Gary Smith left his job as a ship superintendent at a ship yard in order to become an evangelist. Today he talks about what God did at a Christ for All Nations crusade in Mbeya, Tanzania and about a new platform truck he recently built in order to preach the Gospel in the United States.
Follow The Evangelism Podcast with Evangelist Daniel King
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Gary Smith left his job as a ship superintendent at a shipyard in order to become an evangelist today, he talks about what God did at a Christ for all nations crusade in Mbeya, Tanzania, and about a new platform truck. He recently built in order to preach the gospel in the United States.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:21):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host missionary and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:57):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m excited about leading people to Jesus. And today I am in Tanzania, I’ve just finished participating in operation Decapolis, which is an effort by Christ for all nations to do multiple crusades at the same time. And so I was in the city of Iringa and there were actually five crusades that were, were being done all the same time in today. I have with me, one of the evangelists who was a guest in one of the other Decapolis cities, Gary Smith. Thank you for being on the evangelism podcast
Gary Smith (01:39):
Yesterday. Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s an honor to be here.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:42):
So tell me what city Were you in in? What did you see God doing that city? Yeah,
Gary Smith (01:46):
So I was in the city of, in Mbeya, Tanzania, and man, we saw the Lord just do great things. I’m the, one of the very first testimonies on the first night was a gentleman that had been deaf for seven years in both ears. And he came up there to testify that the Lord opened his ears and he just couldn’t believe it. And, you know, we saw a tumor’s coming out of people but the most beautiful miracle where just the thousands of salvation of people giving their lives to Jesus, it was absolutely incredible time. And so
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:19):
What is the biggest memory that you’ll take back with you from Tanzania?
Gary Smith (02:25):
Wow. The way that I could best describe the best memory would be just to see all the, of the faces with the tears, just running down their face. To me that just impacts my heart to see the tears of people when they experienced the love of Christ whether they’re believing for a miracle, whether they received a miracle or maybe they would just had received the salvation, but to see the tears fall down, their faces is probably something that impacts me the most.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:56):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:57):
Have a heart for, we’re both here at the invitation of Christ for all nations evangelist, Daniel Kolenda. And you had a little bit of a miraculous way that God connected you with Christ for all nations. How did that happen?
Gary Smith (03:13):
Yeah, it’s, you know, they they often ask me like, how did you get connected with CFAN? And to this day, I just think is like, it’s just a miracle. And really it was I had a friend of mine that just encouraged me. He was going on the first trip to Nigeria with Paul Mauer. And and in the meantime he was just raising funds. And so I just felt led to help him get there financially. And then on his way back, you then had taken an internship with crossroad of nations. I went and had lunch with him one day and he was encouraging me to try to come to the school evangelism just, wasn’t a good timing for, for me. And so it’s just burning on my heart for oh mercy. I’d say a couple months.
Gary Smith (03:57):
And then he’s like, well, just write crossroads and nations a email, tell them who you are, what you’ve done and what you, what you would like to do. And I was like, no, I don’t want to be that person, you know to send just a random email of some, some guy that they’d never met. And so this went on for about another two and a half weeks. And like everyday it was just on me. And I was like, no, I don’t want to do the email. And so finally, one day I just said, kind of had a bad attitude about it. I was like, all right, Lord, if you want me to send this email, I’ll do it. And so I got onto the computer, typed up an email, just explaining who I was what I’ve done and you know, my interest of doing the trucks.
