Saturday, November 12, 2005a rough night...
This is where I was earlier today with my eldest son, Remembrance Day ceremony in my country's capital, Ottawa. It was a solemn service, prayers were said (not in Jesus' name unfortunately), Bible passages were read, and expressions of thankfulness to our veterans were expressed. It was good to see my fellow countrymen in such a serious and solemn state; sadly, it didn't last.
Just a few hours later, roughly 1 km away from the site of the ceremony, my pastor and I were soldiering on, preaching the Gospel of Christ in the marketplace. Let me tell you, it was anything but a solemn night. People were back to their drinking, cursing and immorality, and that, in full force.
We preached for almost 3 hours and I must say that the first 2 hours went fairly well. We distributed some Gospel literature, we preached openly with our little amplifier, and no one antagonized us too grievously. But then came the last hour, and it was pretty brutal.
It's almost as if the marketplace had had enough of us, because in that last hour we were cursed at, mocked, scorned, and finally, my personal favorite, threatened with violence. Yes, yet again I was faced with my old weakness of not being able to deal well with violence. Everything started when this man walked by me and told me to go "bleep" myself.
"The Lord will one day punish you for your vile words sir, lest you repent of them," I replied.
The man just mocked me and started walking away, but one of his buddies, who was lagging behind him because of his drunkenness, took exception to my preaching, so he tried to grab the microphone headset I was wearing. I moved away to get out of his reach and at that point, he decided to try kicking our amplifier to bits. At this moment I was frozen in confusion. The drunk fool had time to kick the amplifier 4-5 times before I snapped out of my muddled state and moved in front of the amplifier.
"If you won't repent, can you at least learn to respect?" I asked him, preparing myself to receive a few kicks myself.
"Who do you think you are? Paul? You trying to be Paul?" he asked mockingly.
"That's exactly who I hope to be like," I answered gravely.
At this point, the drunk man's friends were getting nervous that the police would come and arrest them for damaging our amplifier, so they took him away.
My pastor and I surveyed the damage and thankfully, only the protective casing of the amplifier was damaged (my pastor, wisely, placed the amp in a wooden casing with a metal mesh in front of it, to protect his investment).
The drunk man eventually came back, probably out of fear we would press charges against him, to survey the damages himself. We took advantage of this "calmer" moment to impress on him that it was the combination of his drunkenness and his hatred for God that had caused him to do so wickedly. He took it all in and walked away. Please pray for the poor lost man, that the Lord would even this night, reveal to him the wonderful Gospel of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And please continue to pray for me, that I may be bolder and braver in the face of persecution and violence.
God bless you all, dear readers, and goodnight...
(you know... it's after night's like this that the words of the Apostle John sound so sweet to me: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)