his salvation for a long time and that his son accepted Jesus the night before.
He told Bennett he wasn’t planning to go to the Real Encounter event, but that something inside nudged him to come.
“He said when I spoke, he felt like I was speaking directly to him,” Bennett said. “Of course, that was the Holy Spirit, not me. Anyway, as the man told me his story, his wife and his son stood beside him weeping. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to see God change the course of a whole family for eternity.”
In its 12 years of outreach ministry, Real Encounter has had the opportunity to present the gospel to thousands of people in the United States and around the world.
“That is why Real Encounter exists,” Bennett said. “It is not always an easy road, but it’s well worth it.”
For more information on how to schedule Real Encounter contact Bennett at (417) 353-0888 or e-mail him at email@example.com.