Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Witness Report #3

This last Sunday night a friend accompanied me down to Finlay Park. There were hundreds of people there and I actually got nervous about witnessing in a crowd! But that's why we go in the power of the Holy Spirit and not the flesh, right?

I remember a number of years ago three of us went down on the street one night and had not been down there 15 minutes when we were approached with man with no legs. When we started sharing the gospel with him, he stuck out what legs he did have and hissed at us, "heal me, Jesus. Heal me."

I cannot fully relay to you what we experienced, which was just about down-right horror. See, we left that night without praying about the evening, for the conversations and the people we would meet. We just picked up our stuff and left. That night we were chased off the street by a man with no legs. We went in the flesh. Each time I've gone witnessing (and I don't say this lightly), I pray. I pray for clear communication, for prepared hearts and safety.

We got to talk to a number of people and actually distributed a number of tracts. Woodford was sitting on his bike watching the crowd when we approached him. I opened the conversation by talking for a while about what was going on at the park--a state agency was putting on a job-fair and was making good contributions to society in their good ways. What a perfect springboard! I asked Woodford if he thought good people should go to heaven.

"Sure," he said, crossing his arms.

I asked him if he was good enough to go to heaven.

"Nope." He admitted to lying, stealing, even murder through abortion. I asked him if he wanted to go to heaven. "Sure." he repeated.

When I began to present the complete work of Christ on the cross and the necessity of repentance, he brightened and knew exactly where I was going. "I ask God for forgivess and repent every day. I know I am going to heaven now."

I explored his statement a few more ways and felt he had taken my initial questions very literally and now sought to understand what his next step was. I invited him to church and encouraged him to read his Bible and pray.

Further down into the park was a place built like an ampitheater. People were sitting all over the place and noted how perfect that place would be for open-air preaching! Some day . . .

On around the side I came across two 12 year-old boys looking into the pond. My friend and I pulled out some "I.Q. Test" tracts and thought to have some fun. After they made an attempt at the answers, I shifted gears and asked one if he thought he was good enought to go to heaven. He took a very very long pause and said, "I don't think so. Maybe. I dunno."

For some reason I asked, "where do you go to church?"

He answered, "Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses."

Oboy.

I could'nt help myself. "If I had a knife in my back and had three minutes to live, what can I do to live forever?"

He stared at me, mouth hanging open.

I put the stress on. "C'mon! Clock is ticking! I got 2 1/2 minutes left! Blood is streaming down my back! Help me! How can I live forever?"

He stammered something about needing to know the Bible?

"How much is enough? I got 2 minutes until I die!"

He could not answer.

I said, "Let me let you off the hook here. I want to tell you how you can live forever--and it will take 2 minutes for me to tell you. Do you know the Ten Commandments?"

"Yeah," he looked at his friend.

"Ever told a lie?"

"Yes."

"Ever taken anything that didn't belong to you?"

"No."

I reminded him he just told me he was a liar. His friend laughed.

I began to continue, but suddenly the boy looked up and said, "I gotta go find my dad." And the boys took off running.

We talked to a few more people and had a good and lengthy conversation with an entire family. As I talked with the father, mother and sister, my partner decided to try to talk with the son. They admitted their need for repentance and I encouraged them STRONGLY to do just that. I invited them to church and the father looked at me like he just won the lottery. "I was just telling my boy this morning [he hits his son on the shoulder] that we gotta go to church somewhere." I told him where I sit (generally) and he was welcome to join us. I pray they follow through.

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