Saturday, November 18, 2006back to "doing the stairs"...
Another week coming to an end, which means another Friday night spent preaching the Word of God in the marketplace of my city. My pastor, brother Laz and I were the evangelists on this c-c-cold night, and we toughed it out for a good three hours.
Did I mention it was c-c-c-cold??? 'Cause it was cold. I don't know what I'll do in a few weeks when we start going into the -10 degrees Celsius, because, right now, it's slightly above 0 degrees Celsius, and I was freezing. Now before you all start calling me a wuss, bear in mind that the humidity level in my part of the globe is extremely high right now, which makes it feel much colder than it actually is.
Anyway, when the chills start setting in to us preachers, there is only one remedy: the stairs. Yes, the stairs. Right behind the place where we preach, there is a multi-level parking garage, with several sets of stairs which connect the different levels. To warm-up real fast, we run up and down these stairs as fast as possible. We probably look like idiots (why would that bother us, we're called 'nuts' just for preaching the Gospel), but nothing gets the circulation going like "doing a few flights of stairs". There is a downside though: it's extremely tiring... especially in the evening of the last day of a long work week.
So when we weren't running up and down stairs to keep warm, this is some of the events that took place tonight...
Poor, dumb Rand:
After going around the market with a Gospel sign, I made my way back to our preaching "spot" for my shift was coming up (to preach, that is). A couple walked past me, and with a very patronizing voice, the woman said:
"I'm so sorry... I really am... for the kind of life you're living."
I was preaching in front of our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign, when a young man came out of a nearby restaurant and said:
"Can you turn your sign around, man?"
"No," I replied. "What's the problem?"
"You can't go around with a sign like that," he continued. "It's a hate crime!"
"Call the cops," I replied.
I tried to explain to the young man that the passage he was so offended by was from the Bible and that he was going to have to answer to it one day, but he would have none of that. He left cursing and mocking.
Dave, the drunken Romanist:
Three young men came by as I was preaching. Two of them mocked and cursed grievously against me and walked away. The third man though stuck around and took one of my Bible tracts. He told me he was a "catholic" and that, though he was drunk, he still believed he was in a good position to teach me the merits of Romanism.
The conversation was a short one.
I drew is attention to the sin of idolatry which infested the Romanist religion. I quoted to him the Second Commandment, and just like clockwork, he immediately started to attack the inspiration of Scripture by saying:
"Yeah, but the Bible's been translated so many times, how can we know if any of it is true?"
At that point, I knew that dealing with this man was going to be a waste of time, so I told him I would pray for him, and I encouraged him to open his Bible, and actually give it a chance. His name was Dave, and I invite you, brothers and sisters-in-the-Lord, to pray that the Lord give him no rest, 'till he seek God in His Word.
"The Worst Kind":
My pastor has been dealing with a Romanist woman for a number of weeks now. She always walks by us on Friday nights, on her way back home. This woman is a SERIOUS Romanist. Definitely not the garden-variety hypocrite type. So anyways, my pastor and this lady have it out again: she tries to show him the importance of praying to "Mary", using images/graven images to assist in worship, and all other manner of Romanist nonsense, and my pastor attempts to straighten this poor woman out.
Well, when my turn to start preaching came up, I dropped off my Gospel sign, leaving it with my pastor, who was still with the lady in question. I then moved a few yards down the street to preach. When the conversation between the Romanist woman and my pastor ended, my pastor walked up to me with a smile on his face and said:
"You know what that woman just said?" he began. "She said that I was a good man, and that I was going to Heaven, though I will be missing out of many 'blessings'. But as for you Rand, she said that as a former Romanist, you are the 'worst kind'.
He then tapped me on the back, laughing hysterically.
All and all, it wasn't a great night. A lot of mockery, a lot of insults. Matthew, the drunkard threatened us a few times. Very few tracts were given out this time around. But one thing is for certain: God was glorified in the market tonight.
Please continue to pray for us. Tomorrow is the Santa Clause parade in my city and we are going out with our Gospel signs. We're going to show everyone that the most precious gift they can look for this Christmas season isn't in any shopping mall:
"The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23b)