Saturday, January 09, 2010an exercise in dexterity...
A frigid night of street preaching tonight. It went down to -15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit); -20 Celsius with the windchill factor (that's -4 Fahrenheit my friends). Both pastor Tim and I were out in our full winter gear: heavy snow boots, thick winter jackets, heavy mitts and heat packs for my fingers and toes. At first I thought that my gear wouldn't cut it and that I would be one frozen preacher by the time our 3 hours of preaching was done, but I fared rather well.
Street evangelism is such extreme temperatures is quite challenging. For example, I can tell you that after an hour in such sub-zero weather, it becomes difficult say certain words when preaching the Gospel: my lips get so cold, that certain consonants are impossible to clearly enunciate. Also, have a look at the picture above. Have you ever tried handing out small Bible tracts with heavy mitts on? I don't know how many times I nearly dropped my tracts in wet snow tonight, but it was more than five times.
The cold weather also made for a quiet marketplace tonight. We still preached the Gospel to hundreds of souls, but there were a few stretches where no one was around (you don't see that happening in the summer time!). Pastor Tim and I only gave out a dozen tracts each, and pastor Tim was pretty much the only one to have one-on-one conversations with sinners and saints alike; on two occasions, the good preacher was encouraged by Christians. I have to admit, by the end of the night, I was beginning to feel left out! ;-)
I did have a short one-on-one conversation with a wicked soul who came to me with the sad and terribly used idea that I wouldn't be "Jesus-only" if I were born in another land where Christianity wasn't well established. I, of course disagreed. I told the young man that if God was to save me, He would have saved me wherever I was. I also made clear that some of the most faithful and godly Christians in the world are the ones who live in countries where the Gospel is suppressed, and Christians are persecuted heavily. The sad soul had no appetite for my profession, so he walked away, shaking his head. The Lord be merciful.
The only other persons who spoke to me... well other than those who hurled mockery and profanity at me... were a group of three young people. They thanked me for my Gospel work, told me that "I was blessed" and that "the Lord would remember and reward me", but then they walked into one of the bars at the end of the street. "Oh dear..." I thought. They confessed that I was blessed and would be rewarded of the Lord, but as for them, well, none of that! Trade it all away to play with the world. Again, the Lord have mercy.
I did witness a rather funny one-on-one conversation between pastor Tim and an old Romanist. It wasn't really a conversation because pastor Tim just let the old man talk, figuring that any discussion would be a waste of time. The old "you need to preach more positively" came out, along with some "don't speak of judgment and sin", and a dash of "God wants to save, not judge". I tried hard not to laugh while I watched pastor Tim do his best not to roll his eyes. When the old man was done with his monologue, he walked away and I just couldn't resist saying:
"You heard the man! Now shape up preacher!"
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Labels: Friday evangelism