Wednesday, July 01, 2009what an exhausting day...
I'm sooooo tired right now... so forgive me, dear readers, if this post isn't too coherent. My family and I made our way to pastor Tim's house at 9am this morning, where we prayed that the Lord would bless our traditional day of evangelism on Canada Day (for my American readership, July 1st is our "4th of July"). My wife and my eldest son joined pastor Tim and I as we made our way downtown with Bible signs and Gospel tracts (my two younger ones remained with pastor Tim's wife).
We set our Bible signs up near a mall where there is always tons of traffic and pastor Tim and I began to preach the Gospel while my wife and my son distributed some tracts. A "mall cop" came by two or three times in an attempt to get rid of us, but we knew we were on public property, so despite his threatenings, we stood our ground. Never ceases to amaze me how crazy the Gospel drives some people. The Lord have mercy on his lost soul.
We were able to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ until lunch time in this extremely busy area of downtown, handing out a fair number of Gospel literature. By 12pm though, the noise level downtown was so high, hardly anyone could hear our preaching, even with the use of an amplifier. So pastor Tim and I decided to split up. One of us would go preaching at our usual preaching spot (seen in the image above), while the other would continue giving our Bible tracts where the massive crowds were; we decided to trade spots every hour.
My wife, being 8 months pregnant, had had her fill of street evangelism at noon, so she made her way back to pastor Tim's place with my son. A short time after they left I had an interesting conversation with a man from the Czech Republic named Joe. Joe knew his Bible pretty well and he was absolutely appalled by the wickedness of the city. He said 50 years ago, the only place you would have found the kind of filth that surrounded us, was in the darkest, most heathen of backward tribes. I agreed.
I'm not sure if Joe was truly born-again, or if he was just religious. I tried to find out by asking, but he was evasive (not a good sign). The Lord be merciful to him.
I spoke to a lot of professing Christians today, but most aggravated me to no end. The bulk of them were out playing with and like the world, and then brought complaints over our evangelistic method:
"Don't you think you're turning people off?" one said.
"Well I'm a youth pastor, and I don't believe you should be convicting people by telling them they are going to go to hell lest they repent," another claimed. "That's the Holy Spirit's job, not yours."
"People are different today, we're more sophisticated, you can't go around like Paul and Peter and preach fire and brimstone," yet another said.
I can't be too hard on them, I once thought as they did. They believe such garbage because from day one, they have been taught this garbage by men who should have been spending less time preaching, and more time reading God's Word. Still, I have to admit, that by the end of the day, I really didn't want to meet another such Christian.
My wife and kids dropped by in the middle of the afternoon to say goodbye, as they were going back home. My eldest then asked me if he could stay to help. I have to say that I'm not a big fan of having my family around in my evangelistic efforts. Violence is always a possibility, and the last thing I want, is to put my children in any jeopardy. On top of that, I know all too well that my countrymen are vile enough to curse, blaspheme and even mock my eight year old son... and that's something I knew I would have a real hard time dealing with.
I therefore wanted to say "no", but I said "yes". I felt it was important for my son to see what his daddy does every Friday, and understand how unpopular his father's faith is. I basically wanted him to see and understand for himself what it was to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in a wicked and perverse world. I think the poor lad got quite an education. One woman walked by him and pointing at me, said:
"Don't believe him! He's crazy!"
Despite the persecution, my son stayed by my side, unfazed by the folly around him. A few Christians came by and encouraged us both, and that put a smile on both our faces.
We saw lots of people we knew during our time of evangelism. We had a short conversation with Brother Chris of the Open-Air Campaigners, Brother Henry of the Gideons, Brother Pascal and his wife Jenny were both out with their baby girl, handing out WOTM tracts, and near the end of the day, we had a small chat with Collin, who has visited our church on a number of occasions. I also had a chance to talk to a couple of teens that were once part of our Sunday School classes. Sadly, both left God behind... the Lord have mercy.
After nearly eight hours of street evangelism, pastor Tim and I called it a day and had a short time of prayer at his house. We thanked the Lord for the safety He gave us, the tracts that were handed out, the conversations that we had, and my son's interest in helping us out.
To God be the glory.