Thousands are expected to brave the cold and rain today for the annual Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Louisiana. The day, known as “Fat Tuesday,” refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Known for debauchery, drunkenness and sexual promiscuity, hundreds of missionaries have been in the Crescent City this past week sharing the Gospel on Bourbon Street and the neighboring French Quarter.
Since 1996 Raven Ministries International has hosted teams in New Orleans for its annual Mardi Gras outreach.
“In order to reach the multitudes it’s going to take the multitudes,” Troy Bohn, pastor and director of Raven Ministries International, said. “We’ve been praying that God would send the laborers.”
Answering the Cries is another ministry hosting young adults from across the nation for outreach activities during Mardi Gras.
“Mardi Gras Outreach is an opportunity to see people saved for the first time,” said Pastor Lloyd Zeigler of Relevant Church in Addison, Texas. “There were also many opportunities to minister, but the greatest thing I saw was that those opportunities were preceded by training. Training to do it better than maybe anyone has done it before, and a freshness to stay up on that training.”
In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII made Mardi Gras a Christian holiday. He also placed the day on his Gregorian calendar
According to the Times-Picayune Mardi Gras reached North America when the LeMoyne brothers, Iberville and Bienville, arrived in the late 17th century. King Louis XIV sent the siblings to defend France's claim on the territory of Louisiana.
Publication Date: March 4, 2014.