I have previously wrote about how we go downtown on the first Friday of the month to preach, handout tracts, and hold up signs. We have a wide open door in this capacity. We have had no opposition from the local authorities although they have been there and have heard us preach and have had people complain about us. Praise the Lord!! We have also gone down to the pier at St Simons Island and preached on all the other Friday Evenings as well without any opposition.
This ministry has allowed free course to preach the gospel, but has also allowed us amazing opportunity to meet some interesting people. The first night we went down to the First Friday Festival, Bro Mike Alford was carrying his banner while I was handing out tracts while we walked to the corner where we were headed to preach. As we walked down the street, everyone kept telling me, as I offered them a tract, that they did not want one because they already had one. After about 10 people told me this, I started getting slightly irritated. I knew (or thought I did) that we were the only ones down there preaching. I told Bro Mike, “All these people are lying.” Well, we got to our corner, and a few minutes later, a fellow walked up holding KJV gospel tracts. This was the night I met James McQueen, a brother in Brunswick who is trying to reach the community with the gospel. Boy, did I feel small when I realized the folks weren’t lying. Lord help me to not be so presumptuous.
That same night, we also met some more folks that were pretty interesting. At the end of the evening, a man and his wife showed up who claimed to be Christians (notice I said claimed). They (mostly her) proceeded to tell us that our preaching was annoying and Unbiblical, and that I would never reach anyone using this method. She said that I need to quit yelling at people. (This is a common complaint) Where it got interesting is when she told me that Jesus did not go around yelling at people or even raising his voice. I asked her how Jesus preached to 5000 people at one time without lifting up his voice. The response was “Jesus did not raise his voice, he stood with his back to the water and the wind carried his voice to the masses as they sat on the hill. Acoustics” I could not help but chuckle. (We have preached on the pier at St Simons and I can assure you that although the wind may push your voice, it will not reach 5000 if you simply speak normally.) So the inevitable question that I always try to ask folks that tell us we are wrong is “what method do you use to sinners for Christ?” The answer was amazing. They told us they go to the bars and sit down at the counter, order a beer, and while they are drinking it, they will try to “share the love of Jesus” with those sitting next to them. I asked them how many people had gotten saved as a result of this method and guess how many!! You got it!! NONE!! I looked them right in the face and told them considering the fact that apparently neither of us has any fruit to show yet (remember it was our first night out) that I would continue doing what I was doing. I would rather get no fruit and please God, then not get fruit and sin against God in the process.
Another fellow we met was there that night at the same time. He was a short, older guy who was carrying a shofar (rams horn) around and randomly blowing it. When we asked him why, he told us the story of how they used them in the Old Testament. I then asked him why he personally was walking around blowing it, and he replied that he was blowing it for Jesus. Kinda strange, but I asked him to blow it loud so everyone could look in our direction and when he did, I immediately started preaching. Not sure if it worked, but it was fun.
The next month, down town, I met another interesting character. Diana Reed. She is an older black women who is sort of a celebrity in the black churches in the community. She has a weekly radio program called “Save the Youth.” She also organizes an annual shoe drive where a lot of black performers come for charity. When we she saw us downtown preaching, she stood across the street and listened for a while, then came over and spoke with us. She asked me to come on her show and tell everyone what we are doing. She also invited us to attend the annual show drive to tell everyone why we preach on the street and what we preach. We accepted both offers and what an open door this has turned out to be. (To see us at the Save the Youth shoe drive click here)
Another fun little story to close this out is a true story of a young man about the age of 15 named Ryan. One night when we were down there, he came by and was giving Bro Mike Alford a hard time while I was busy preaching. He told Bro Mike that he believed that his God was Aunt Jemima. Bro Mike assumed he was joking and joked back with him that Aunt Jemima was fictional. He pretended to be offended and walked away and avoided us the rest of the evening. (Although he kept walking back and forth with his friends giggling.) The next time we were down there he came by again trying to be funny. Some may not have patience for this kind of stuff, but my heart really goes out for young people. So when he came by, I showed him where Jemima was in the Bible. (Yes, she is in there, go look it up and post it in comments when you find it.) I think because I humored him he stayed and talked for a bit. He started in on his Jemima Theology which he and I both knew was just silliness. But as the conversation went on, he started to be a little more serious. He shared some things in his life that were pretty traumatic. Told me about his home and how he lives with his mom and has no idea where his dad went. After 20 minutes of me humoring him and then listening to his heartaches, He allowed me to give him the gospel. He actually seemed to listen this time. He did not get saved that night, but he did take a new testament and a gospel tract and promised to read them. He was supposed to call me, but I have not heard from him yet. I am praying I can have opportunity to speak with him again this next time we go.
So these are just a few folks we have met in Brunswick as a result of the Street preaching ministry. A few others include the 4 Mormon girls who are always there and make it a point to come by and say hi. Bro Mike proceeds to preach against Joe Smith one night and the girls just look over across the street and smile and wave at us. We have met rich, poor, old, young, homeless, blacks, whites, men, women, and kids as a result of this ministry. This is just the start of a fun adventure.
Christian, you think life here is boring? Get out and take the gospel to the world and you will never be surprised by who you run into. I am sure others have stories to tell as well, and I would love to hear them. Post them below. God Bless,