Saturday, March 22, 2008smooth, quiet night of preaching...
While tonight was definitely a quiet night for us street preachers, the marketplace of my city never has a dull moment. I took this picture as I was making my way back to my vehicle after our customary three hours of street evangelism. There were four police cars with a small army of officers investigating some nonsense that a group of young people had either witnessed or caused (I don't have any details, I do my best to keep my nose out of things that don't concern me). As I looked over, from a distance, at the whole spectacle, I thought to myself: "what an aggravation it must be to try for these officers to deal with sinners who just won't behave with the minimum of civility. A preacher puts up with a lot when evangelizing, but a police officer must put up with a whole lot more nonsense on any given day. The Lord help them and bless them.
As I have already mentioned, tonight was a quiet night of street preaching. I suppose that having most of the downtown shops closed for "Good Friday" kept the number of souls in the market rather small, but no matter, even on a quiet night, we have undoubtedly shared the Gospel with hundreds of souls through our effort.
It was cold tonight. It wasn't freezing by any stretch of the imagination, and we have undoubtedly been out preaching on colder nights, but it felt pretty cold to us. I suppose the mild weather we got last week, combined with the official start to Spring just yesterday weakened our cold weather resistance somewhat. After our first hour of preaching, my fingers and toes were completely frozen. I started praying that the Lord would keep pastor Tim and I going despite the cold, and the Lord didn't disappoint...
I was preaching my second half hour when a car pulled up in front of me. A young couple with a baby in the back seat asked me for a couple of our Bible tracts. I immediately gave them the literature. The young lady told me she was a Christian, thanked me for my service and the couple took off. Moments later, as pastor Tim was preparing to preach his second half hour, the young couple returned. They asked us if they could get us something warm to drink.
My heart melted within me.
You have to understand... all the mockery... all the vile cursings... all the threats... all these things that we endure during any one of our preaching endeavours... when someone breaks away from these and not only shows us civility, but actual honest-to-goodness kindness... well... it's like giving a cup of water to someone who has been lost in the dry desert for days!
Anyway, the couple came back five minutes later with a cup of tea for me, a hot chocolate for pastor Tim and a couple of warm muffins on top of it all! In the middle of the small tray they handed to us was a small printed note which read:
"God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Phil. 2:9-10)
Precious is the name of Jesus, Sweetest name on Earth;
Who in Heaven or Earth can utter all its worth?
Now in Heaven, He still is Jesus, To whom all must bow;
Oh how glad the heart that to Him boweth now.
I thanked the young lady for all that she had done for us, and blessed her in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and I continue to ask the Lord to bless and guide these kind souls now and forever. As the Lord blessed the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37 for showing kindness to the prophet Elijah, the Lord care and bless these dear souls.
Shortly after this, the Lord gave me opportunity to share the Gospel with a group of young, black men. It was difficult to tell if they were favorable to the Gospel or if they just had a sincere, though carnal, respect for my endeavour. I encouraged all the men to seek the Lord by studying the Word of God, that through such reading and studying, it could make them wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). May the Lord bring back into their minds throughout the night and the weekend the things I have shared with them tonight, and may He cause the light of His glorious Gospel to shine in their hearts.
I also dealt with one of the street beggars who was complaining about my preaching from across the street. He got more and more disruptive so I asked the Lord to help me deal with the man. It was then that I looked straight at him and said:
"You will curse this night one day, my friend. You will curse the day that salvation was right across the street and you instead complained, wanting your cursed drugs and alcohol, the very things that may very well damn your soul one day, more than the Gospel of life."
The man's complaining became a grumbling and mumbling after those words, and he troubled me no more. The Lord show this most miserable of souls much mercy.
Finally, I want to mention another thing that happened tonight that is worth praising God about: while I didn't see them, we were told that the Open Air Campaigners were out preaching the Gospel a few blocks down from where we were preaching. The OAC usually stop their evangelistic efforts in the winter season, so I'm glad that they are back for another season of evangelism. The Lord bless them and help them in all their work.
That's it! I'm off to bed now. I again thank all the dear saints that have and continue to pray for Pastor Tim and I's ministry, and thank you, dear readers, for keeping up with our escapades through this humble blog.
The Lord bless your weekend, especially the Lord's Day.
ps: a special congratulations to Cathy (aka Pearl) from Of Great Price, who has given birth to a little boy tonight. I don't have much details, other than the child is healthy, and the name is Samuel. God bless you, sister.
Labels: Friday evangelism