Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Preaching through Discouragement

This afternoon, I (a little later than usual) drove downtown Freeport (Bahamas) to the main bus stop to my preaching spot. I was a bit discouraged, as I’d arrived late & the normal crowd of people were no longer at the bus stop. I stood back at my car & watched….I guess looking for an excuse to not go.

After a few minutes, I realized I had been pacing back and forth in front of a taxi; I guess looking somewhat weird. I stepped up to the passenger window of the cab and began to talk to the cabbie. I asked if he was a Christian man (not such a weird question here in the Bahamas). Because there were not that many people there, I was asking for ideas of another place where I could preach. This sparked an interesting conversation.

This cabbie was from Eluthera and had come here at the request of his brother & for work. He began attending the Christian church his brother had been attending for some time. After he’d been here a short while, his brother died. He went to the church for help in burying his brother and was put off several times; he went to the Catholic church and they ponied-up and buried him….he’s turned to the Catholic Church….we talked about this for a while & he then was called away.

Encouraged a bit, I gathered my stool, amplifier and back and began to walk towards the bus stop. I walked by a food stand and a group of people standing around drinking beer. I handing them all Million Dollar Bill tracts…the first one refused, so I gave them to all the others. One of the men followed me over to the bus stop and as I was setting up, began to go into a rant….seeming to vacillate back and forth between thinking I was a demon and liking the idea that I might preach the Word of God.

I stood up and began to preach and I finally got a Bahamian heckler…but a little too timid, he walked away after five-minutes or so and waited to talk with me later. I began to preach and thought that few were listening….but the crowd hanging around was much larger than I’d originally thought. I preached for a while, opening up judgment, law, the wrath of God and the Gospel. I talked for quite a time on evidence of being born again and false-converts. Several standing in front of me had their attention fixed on me the whole time.

When I was done, I encouraged those listening to swallow their pride and come and get a “Are You Good Enough To Go To Heaven?” tract, take it home and compare to their own Bibles. Amazingly, quite a few people came forward. Most of a group of young men that had been standing half facing away from me, came forward and got tracts.

A young man names Lavardo took a tract and talked to me for a LONG time. ‘Vardo’ seems to have had a horrific family background. It turns out that Vardo lives with a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses but is burning to follow Jesus Christ. He reads his Bible very often & is very concerned about sin. He mentioned that he has no one; that it would be much better to have a Christian buddy to hang with…to teach him and keep him in line. He seemed very, very concerned with his personal struggle with sin. I drove him home and agreed to drive him to church this Sunday….we’ll see if he comes.

I’ve been kind of discouraged lately; today was a great encouragement.