A year ago today I flew out to Los Angelos, CA, to take part in the Ambassadors' Academy. It was Wednesday evening thru Sunday morning, one full day of classroom training with the Living Waters staff and two days out on the streets of California putting our training to the test by handing out gospel tracts, street preaching, and one-on-one conversations sharing the gospel with people we met.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was without a doubt the catalyst for making it a point to get out at least once a week and intentionally share the gospel with strangers I meet. The training was extremely valuable.
What stood out to me the most was that the staff of Living Waters ministry didn't just train people from all over the country to go out and spread the gospel, they lived it. They all started in the same place (afraid) as the rest of us were starting. And each staff member (as near as I could tell) had their own ministry in their own community where they shared the gospel on a regular basis.
I also enjoyed meeting people from all around the country (and Canada at the one I attended). It was a joy to be with people all united by a heart to share the gospel. Some of the people I met that weekend I'm in contact with yet today.
If you have been thinking about pursuing training of this nature, I would encourage you to consider attending the Ambassadors' Academy. They run training sessions once a month for about six months out of the year (March thru August generally). They are full for 2010 but will start taking applications again most likely in the fall for the 2011 sessions. They have dropped the price considerably since I attended. They did this to allow more people to attend during these tough economic times. I would recommend checking into it (http://www.ambassadorsalliance.com/).
Note: The people attending these training sessions range from those who have never handed out a tract to those who regularly witness to strangers and regularly street preach. Once at the Ambassador's Academy, they simply ask that you take a couple steps out of your comfort zone and learn while you're there.
All of my pictures while at Ambassadors' Academy are of other people. I'm pretty quiet by nature and can be timid at times. Getting on the plane alone, flying to California, meeting a lot of new people, handing out tracts, engaging in one-on-one conversations about the gospel, and standing on a box on Hollywood Blvd and street preaching was pretty much the limit for this introvert. Asking someone to take my picture while I was there would have put me over the edge (seriously).