You never know what is going to happen when you go out on the streets to talk about Jesus, but last week we had a day that was just crazy, bizarre, and intense!
Right at the beginning, a man named José came up to me to exhort me to warn people about the dangers of Islam. That was strange. He was really serious. He and I spoke for a while, and he is a Christian, and he really wanted me to tell people how dangerous Islam is.
I told him that my team and I get to witness to Muslims all the time, and we are aware of how dangerous Islam is, and we pray that God uses us to reach Muslims for Christ. I got José’s email address and look forward to staying in touch with him.
I have to tell you, José’s message was well timed because we had a number of combative and angry and vocal Muslims the whole time we were out downtown. Very intense.
Still, God provided a number of great conversations. Many listened to the proclamation of the gospel, and many more took gospel literature
Some notable people God sent our way that I’d like prayer for are:
Demetrius: Demetrius is a young man in his 30’s who remembered having Eric drive into his neighborhood when he was a kid to run Bible Clubs there. He said he remembered the paintings “vividly.” He also said he has since converted to Islam. Eric got a good chance to reason with Demetrius for a long time about salvation and the Bible.
Ryan: Ryan is a Muslim student from Saudi Arabia. Ray spoke with him for nearly a half hour, and they opened the Scriptures together. Ray shared with him a Bible in Arabic that Ryan read.
Group of High-School Students: A few weeks ago I met a group of High-Schoolers in the subway, and got to share the gospel with them. I used a “curved illusion” object lesson with them to start-up the conversation and to help them remember the gospel message. Well, wouldn’t you know! The exact same group of kids came by when Wayne was preaching from the sketchboard. They noticed me, and got very animated, saying, “Hey, that’s the magic trick guy from the subway!” So I got to talk with all of them and let them know that God must be after them since we met twice in just 3 weeks! I got to share Jesus again with them, and encouraged them to repent and believe the gospel. It was very cool to run into the exact same group of kids again!
Carlos: Both Ray and myself got to talk with a very intense man named Carlos. Carlos said he remembered me from last year. He told me that I “disrespected The Prophet.” Then I remembered Carlos from the summer. I said, “Do you mean that I disrespected Muhammad because I pointed out that he married a 9-year-old girl?” He got REALLY ANGRY again. He told me there’s no proof that Muhammad married a 9-year-old girl. It’s interesting to me how Muslim’s can contradict one another, because a different Muslim man was there listening in, and he agreed that Muhammad DID marry Aisha, a 9-year-old, but this man said, “But that doesn’t mean they actually had sex when she was 9.” I just pointed out that if a grown man marries a 9-year-old, that makes him not a holy man. Please keep Carlos in your prayers. He’s very zealous for Islam, but zeal without truth is not good.
My team and I really ask God to help us stick to the gospel message and not get side-tracked. When speaking with all these Muslims, we kept asking them how they “get right with God.” It was all the same answer – by doing good things. According to Islam, you have to earn Heaven.
So then we ask them, “Who are you trusting in for your salvation?” and they all say, “I’m trusting in God.”
See the disconnect there? They admit that you have to earn your way to God, but they live with the contradiction that they’re trusting in God, when really they’re trusting in themselves and their works.
So when they say, “I’m trusting in God,” we point out, “But that’s not what you just said. You said you have to earn it by what you do. You’re trusting in yourself and that’s not safe.”
Please pray that the Holy Spirit breaks through and makes these men understand this.
One neat thing that happened was that when I was handing out gospel tracts, a man took one and said, “Hey, I remember you. You gave me one of these before,” and he smiled and thanked me. There is great benefit in going back to the same places and repeatedly reaching out to the same people. Who knows how many times someone needs to hear the message of salvation before they turn to Christ?
God is always at work when we go out to represent Him, and there’s always Spiritual Warfare, but some days that’s more apparent than others. Last week we had one of those days. That’s why your prayers are so vital and appreciated!
Please check out the following photos to get a better idea of how the day went.
Thank you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and financial support. Without all of those, we could not be reaching the lost for Jesus Christ!
Please feel free to share this with others you think would be encouraged by it, and who will pray!
all for Jesus,
Mark (and family)