Joshua Outreach Group
388 Wildwood Drive
CBN.com "Once we found out what the origins of Halloween were, we just stopped," says Merlin Buhl. "We said were not doing any of it."
Like most Christians, Merlin and Theresa Buhl faced a difficult question: How could they let their children get involved with Halloween without compromising their Christian beliefs? The Buhls struggled for years until a local pastor challenged them to use this pagan holiday as a day of redemption.
"I thought, what would Jesus do? Would He turn His light off and go in the basement, or would He decorate His house in bright themes and harvest themes? Matthew 5:14 talks about that we are the light. We are the light on the hill, just like the song: 'This little light of mine. Im gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel no!' And so we see now that Halloween is an opportunity to turn on our light," adds Theresa.
Four years ago, Merlin and Theresa decided to "turn on the lights" when they co-founded Halloween Outreach. The ministry provides an alternative for Christians who are searching for ways to share Jesus on Halloween.
"We developed some cards that were age specific," says Merlin.
Each card has a place to attach a piece of candy, but most importantly, the inside of each tract contains a special message that gives children a chance to know Jesus as Savior
And Merlin and Theresa havent forgotten parents who take their children trick-or-treating. They give a book by Max Lucado, He Did This Just for You, to every adult who comes to the door. The book shares a simple gospel message and a prayer for parents to receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
"There is a response card that they can send back to us," Merlin states. "They can also call the 1-888-"need him" (1-888-718-6640) number. There is a spiritual counselor right there. Hundreds have responded to receive Christ."
Each card received is sent back to a local church in the community. To date, over 450,000 homes have been reached with the gospel message!
"Thats how we kind of answered that angst in our spirit," says Merlin. "We dont feel like we are condoning the holiday. We dont feel like we are partaking in the occult practices. Were saying no, lets use this day for good. What Satan meant for harm God is going to use for good. Lets redeem this day. Lets see the church redeem this day."
And for Christians who are still reluctant to get involved, Merlin poses this challenge.
"We have neighbors that are going to hell," he says. "I mean, that is just plain and simple. If you believe the Bible and they dont know Jesus, you know that if they die, they are going to hell and are going to spend an eternity without God. My challenge is to look within yourself and ask, 'What would Jesus do? What would He do?' Pray about it. Search the Scriptures. This is so easy to do. All you have to do is contact us, get the cards, turn the light on, put some candy on it, and love on the kids when they come to the door. You just dont know what the Lords going to do."
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