CCN University of Texas July Newsletter

Offering Living Water

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 (ESV)

A special thanks to David Santisteban from CapCityGospel for documenting this amazing testimony of God’s work through our ministry. Please check out his YouTube page

In John 4:1-26, we read about Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman. In this story, we witness Jesus’ love and compassion for the social outcast. Also, we see how Jesus turns a conversation about physical needs into a conversation about spiritual needs. Both lessons served as a model for our ministry in the month of July.

First, Jesus’ love and compassion for the social outcast. There is evidence to suggest that the Samaritan woman that Jesus addresses in this passage was a social outcast. First, we see that she was going to draw water from the well at about the sixth hour or at around noon. In this era, women typically came to draw water in groups either early in the morning, or late in the evening when it was not too hot. The fact that the Samaritan woman came to draw water by herself at noon seems to indicate that she was a social outcast. Moreover, we learn later on in the story that the woman had been married five times and that she was now living with a man that was not her husband. In this society, this would have been scandalous, and it could be one of the reasons why she was isolated from all the other women in that society.

When Jesus addresses the woman, she was shocked that He, a Jew, was talking to her, a Samaritan. In this context, Jews repudiated Samaritans because they had abandoned the proper worship of Yahweh at Jerusalem and had intermingled with other nations after the Assyrian invasion. For these reasons, Jews did not associate themselves with Samaritans and viewed them as outcasts. Therefore, the Samaritan woman was shocked that Jesus would not only address her but ask her for something, anything. In doing so, Jesus was showing His heart for the social outcast. He not only interacted with her, but He was also about to offer her the most precious gift of all, the gift of everlasting life.

As a campus ministry, we are typically dealing with middle-class university students. Rarely, if ever, do we deal directly with the social outcast in our city.  However, in July, God has placed us in a context where we get the opportunity to minister to some of the city’s social outcast.

We have not been unable to minister at the college campus since they closed down in March due to the corona virus. As a result, we had originally relocated to the Texas State Capitol where we had many opportunities to witness to tourist and visitors. But in the month of June, the Texas State Capital too was closed because of the Corona Virus and the threats from the Black Lives Matter protesters. This left us seeking for a new place to go. A friend of the ministry suggested that we set up camp at a little park named Republic Square which was not too far from the State Capitol. This turned out to be a great location since there was constant foot traffic due to two major bus lines that have stops there. However, this is also a place where many of Austin’s homeless population like to hangout during the day. We soon realized that God had brought us to this location to minister to these social outcasts. After the first week, we began bringing water and snacks to minister to their physical needs. However, we used these opportunities to talk to them about their most pressing need, their need for repentance and faith.

Going back to Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman we see that Jesus concern for the social outcast deals not only with their physical needs, but more importantly with their spiritual need. Commenting on this passage, MacArthur notes that “Jesus used the woman’s need for physical water to sustain life in this arid region in order to serve as an object lesson for her need for spiritual transformation.” (MacArthur Study Bible)

Jesus begins his conversation by talking to the woman about the water from the well, but quickly steers the conversation to the living water that only He can provide. In verse 10, He states “If you know the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you “give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” This living water refers not to actual water that meets the woman’s physical need, but to a spiritual rebirth that cleanses the woman from all unrighteousness and brings her everlasting satisfaction in Christ. However, at this point, the woman is confused and unsure about her need for this water. At this point Jesus points out her sin resulting in the women’s confession of her need for a savior. In verse 25 she states, “I know that Messiah” (Called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  At this point Jesus declares that He is that messiah when he states in verse 26, “I the one speaking to you-I am He.”

While it is good and right to minister to the physical needs of the social outcast, it is of even more importance for us to minister to their spiritual needs. Man’s greatest need is not physical but spiritual. So, in the month of July, we not only ministered to the physical needs of the social outcast, but we also ministered to their spiritual needs. Through use of the good person test and other methods we demonstrated to people their need for a Savior. We then provided them with the good news that the Savior has already come in the Person of Jesus Christ and is now offering them “living waters.”

Please pray that God would grant these individuals everlasting life!

Several individuals read the  “What Time is Purple” booklet given to them by CCN UT Campus leaders as they wait for their bus at Republic Square Park in Austin, Texas.

CCN UT campus leaders, along with their friend Sandra Garza, share the gospel at Republic Square Park in downtown Austin.  

Ministry Update

  • In the month of July, the ministry relocated from the Texas State Capitol to Republic Square Park in downtown Austin. We have been going out every Saturday (and some Fridays) to evangelize the lost. This new location has two bus stops, a large group of homeless individuals who hang out nearby, and a recurring farmer’s market which attracts many customers.
  • Our Thursday night Zoom Bible Study continues strong. This month we watched Voddie Baucham’s sermon “Getting the Gospel Right,” Jeff Durbin’s sermon “Being a Godly Trouble Marker,” and a special teaching session by Matthew Watkins entitled “Reverence for His Name” from Malachi 4. We also recognized the need for a more systematic study of the Scriptures and so we have started R.C. Sproul’s Bible Study entitled “Foundations: An Overview of Systematic Theology.” We pray that this series will help build a solid foundation for our ministry.  
  • We celebrated the 4th of July together at Thomas Fosters’ house with hot dogs and fireworks. It was a great time for all, but especially for the kids!
  • Campus Leader Thomas Foster officiated his good friends wedding near the end of the month. 

Campus Leader Thomas Foster preaches Christ to park goers at Republic Square Park. 

Praise Reports

  • Praise God for our new location (Republic Square Park). There is constant foot traffic and plenty of opportunities to share the gospel.
  • Praise God for all the friends of the ministry who consistently come out with us to preach the gospel (Sandra, David, Ana, Carolynn, Paul, Carlos, and several others).
  • Praise God for the recent CCN Leadership Summit. Please keep the Board of Directors and our special guest teacher Anthony Silvestro in your prayers. We are thankful for the work they do. 
  •  Praise God that Campus Leaders Tom and Thomas and their families were able to get out of Port Aransas moments before hurricane Hanna made landfall. 

Campus Leader Francisco Nieves employs the moral law during the good person test before presenting the gospel. To watch this very interesting exchange click here.

Prayer Request

  • Continue to pray for everyone who hears the gospel message while we are out preaching.
  • Continue to pray that God will raise up more campus leaders as we approach the beginning of the school year.
  • Pray that God would bring us some college students to disciple.
  • Pray for a possible teaching opportunity that  at a local church next month.
  • Pray that we continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.
  • Pray for the health of our friends and family members.

Campus Leader Tom McLaughlin going over the “Test your IQ” banner before presenting the law and the gospel. 

CCN UT Campus Leaders, along with friends and family, give thanks during the 4th of July celebration.

After barely escaping Hurricane Hanna in South Texas, CCN UT Campus Leader Thomas Foster officiates a friend’s wedding in Liberty Hill, Texas. God’s covenant sign to Noah (and every other living creature according to Gen 9:12-13), the rainbow, can be clearly seen during the ceremony. 

Sandra Garza, a friend of CCN UT, engages in apologetics and evangelism during one of our outings.

David Santisteban, from CapCityGospel, defends the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, before presenting the gospel. 

Campus leader Francisco Nieves prays with a man after witnessing to him. 

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