Saturday, April 03, 2010what a week... what a night...
What can I say? It's a crazy country I live in! Last week, I was freezing while giving out Bible tracts downtown (it was slightly under -10C). I had my gloves on, a toque and two jackets on. Tonight, pastor Tim and I preached the Gospel in a balmy 20C warm spring night. That's a 30 degree Celsius jump in a week! C-R-A-Z-Y!!!
Suffice to say, I didn't have my winter gear on.
The combination of the fine, warm weather and the fact that, being Good Friday, most people had the day off work today, brought tons of people to the marketplace. Lots and lots of people to preach the Gospel to. Pastor Tim and I both preached tonight (we're both getting over lung infections), and handed out a good number of tracts to sinners. I get the feeling we did better than usual tonight because it was Good Friday. That's not to say that everything was just peachy for us out there, but the general attitude towards our ministry was slightly more favorable tonight. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit. To Him be glory and honour forever. Amen.
Pastor Tim and I both had conversations with a group of "Muslim" men, and both of us ended up walking away from the conversation after realizing it was a complete waste of time. We were, ultimately, being mocked. You'll notice that I put the word "Muslim" in quotation marks because the men were downtown chasing after sin, there was nothing spiritual about these men. I was told by these men that I needed to "open my mind" to their religion. I answered that I preferred keeping it well closed from their abominable practices.
A few minutes later I had a pleasant conversation with a woman named Rachel. She was at best an agnostic... she had some spiritual beliefs but they were pretty "new age". She asked how I came to be "such a religious guy". I explained to her that the Lord saved me, and that the practice of my faith wasn't mere religious liturgy, but rather, a natural response to the work of God in my life. She seemed really taken by my passion and joy in Christ. She said:
"You certainly seem happy!"
She took a Bible tract and thanked me to have shared my thoughts with her. I hope the Lord will start a work of grace in her life, even tonight!
It was about an hour after that conversation that a very drunk man, still holding a beer can in his hand walked up to me. The young man said he knew me. It took a couple of seconds, but I recognized him... it was Andy. In my teen years, I worked on a farm in the summertime; Andy's parents owned the farm. I watched Andy and his sister grow up, I even babysat them from time to time. I had hear that Andy had gone in a bad way... drugs... alcohol... and that, while he was a teenager!
This wasn't the first time I had seen Andy in the marketplace. Twice before I saw him, both times the company he kept mocked me to scorn, while Andy quietly walked away. This time, he was alone. This time, he didn't want to walk away. It was clear in our long conversation that Andy has come to realize that he had thoroughly messed up his life; and that he did it in record time. He is just 27 years-old. I could also tell that he felt a tremendous amount of guilt over how I had been treated in our last couple of meetings. He shook my hand a minimum of four times, and at one point, I think he wanted to hug me.
I made it clear to him that I held no grudge, and that I was genuinely concerned for him. That I was concerned for his very soul. I told him to stop drinking. I told him to call on me if he needed help. I gave him a Bible tract and asked him to come to church. He kept telling me that I was right, and that he was going to get in touch with me. I wanted to believe him, but I recognized that look on his face. The look of addiction. Do any of you know that look? I could just tell that for me to suggest he put away the booze and drugs, for him, it was like asking him to cut off his own legs.
I truly hope he does get in touch with me. I pray that he will come to church on the Lord's Day, but I'm not holding my breath. Call me a pessimist if you will, but I know that getting out of that kind of addiction requires a "Class A" miracle! The Lord has and does deliver those from time to time, but not too often. O that the Lord would deliver poor Andy tonight!
I have to say, going back to our street evangelism after my time with Andy wasn't easy. My heart was heavy. The Lord did help me though, and I carried on. Lots of souls read my Bible sign and lots of people took tracts from me in our last half-hour of evangelism.
I'll close the notes with this plain statement... after the mind-bending week I've just had, spiritually, I think it sums up what is in my heart: "Thank you, Lord, for saving me from my sin and folly, which would have ruined my life!"
Have a safe weekend, dear readers. Remember to honour the Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism