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Rowan, Yadkin county youth carry word of Christ door to door

By Cyntra Brown
Salisbury Post
Fifteen churches from Rowan and Yadkin counties are spreading the word of Christ one knock at a time.
“As God opens doors, we just go places,” said Brent Winslow, the coordinator of Reach Rowan.
In the course of three days, more than 8,000 households will be given the chance to have their lives changed. And it will all be done through “the mouth of babes.”
Reach Rowan is a cooperative evangelistic outreach. The program’s goal is to spread the love of Christ through Rowan County in three days, beginning Monday and concluding today.
For about four hours each day, the youth, along with an adult, will walk door to door, asking complete strangers to accept Christ as their savior.
They also seek out local churches for those who don’t have one and ask how the church can better reach out to the community.
Winslow, a member of Yadkin Grove Baptist Church, is the “brain child” of this mission. He, his wife and fellow church members have worked on this since last October, and are glad to finally see results.
“People have a bad impression of youth,” Winslow said. “This is the good side.”
The participants all went through training on how to approach people at their home and how to take the ups and downs of evangelizing.
“People aren’t rejecting you,” Winslow said. “They’re rejecting the message of Jesus.”
A prayer for “encouragement, boldness and courage” soothed the nerves of the young missionaries.
On Monday, the group visited around 2,350 houses. Out of the 213 people who answered, 17 gave their life to Christ.
At the intersection of Cauble and East Ridge roads, Natasha Watkins, Cole Honeycutt, Danny Flay and adult leader Betsy Safrit started their evangelical walk. They gathered their materials and walked toward a white house.
Watkins climbed the steps and knocked on the door.
No one answered.
She slipped a plastic bag containing religious information over the doorknob and then walked away.
“It’s really a blessing,” Cole Honeycutt said of the experience. Honeycutt is a sophomore at East Rowan. He was in charge of recording all the details on each stop.
Karen Marlin, a resident on East Ridge Road, opened her door to the hopeful youth.
“I think it’s really wonderful to see young people doing God’s work,” Marlin said.
She wishes more churches would encourage their youth to be the same way.
Somewhat shy, Natasha Watkins, was happy to have heard an encouraging word from Marlin.
“It went better than I thought,” Watkins said.
Betsy Safrit, a member of Franklin Baptist Church, was excited about the mission, too. She’s used to traveling elsewhere on mission trips but was glad they “decided to make the mission trip come home.”
And the mission doesn’t stop at the door.
Reach Rowan also has “Party in the Park,” where coordinators visit local parks and encourage children to learn about Christ through games, crafts and Bible stories.
Cara Winslow, Brent’s wife, was in charge of finding local parks that would be inviting for children and their families. All parks have at least eight to 10 staff members working with the kids.
“It’s all come together.” Cara Winslow said. “We’re very well staffed.”
The participating parks are as follows:
Salisbury Civic Center, Kelsey-Scott, Long Street, Spencer Town, Granite Civic, China Grove Community Center and Oakland Heights. Today will be the last day, from 1 – 4 p.m.
Nightly at the Civic Center, Reach Rowan also has activities geared toward youth, with free food, entertainment and speaker John Evans from Florida.
Tonight, they will sponsor a spaghetti dinner, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Olive Garden is providing the salad and breadsticks.
Reach Rowan is also offering a free basketball camp for grades one through six today from 1 – 4 p.m. at Oakdale Baptist Church in Spencer and the at the South Rowan YMCA.
The Rowan County participating churches, Franklin Baptist, Trading Ford, Calvary Baptist and South China Grove Baptist, are also lending a helping hand. They are hosting the participants in their own homes and providing food and transportation.
“I had eight men in my house,” said Joe Thomas, a Reach Rowan participant.
Brent Winslow truly feels he’s been blessed by this experience.
“I love seeing students grow in Christ.”
He admits it takes a lot of strength to go and knock on a stranger’s door.
He also thanks his volunteers who helped share the load of organizing the participants and the locations.
So many people “invested a lot of prayer and time.” Winslow said. “It was more than worth it.”

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