Saturday, November 27, 2010winter is definitely coming...
On top of the regular clothes I wore to work today, I had to add all of the gear in this picture for tonight street evangelism. There was snow on the ground, and a frigid wind blowing through town (I can still hear it through my bedroom window as I write this post). Tonight was a foretaste of the winter that is yet to come. Street evangelism is, on many different levels, a test of will. By God's grace, I'll carry-on through yet another cold Canadian winter, preaching the Gospel of Jesus in the heart of my city.
The Open-Air Campaigners have stopped their Friday night evangelism for the winter, so I took their spot tonight and handed out some Bible tracts. It's a good spot! In front of me, and behind me were the main entrances of the two busiest shopping malls in town. Traffic is constant. Hundreds and hundreds of people walking by my Bible sign as I offered tracts with my other hand. After an hour of that however, the wind really started picking up some I retreated to my usual preaching spot (it offered more cover), and preached for another hour.
During my time between the shopping malls, I had a short conversation with an old friend of mine, a Pentecostal woman came by and offered kind words (she told me she prayed and would continue to pray for me), and endured the sometimes hard, sometimes embarrassed faces of sinners as they walked by me. Two women, in particular, come to mind. The first stared at me with hateful eyes as she walked by me; after she passed me and was well behind me (oh... how cowardly!), she yelled out:
"Why don't you volunteer your time to help those who actually need help!"
"I am," I replied, "you need help..."
She was too far away to hear what the rest of what I had to say which was: "... you just don't realize it."
Another woman walked towards me, carrying in her arms a bag full of booze. She was obviously under conviction. She started to come towards me, and then retreated. She did that two or three times. Finally, she tucked the bag as tightly into her coat as she could, then quickly came to pick up a tract from me. I never said a word. I felt the Holy Spirit was doing the work just fine without me.
During my hour of preaching, I spoke a couple of men who were visiting the city from Toronto. Both showed respect and even a measure of admiration for my efforts. They told me that while they both liked to have "a good time", they did reverence and take the Lord seriously. So I asked them if they were born-again...
"Uh... no," they both replied.
"Jesus said in the Bible that if you're not born-again in this life, you won't be in Heaven in the next life," I continued.
"That right?" one of them said.
"Absolutely," I answered.
"So how does someone get born-again?" the other inquired.
"Well, God has to make you spiritually alive... that's what it means to be born-again. God uses His Word, the Bible, to give spiritual life to men. So reading and hearing God's Word is extremely important," I answered.
By this point, it was clear that the men didn't have much appetite to get real serious about these spiritual matters. So they both shook my hand and gave me a "goodnight". One of the men took a tract from me; here's hoping it will have a stronger impact in the future.
Finally, Scotty came by and shook my hand. Scott is a panhandler/alcoholic who has taken a liking to pastor Tim and I. We got to know him over the years and have shared the Gospel with him quite often. He is still spiritually lost as lost could be, and in dire need of salvation. Would you join me in praying for this fellow, that the Lord would use this friendship to get Scott out of the kingdom of Satan, where he is currently enslaved?
That's the report for tonight, dear readers. Remember Pastor Tim in your prayers: he has been working crazy hours the last few weeks, so I've been without a partner for awhile now.
Special thanks to all the kind words I've received the last few weeks... you all know who you are. God bless you, dear brothers and sisters.
Labels: Friday evangelism