I don’t post an update about every single time I do ministry in the subways, but today was sooo unusual because of the extremes, it’s worth writing about.
I received a verbal pounding by two people at once when I first starting speaking (story below), all the way to the other extreme where people were so open and had such tender hearts.
Here are a couple of photos from today (please click to enlarge):
Please pray for the following people:
Pablo: When we were waiting for our subway train to take us in the heart of the city, Aaron recognized Pablo, a man he had witnessed to a few days ago. Pablo referred to himself as a “seeker.” So what are the chances of running into him again in such a large city? As we were chatting with Pablo, we found out he is half Jewish. So I shared my story with him, how I became a Christian while trying to disprove Christianity. Since we were taking the train into the city, and there were multiple stops, I got to share at length how God saved me, a self-righteous Jewish young man. Pablo was very interested and took one of my testimony gospel tracts, A Jew and His God! 🙂
Pablo claimed that his stumbling block was the resurrection, and so Aaron recommended a YouTube link that shows convincing evidence for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But I somehow think that Pablo’s real issue is in the heart – that he doesn’t yet want to submit to Christ. He doesn’t see himself as needing forgiveness. So please pray that Pablo will be convicted of his sin and call out to Christ! And it would be great if we could run into him again. 🙂
Elaina: This is amazing. After I shared my story with Pablo about how I came to believe in Jesus as Messiah, I handed him a paper copy of my testimony. There was a young lady in her early 30’s sitting next to Pablo, and she joined in and in a strong European accent, said, “I’m Jewish too.”
Her name is Elaina and she also took one of my testimony tracts. She told me she is from Amsterdam. She showed me her bookmark which had a photo of Anne Frank on it. She heard me share my whole story with Pablo and thanked me for the written version of the tract. What are the chances that I’d sit on the train next to two Jewish people who didn’t come together? Amazing! Please pray for Elaina!
Mr. James and his kids: We ministered at the “Government Center” stop on the train line today. The first time I got up to present a 6-minute gospel presentation with my ropes, there were about 50-60 children. I estimate their ages to be between 8 and 12. I started the way I always do, and when I mentioned that I’d be doing a magic trick, the kids surrounded me big-time! As soon as I mentioned the word “sin” a 20-something man who appeared to be in charge of the kids rebuked me harshly. “Hey, you can’t say ‘sin’ to these kids!”
“Okay,” I said, and continued with the words “bad things.”
Well, when I got to the part about us all missing God’s standard and deserving punishment and that Jesus died and rose again to pay for our punishment, Mr. James nearly had a coronary incident!
He yelled at the kids to quickly get away from me and not listen. You’d think the train station was on fire with the ferocity that he wanted the kids to get away!
Two great things happened:
- I was able to clearly get in that if we turn and trust in Jesus, then we get to be forgiven.
- A number of the kids argued with Mr. James saying things like, “I agree with this man. I agree that Jesus died and rose again!” Out of the mouth of children!
An Older Woman: After Mr. James pulled the kids away from me, an older woman in her 60’s shouted at me that I need to learn about “separation of church and state.” I replied that children are being taught all kinds of things in school, and would it really harm them to hear about a God who loves them and has provided a way of forgiveness for them?
Then she started singing very loudly, “God Bless America” in an effort to drown me out. It was really bizarre.
- Melke: I hope I got her name correct. I might be wrong about her name being “Melke.” But please pray for her anyway. God knows her name. Melke is a sweet woman in her 30’s from Ethiopia. She took a gospel tract from me and then came back to tell me that she was looking for an Ethiopian church and asked if I could help her find one. Neither Aaron, nor myself know of one, but I told her that if she emails me, I’ll do my best to try to find her one. Please pray that Melke emails and that I’m able to find a Bible-based Ethiopian church to suggest to her.
Nisha: Just as I was able to chat with Pablo the whole train ride into the city, Aaron got to speak with Nisha the whole train ride back out. Nisha is a young woman in her 20’s. She’s a Hindu from Grenada. Aaron spoke with her for about 20 minutes and clearly explained the gospel and the uniqueness of Biblical Christianity.
Nisha was very open and even gave Aaron her email address so she could hear more. Aaron gave her a New Testament and she agreed to read The Gospel of John. Nisha appeared to be very open to the gospel message, and admitted she had never heard it before.
- A Number of Muslims: It seems that we are seeing, and witnessing to more and more Muslims. I gave out about five or six “Gospel of Luke” booklets in Arabic to Muslim women, and to one Muslim man. One group was from Saudi Arabia.
- International Tracts: In addition to giving out a more-than-usual amount of Arabic tracts, we were able to give out plenty of Spanish tracts, one in Amharic, and a few French. Not a bad way to reach the world – the world comes to us! 🙂
So you can see why this post was entitled “All Extremes In the Subway Today.” God is at work, and for that, I’m very thankful. I’m also thankful for your prayers, encouraging notes, and financial support. God bless you!
with love in Christ,
Mark (and Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella)