(According to BBC) 18 million people reached during our coffin outreach. Wow!!
Many of you know I got buried in Halifax, West Yorkshire in July 2016. This very ‘Different’ outreached was a response to the many I have seen die over the last few years. I’ve attended or spoken at so many funerals; had to comfort parents, siblings, children and spouses of many who died prematurely. I became absolutely desperate to reach those that are likely to die without intervention.
I searched for ideas to reach more folk and bring them before Jesus, I read and thought about scriptures like Mark 2 v 4, where some guys lowered a sick man through a roof to Jesus so as he could be healed, I prayed and thought about different ideas for reaching more and one day I came up with the plan to make a coffin and get buried, I would ‘Live Stream’ from the coffin, bringing ‘Words Of Life From The Grave’.
I wrestled with the idea for ages, thinking and challenged by how radical the concept was. I pondered on the potential of flack and misunderstanding I may get from both Christians and the world, finally, after much deliberation making my mind up to pay the price and do it. This decision was not easy, not for me, nor for Trish and my family. Yet in desperation to reach many more and bring them to Jesus I asked friend to build a coffin for me, he agreed and the idea became reality.
I must admit that on the day of the actual burial outreach I was very nervous before climbing into the coffin, It was buried almost 5 feet underground, although the coffin is almost 3.5 feet high, leaving just over a foot of clay on top of me, questions like, will I be claustrophobic or have a panic attack when the lid closes and the clay put on top? You see this outreach wasn’t designed, planned or meant to be an endurance test, or a survival exercise, it was simply a radical means to reach people and introduce them to Jesus. My thoughts were, ‘will anyone pay attention to the outreach? or will I just seem to be a fool buried underground with no one paying any notice of me? Well, thankfully I was pleasantly surprised, the outreach went viral around the world, getting worldwide publicity in countries all over. Very many media outlets relayed the whole event. During my times of prayer and thinking I had seen this before the outreach in the Spirit but had to take the risk to see it in real time. Publicity doesn’t matter really but positive and Godly effect on individuals does.
I’m so incredibly thankful that God used it big time to reach the suicidal, addicted, broken and their loved ones and families. Thank God, it worked, it was hugely successful, we reached more than I could have asked, thought or imagined.
I used my similar desperation as the guys in Mark 2 who brought the man to Jesus through the roof of the building, they, through their radical means have over the centuries brought many to Christ through a radical means and they have had multiplied millions preach their story and talk of their desperation to bring their friend to Jesus. Should not we have the same desperation to bring our friends and neighbours to Jesus. Everywhere I go now folk say “Oh your the guy from the coffin, I watched you during your burial and you helped me and so many of my friends.”
This outreach was designed to reach those who could end up prematurely in a grave. I live streamed from the coffin for 3 days, (72 Hours) speaking to the addicted, suicidal and their families as well as the general public. BBC and other well known networks carried our story to (according to their estimates) over 18 million people. Glory to God, what a tremendous success it was.
Will I do it again? Yes, I’m getting buried (God willing) at a church in East Belfast during the Lent season, I will be buried for 72 hours again. (Three days) then I will be doing 37 days outreach around the area, working with four local churches. I’ll update more on this soon here on the website. See below for more outreach details. Would I change anything about the coffin outreach? Yes, I have several areas where I would tweek it.
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