Gary Smith (04:40):
And about two weeks later, I was out on a church property. We had just bought some church land because we’re in a process of building a church and I was on a piece of equipment and I had a missed call and I stopped around lunchtime and I noticed that I had a voicemail and a miss call. So I checked it. And immediately when I press play on the voicemail, I was covered with the presence of God. Like the top of my hair was standing up all the way down to my toes. It was incredible. And immediately said, Hey Gary, this is Chris Garcia Daniel Kolenda’s you know, sec assistant. And I was like, no way, this is not true. You know, so I listened to the rest of the voicemail and right after that, I went ahead and just called Chris Garcia back and he’s like, Hey, Gary, you know, we got your email. You know, we, we loved everything about it. We love to get to know you. We just had an opening for the port port Harcourt, Nigeria trip, would you like to come? And I said, I would be honored to come. So I went home that night, applied for my visa, bought my plane ticket. And less than two weeks later, I was in port Harcourt, Nigeria for the first truck outreaches with the gospel trailers.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:54):
And so tell me some of what happened during that outreach in port Harcourt and how it impacted your life.
Gary Smith (06:01):
Yeah. So during, during that time, when we were in port HeartCore, I was there with Paul Mauer and Paul Mauer was the one that was kind of doing the grading gear taking us. And so I never been to Africa. That was my first time in Africa. And what an experience going to Nigeria. And I remember the first time driving to the first outreach we were being escorted by the police. And we were in the opposite lane going against traffic head-on traffic. And I’m thinking, man, I just want to just make it there. You know? And so when we got there just preach and that first time I was pretty nervous. But the moment that I began to just speak and start talking about Jesus, there’s this a calming that came over me and that night was just something that sparked something inside of me.
Gary Smith (06:55):
Like, man, this is what I really, I believe that I was born for. I had, I’ve always felt like an evangelistic calling. I didn’t know how I was going to get there, what it was going to look like, but I just knew, like, there’s something that I’m supposed to do. And I was never the one to want to be public speaking or, or anything like that. And to be honest with you, I had heard about a lot of like insecurities and that’s then one of the main reasons why I’m the website is called, know your identities. Cause it’s like something that I battled you know, feeling like I wasn’t the smart enough one. I wasn’t raised in church. I didn’t go to Bible college and I had all these reasons, but my father-in-law is a, he’s a pastor and he’s a wonderful man of God.
Gary Smith (07:41):
And he always would say this. He said, you know, Gary, the Bible says that they’ll use the foolish to confound the wise and that, and in that context, it kind of gave me some hope, you know? And the moment that I really understood who I was in Christ, my Romans eight, 14, and eight 15, it really about that son ship is when I really began to like, you know what, maybe I’m not the most qualified. Maybe I don’t have the most elegant speeching the speech, but you know what, like, I love Jesus and I know what he’s done for me. And it’s just, it’s like, it burns inside of me. And so from that moment in port Harcourt really had sparked something. And now I have been a guest with, for all nations for right here going on three and a half years or so. And it’s just beginning, you know, as, as we’ve been a part of this decade of double harvest every six months, it’s just getting, it’s growing exponential. And it’s just an honor to be here in Tanzania with crossroad nations. It’s an honor to serve with yourself, you know amazing ministry that you have amazing calling. And sometimes I have to like ask myself like, wow, how did I get here? What am I doing here? But it’s amazing. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:54):
It amazing what God is doing. I think God is looking for people who are willing and when he finds people that are willing to do whatever it takes, God gives very quick promotion. And that’s what you’ve seen in your life. And I think is just starting. God has a lot more in store for you in the, in the future. And one of the things that you’re, you’re working on, which I really love is building a trailer that has the side that falls down and becomes a platform that can be used to preach the gospel in America. You know, we come here to Africa, thousands of people get saved, but the United States needs revival just as much as Africa. In fact, some places in the United States probably have a lower percentage of Christians than here in Tanzania. And so if we’re going to reach America, we we’ve got to go look for strategies that can reach people. And so God put it on your heart to, to build this trailer. Kind of tell me how that vision came to be. And, and then tell me how you’ve built the trailer, how it’s all come together. Because I know we have a lot of listeners that want to do different things and, and you know, maybe someone would be in spot inspired to build their own trailer.
