Saturday, March 17, 2007it's good to have a partner...
I apologize for the little blogging I have done lately, dear readers. I have just noticed that my last post was last weeks "notes". It's extremely busy at my work. I'm actually writing this post from the lab, where I am desperately trying to get this ion-trap mass spectrometer to behave (yes, I'm in the lab at midnight). If you have no idea what an ion-trap is, or a mass spectrometer for that matter, don't worry... all you need to know is that I'm having a hard time with nerdy stuff.
I haven't spent the whole night here though... I just got in from 2.5-3 hours of street preaching. My pastor came out with me tonight. He's still struggling with that lung infection which has been plaguing him all winter, but in the words of his wife: "he was getting pretty antsy. He just had to go out preaching tonight." He couldn't preach at all tonight, he just held the Gospel sign and distributed Bible tracts, but still, it was a real blessing to have him back with me. He did his work a few streets down from where I was preaching, but it was nice to know that I had a friend nearby, if I needed him.
We had a number of profitable, and unprofitable one-on-one conversations tonight, and we handed out a good number of tracts too. It really wasn't a bad night. Here are some of tonight's events:
1- A miserable drunk, and a pretty bold preacher:
These drunk natives are a real problem in Canadian cities. They come from all over the country; from different reserves, but their stories are all the same. They were born to parents who were drunkards/drug abusers, they grew up without anyone taking care of them, they got into trouble with the law, they got into drugs/alcohol, and now they beg for spare change on every street corner to get their next fix.
One such soul walked up to me while I was passing out Bible tracts. He wanted me to move to the other side of the street so that he could beg for money from my spot. Not wanting to give him any trouble, I gave him my spot under one condition: he wasn't to complain if I preached the Gospel from the other side of the street. He promised he would give me no trouble whatsoever.
Well, the promise of a drunkard isn't worth too much! Less than an hour later, he was cursing and screaming blasphemies, ordering me to "shut up". I wasn't impressed. I walked right up to him (and bare in mind, I'm not a big, tough man), pointed my finger at him and said:
"Not only are you a miserable drunk, you're a liar too! You promised me you would leave me alone. I was kind and gracious to you, and you thanked me by being as vile as you could be. Next time you come around for a favour, my friend, you're not going to get it. And if you give me any further trouble, I'll ask the police to deal with the situation."
Considering he was getting a scolding from a shrimp, he took it all pretty well. I don't know if I got through to him, but that was the end of his shouting. The Lord have mercy on this poor soul.
2- Absolutely hilarious!
I offered a Bible tract to a young fellow who was walking past me from my left. To my right was a group of 4 teenagers who had already taken some literature a few minutes prior. The young fellow politely refused my offer, and I just said: "okay..."
Well... that definitely wasn't "okay" with two of the teenagers! The two teens got in the way of the young man and said:
"Hey man, you should take of this guys pamphlets, you know? I mean... come on... this guy's been out here for... uh... how long has he been here?"
"Couple of hours now," I replied with a huge smile on my face.
"A COUPLE OF HOURS!" they continued. "I mean this guy's probably not getting paid a cent and he's standing here in the cold to give you this pamphlet about God... don't you think the right thing to do is to take one and support this guy?"
The young man looked puzzled by the scolding/guilt trip he was being handed by these two teens he had never met before. Nevertheless, the man took my Gospel tract and thanked me. I just tried not to laugh out loud at the whole situation. Each teenager also took a tract and one of them said:
"You're doing a good thing, and I'm with ya!"
3- "But... are you born-again???"
I had a great one-on-one conversation with a young Frenchman. It was good to witness for the Lord in my native tongue. He asked the right questions and I got the impression that he was interested in the Faith, but somewhat lost the sea of religion he had been exposed to. He told me how he was born a "catholic", but that he had been to other churches (mostly charismatic), and explained to me some of his views on matters of faith. After a few minutes, I simply asked him:
"But... are you born-again?"
He told me that he had attended "born-again" churches, and that he liked some of them and thought that they were probably in line with the Bible.
"Okay," I replied, "but that's not what I asked you. I asked you whether you were born-again."
The man quickly replied that he had seen "born-again baptism", but that he himself hadn't been baptized by "born-again" Christians.
"Right," I again replied, "but again, you're not answering my question. I didn't ask you if you went to a born-again church, or whether you had been baptized by people who claim to be born-again. I asked you if you are born-again."
At this point, I took over the conversation because I didn't want to embarrass him by making him feel dumb. I told him what the Second Birth was all about; I explained that the Holy Spirit gives life to a dead sinner when a person is born-again, and when that happens, nothing else but Jesus will do! The immorality, the drunkenness, the idolatry... all of it... it had to move out, and Jesus had to come in. Then I said:
"Listen my friend, I don't think you're born-again. Just by the things you have told me, I have a picture of a man who likes God and the Bible, but he loves fooling around with women more. I see a man who likes religion, but loves sin more."
He was pretty earnest at this point, and agreed with my assessment. I encouraged him to read the Scriptures and to honestly ask God to save him. I told him that I was once as he is, but that when God got a grip of me, there was no turning back; that I now go to bed with God, and rise up in the morning with my Lord. I invited him to church on the Lord's Day, promising to give him a French Bible if he came. I will be praying to see him again, on Sunday.
4- The boozin' "catholic" showing us Baptists the Way...
My pastor and I both had a conversation with this Romanist who was trying to set us straight. He pulled out a chain that was around his neck, and at the end of it was an image of the Romanist Mary. He told us the usual garbage that Jesus' first miracle was done after the "command" (yes, the command) of the His mother, and that surely was an indication of the preeminence of Mary.
We tried and tried to show him the Gospel. We tried to reason with him that what he had around his neck was an idol and God hated it, but he would hear none of it. And that's when my pastor got a glimpse of a mickey in his coat pocket.
"What's a good "Christian" doing walking around town with a mickey in his pocket?" my pastor inquired.
The man bolted.
There, that's the notes for tonight. I just got home from work. It was a really slow ride back, it's past 1:30am now. We're having quite a snow storm. Here's hoping it's the last one before spring!
Anyway, I'm beat and it's time for bed. I hope to get more blogging done next week. Have a good weekend, dear readers.
Labels: Friday evangelism