Sunday, July 03, 2011sorry for being late...
(Full disclosure: My family and I were away all week last week. We were far out of town on vacation. I didn't like missing our annual Canada Day evangelistic effort, but the cottage we rented could only be booked on the last week of June. I didn't leave Pastor Tim high and dry however. I worked things out with Brother Rodrigo and Marcio for them to be there to help the good preacher throughout the day. Without further ado... here is Brother Rod's report...)
First I have to apologize for the intrusion. This is not Rand, but I will use his space on the Web to give you an account of how our Canada Day evangelism was. He was not able to participate this year because he was away with his family, but the Lord gave us the opportunity to do it.
Well, introducing myself, it is enough to know that I have a privileged position in this world, I am a slave of Jesus Christ, but you can call me Rod if you want. :)
My son (Marcio), Pastor Tim and I arrived at the preaching spot (right in front of the Rideau Center) a little after 9:00AM and we started the work before 9:30. Pastor Tim tried to talk to the many people heading the Parliament using a speaker and a microphone, but some entertainers and their noisy presentations made his work impossible at a certain time. So we could “only” give out tracts and walk with the big Bible signs from that moment on.
The Open Air Campaigners were there as well and helped us a lot by watching Pastor Tim's stuff and giving us water sometimes. May God bless them!
I am happy to report that thousands and thousands (and thousands) of people were challenged by the Word of God on Canada Day as they passed by those “crazy” guys holding the signs. Some (apparently Christians) would encourage us with words like “God bless you”, “That's what they need”, or “I agree with what you're doing”, and there was even an old lady, Spanish speaker, who not only encouraged me, but also told me a lot of passages she knew from the New Testament. That was great!
A considerable number of people asked us if they could take picture of us holding the signs. “SURE!!!” I hope they will post those photos on Facebook or whatever, so that others will read the Word of God too. Awesome! :)
However, for the most part, people were hostile to us and despised the “Words of eternal life” as if they were garbage, but there was nothing too serious concerning our physical integrity. A few situations we experienced:
1. One atheist came to Marcio and started questioning the existence of God. As he tried to discuss with him, another guy to whom he had just given a tract “came to his rescue” by answering the atheist's questions and making him silent.
2. Two guys tried to knock down the sign Marcio was holding with punches.
3. Marcio was hit twice by paper balls (or something like that).
4. Marcio talked to some Muslims who asked him about his beliefs. When he answered, they doubted everything he had said. Marcio then asked if they believed that Jesus was a prophet and, after hearing their positive response, he told them: “Then you have to believe what He said: I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me”. They didn't know what to say and left.
5. A man showed me his bad finger once.
6. Another man said I should give him a break and stop doing that (at least) on Canada Day, followed by the “F” word.
7. Another man pointed his finger to my face (very very close) and said: “Look into my eyes! God is dead!”. He laughed with his partner and left. It amazes me that he thought that was funny.
8. About 4 p.m., Marcio and I were holding the signs in the same place when a drunk man showed up. First he tried to convince us of how boring our lives were, holding those signs while he was “free” to get drunk and high, and then he said: “I have read the %$#@ Bible many times, and it says that we have to repent. Well, I will live my life and I can repent before I die, and when I get to Heaven I will kill both of you.” I felt sorry for him.
9. One of the Gideons gave Marcio a New Testament, which he put in his pocket. Later in the day he spoke to a woman who asked: “How can I have Him in my heart?” He said: “Read the Bible!”. Then she (probably jokingly) asked him if he had one. He pulled the New Testament out of his pocket and gave it to her. She was surprised and happily accepted it.
10. There was a reporter close to the Parliament recording (or doing it LIVE maybe) something for the TV channel he worked for. When I noticed that, I positioned the sign in a way that his spectators would read the Word of God. I hope it worked! :)
None of our opponents gave me a change to reply to their nonsense as they would speak and leave immediately, so my strategy was to ignore them completely, pretend they were not talking to me, or sometimes look seriously in their eyes for them to know I was not joking there. Some of them changed their behaviour after finding out they were not being funny at all.
As Pastor Tim said, for the most part Canada Day is just an excuse to get drunk, and it breaks my heart to see so many people ignorant of God like that. They couldn't care less, which reminds me of the following passage:
“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. ” (Judges 17:6)
We went back to Pastor Tim's a little after 5 p.m., joyful that the Lord had strengthened us to do His work, and despite all the bad things we saw and heard, it was a great experience to serve the Lord by spreading His Word on Canada Day, and I hope we will be able to do it again next year.
Also thank you for your prayers! I know you expected Rand to be there and prayed for him, but even having the wrong name, our Lord, who knows all things, heard your prayers and was gracious to us.
All being said, let His name and His name alone be glorified.
God bless you all!