Gary Smith (10:13):
Yeah, it’s, it’s it’s something that came to me in 2016. We are on our way back from a meeting in Florida. I believe it was one of the Jesus images meetings there and in 2016 and were coming through mobile, Alabama coming through the tunnel. And I remember my wife and daughter were sleeping and I was driving. It was kinda late in the night. And immediately when I came up out of the tunnel or their automobile I instantly heard the Lord say cities for Jesus. And I was like, all right, Lord, like, what does that mean? And I just saw us going from city to city, and this is something that has been burning in my heart for a long time of America, of just going from different cities. And I didn’t really understand how it was all coming, but like you had said the moment we say yes, you know, the Lord begins to just to say, okay, here’s the next step?
Gary Smith (11:07):
Here’s the next step? And it just continues to unfold. And so in that moment I didn’t have all the details. I just knew what he had shared with me. And I was like, all right, Lord, how do I get there? And progressively, he gave me more and more. And so I met up with a friend of mine. He had kind of the same vision of going from city to city and we began to brainstorm and the things that we have done with Crossrail nations with the gospel trucks, I said, man, this is what we need. We need something like this in America. And so I kind of took that concept and I didn’t actually have a motorized container. So we just built a trailer from the ground up it’s 30 foot. And so in, when we came into [inaudible] just last year, I w we just had a flat trailer, it’s all we had.
Gary Smith (11:56):
And I said, okay, well, let’s take a step of faith. And so I ordered the steel. I asked my buddy, I said, let’s order the steel. We ordered a steel. And it was about $5,000 to get all the material. And I didn’t, I didn’t really have the money, but I said, we’re going to take this step ordered this steel within 24 hours. This is incredible. I literally was like, I could not believe it, 24 hours, less than 24 hours later, I received a check for $5,000 to cover the amount of this steel. So then I came to Africa with Crossrail nations. We did the bootcamp initiation in our Russia. A friend of mine had had it all framed up. And so now we’ve got it all together. It’s a, it’s a fully mobilized. We have everything that we need. We has a generator sound equipment.
Gary Smith (12:43):
And so we just take this thing from city to city and what our heart is, is to get local pastors to come together in unity and, and host these events to where we can do them outdoors in a non church setting. We were just in new port Richey area and also St. Petersburg area, Florida. And we did nine straight days. And it was absolutely incredible. We were out outside the church on where the public park was. And so we had just random people. And also on this last trip, it was beautiful is we actually sent a team of nine people a week in front of us to evangelize. And some of these were my friends and some of ’em came from the ramp ministry. And so we, we put them up in a hotel and we gave him a little bit of money for food and for the day. And they just went out every day, evangelizing build the expectation, kind of like what we’re doing here with the initiation and prior to the crusades. And so here just in a couple of weeks, we’ll be in Ohio. We’re going up there July 9th through the 18th and everyday we’ll be doing a meeting outdoors. And so prayerfully in Jesus’ name, we’re going to be full time hitting the streets in America and just seeing a revival, miracle signs, wonders, salvation. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:11):
What do you
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:13):
See God doing in the future? What’s the vision that, what, what do you want to see happen in your life in ministry? Yeah,
Gary Smith (14:22):
The biggest thing that I want to see in, in my life and for the ministry for that matter is to really see America, you know, especially where we live. I live in Mississippi and it’s, you know, the Bible belt, everyone talks about Jesus, but very seldom are people really sold out. They, they, they know about Jesus. They can quote some scriptures, they know how to be churchy, but they’re not, their are not what it means to be a Christian. And my heart is, is that people would encounter the love of Jesus. No, I will not be not raised in church. I met my wife, we got married in 2005 and she was a pastor’s daughter. And if it wasn’t for her, I don’t know where I’d be. You know? I was, I was in military. I’m still in reserves now, but military and I was headed to go to special warfare.
Gary Smith (15:16):
And so I would have just been a knucklehead, probably had I not met my wife, but she really brought me to the Lord. And my heart is that people really encountered Jesus because when we truly encounter him, our lives will never be the same. Our desires will change. And that’s, that’s really, my heart is that even, even people in the church, you know, even you been in this a lot longer than I have, but you can probably understand that, you know, the various scripture says on that day, many will say, Lord, Lord, I did all these great things, you know? And he says, depart from me. I don’t know you. And that, that breaks my heart because there’s a minister that I know that was like, you know what? That was me. That was me. The Lord spoke to me and said, you better get it right.
Gary Smith (16:07):
And how many people are like that? You know? And I don’t want it to be on my heart. Like Gary, you knew about Jesus. You really encountered him. You didn’t tell me. So wherever I go, I want to truly share the love of Jesus to be that example, say, you know what, if your life is not totally surrender and you got to have a totally surrender to Jesus, because that’s at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters. And that’s really my heart. That’s my heart for, for the ministry, heart for America and for the nations, you know, not just America, but Mexico, Africa, wherever, you know I really love Isaiah. He says, who will go here? I am send me. And that’s always been my heart. And just kind of been taken one day at a time. And it’s beautiful to see what the Lord has done in such a short period of time. Okay. I want
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:56):
You to imagine that you are out on your, your truck. The platform is down. You’ve had some music to attract people. And so you have a little group of people that have gathered around maybe about 20 or 30 people in a park that have gathered around, and you’ve got five minutes to share the gospel with them. And so I want you to give me a five minute presentation of how you would share the gospel with those people.
Gary Smith (17:27):
Yeah. The quick would be is just to say the reality of second second Corinthians six two, that now is a day of salvation that none of us are promised our next breath. We’re not promised our next heartbeat. Our days are very numbered. And the reality of it is, is that you and I, we could die this very moment. And if you don’t have a relationship with Christ, where would you spend eternity and have, have that in that moment to share with them, you know kind of like what we, what we preach a lot is, you know, there’s three specific days on God’s calendar a day for us to be born a time for us to die. And the most important one is a day of salvation and we’re all breathing right now because we’re, we’re in the natural we’re breathing. We have life.
Gary Smith (18:13):
The very reality is that you could die in the next five minutes. You could die when you leave this park. And, but the beautiful thing about it is, is today Jesus had paid a high price for you and for me, and says for whosoever calls upon the name of Lord shall be saved. And if you believe in the heart confess with your mouth, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Then you can be saved. You can spend eternity with him and, and so much more, there’s so much more to life than just living. We’re not living. If we don’t have a life surrender to Christ, we’re just kind of going through the motions. And so in those five moments, I would just explain the reality is that tomorrow’s not promised only right now is promised to us. And if you don’t know Jesus, then here’s the opportunity to meet Jesus, to encounter him.
Gary Smith (19:01):
The fact that Jesus came to the earth died a horrific death. You know, not only did he die, because if he, if he died and didn’t raise, then it would just be a crucifixion, but he died how that Louie died rose again. And that, and in that moment, we have salvation. We have freedom. We have everything through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ. And so that’s how I would try to present the gospel in those five minutes is, is that, that we were, were promised our birth we’re promised our death and the most important day is a day of salvation. And that could be today. That could be today. If you’re listening now and you don’t know Jesus, today is a good day to give your life to Jesus. Well, why do I want to give my life to Jesus? Well, because if we don’t give our lives to Jesus, totally completely to him, then you and I, we would be held accountable for every decision that we have ever made.
Gary Smith (19:54):
But the moment we asked Jesus into our heart, the Bible says that all things become new. He forgives us all of our sins, everything that we have done, and now we have been born again and we have a renewing of our mind. And now the next step is to get planted into a local church, get connected to evangelists. Daniel King is amazing. Man, get connected to you, get connected to people that can disciple you. Cause I love what I think evangelists bulky says that, you know with the ministry crossroad nation is that we don’t come here just to make disciples or we don’t come here just to make converts. We come to make disciples for Christ and that’s what it’s all about. The moment you give your life to Jesus, all things become new. Now you get connected. Now you begin to walk this life out of Christianity.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:40):
If someone wants to know
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:42):
More about your ministry or, or support you in doing crusades what’s your website, how can people find you?
Gary Smith (20:50):
Yeah. So our website is know your identity.org and we have a website there we’re also on Facebook. The ministry is called sun ship ministries, know your identity. And so yeah, you can reach out to those on the website or on Facebook. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:10):
So if you’re listening, encourage you to go and support the ministry of Gary Smith, a tremendous ministry you’ve also done crusades down in Chiapas, Mexico, which is tremendous. Tell me some about those crusades, what it took to organize them and what God did in Chiapas.
Gary Smith (21:30):
Yeah. Down in, in Chiapas, we had a local friend of ours is a, been a missionary down in there for oh mercy, over 20 years. And so I used to travel with an evangelist and he did bigger crusades and he passed away about five years ago. And so I reached out to the pastor and we were just talking about doing it and outdoor crusade. And so we began to do the, the logistics part of it. And that was the first crusade that actually did by myself. And we did it outdoors. We did a three, three night event out in a city park. It was beautiful. You know, we we seen about 2000 people there on the biggest night. I don’t remember the number of salvation and, but there were salvation. We had demons coming out of people.
Gary Smith (22:24):
In fact, this is this I’ve never experienced this before. Maybe you have really kinda caught me off guard. So after I had got done preaching, one night, I came off the back of the platform and there was a gentleman there and he called me, he called me by name and he said, Gary. And I said, yes, sir. And I turned around and he said, pray for me. And so the moment I stuck my hand out to start praying for him. He started boxing me. He started like throwing punches and I was like, what in the world is going on? Well, now I realize, you know, that it was a demonic spirit. And so, and I just remember every time that I would say the blood of Jesus or in the name of Jesus is saying got more violent. And it just began to get more and more.
Gary Smith (23:04):
And he never, he never hit me, but we were super close and I was just staring at him long story short. After a couple of moments, I felt the Lord say, okay, now you’re released to, to lay hands on him. And I did POV. God came, touched them. I mean, he just went flying down to the ground and he was out for a long time. And in that moment, so we have like this amphitheater city street, and then there’s a bar right behind it, right. Bar was playing music. And the moment that that gentleman went down in the power of God, the whole entire bar start shearing. Well, I got the rest of the story. He had been a local drunk and the Lord just touched him when he got up. He couldn’t even like walk hardly at all. He had the power of God was on him.
Gary Smith (23:48):
So strong. I helped him up. He sat on the semi, like where you step up, they get to the door. He stood there for about 20 minutes. And so but the preparation of that was done by the local pastors and the missionary. And they did a lot of that for us. And we kind of just showed up, preach the gospel. And we had a worship team come in. They traveled actually a far away. They traveled eight hours from [inaudible] area and they came into the city that we were in. And I love Mexico. I wish I spoke Spanish, but I love Mexico.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:24):
Yeah, I’ve done lots of ministry in Mexico. My parents were missionaries in Ciudad Juarez right across from El Paso, Texas. So I grew up working there and, and Chiapas is a great place to go. They need Jesus down there. So that’s wonderful. Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast. I appreciate
Gary Smith (24:41):
It. Thank you so much, evangelists, Daniel. I appreciate it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:44):
Thanks for listening to the evangelism podcast today. I want to ask you to partner with me to help lead people to Jesus. For as little as a dollar a month, you can be responsible for helping us lead at least one person to Jesus every single month. Over our 20 years of ministry, we’ve found that it costs an average of about $1 for every person that we’re able to reach. And so if you could just go to king ministries.com and partner with us for at least $1, just $1 partner with us to help us lead people to Jesus. Imagine for a dollar you can be responsible for starting a party in heaven every single month. And would you do me a favor go to apple iTunes and leave this podcast a review. Your positive review will help other people who are excited about evangelism
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:42):
To find this show. Thanks so much.
Evangelism Podcast Host (25:44):
And God bless you. Well more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.