I thank God that we’re back on the streets – well, technically we’re “under” the streets.
Subway ministry is one of my favorite aspects of what we do all year. We meet all types of people of all ages. People come from all over the world to be in Boston, and we talk to and give out gospel literature to people from literally every continent on the planet. Well, maybe not Antarctica, but all the others. 🙂
I reported on this blog a few months back that my family and I were considering leaving the ministry because we didn’t have enough funds coming in. That’s all changed and we are so thankful to God and to you for praying and generously giving so that we could stay on the field to be used by God to reach Muslims, and Hindus, and Jewish people, and Mormons, and Atheists, and Agnostics, and just about any belief system you could think of! If you want to read about how God remarkably came through to save the ministry, please do so at: http://luke-15.org/2015/11/god-showed-up-and-were-heading-back-on-the-streets/.
You don’t have to be from Boston to know that it’s COLD in New England in the Winter. The Subways are a SUPERB place to meet strangers and talk to them about their need for Jesus! I just love it! (Isn’t it kind of the City of Boston to go through the HUGE expense of carving out these underground tunnels, just to give a warm place for people to hear us preach the gospel??? And they even put trains in the tunnels and send us tons of new people to reach every 10-15 minutes!) 🙂
I’ll let the following photos do the talking so you can get an idea of what it’s like to minister underground. Please pray for us and those we meet!
I want to take a moment to thank Jesus for favor with the authorities. The “law” is on our side. We are allowed to preach in the open air, give out literature, and approach people down in the subways, but sometimes the Police don’t know that, or maybe don’t care. One afternoon when I wasn’t there, Eric was asked by the Police to stop, but he politely assured the Officers that he was allowed to do what he was doing, and asked them to check with their superiors. They called headquarters and were informed that Eric wasn’t breaking the law, and they let him continue. Praise God! Just a few days ago I was leading the team when two undercover Police told me I had to stop. Politely and respectfully, I assured the Officers that our activities were legal. I referenced a 1991 ruling by the State Supreme Court of Massachusetts that was very clear on the matter. The Officer looked up the legislation on his phone, and after reading the verdict, he shook my hand and wished me well. Praise God for the Police who don’t prevent us from legally and peacefully sharing Jesus Christ with the Lost!
In addition to the people in the photos, some other people who stood out are:
Nate: I handed a gospel tract to Nate and he gave me his business card in return. But it wasn’t a business card. It was a card with information about Polygamy. Nate is a Polygamist. I said to him, “am I understanding this right? You’re advocating for being married to more than one person?” He corrected me. He said, “One man, but multiple women.” Wow, right here in Boston. Then he spoke what seemed like a rehearsed speech about the nobility and social benefits of polygamy, not letting me get a word in at all. When he finally took a breath, I stayed focused on the gospel. I asked him if he was a Mormon. He said “no.” I asked him if he is a born-again Christian, and he said, “of course.” I exhorted him to read his Bible and follow Jesus, but then his train came and he was off. You meet all kinds of people in the subway!
A Sad Violent Man: I don’t know this man’s name, but he was very sad and very violent. As I was about to begin my first open-air message for the day, a terrible rancid stench overtook the subway platform. It was easily the worst smell I’ve ever experienced. People started to leave and dry-heave. The smell came from a man walking in who was obviously homeless. I can only imagine that it was the smell of feces that had been on him for days, or longer. I wanted to talk to him, give him money, or do something to help him. But it became obvious that he was mentally ill, or demon possessed, or both. And he was violent. He kept repeating loudly, “You wanna test me? You wanna test me?” Then he yelled a number of obscenities. Then he sat down and fell asleep instantly. After a few moments, he woke up and began swearing again. Then he took one of my gospel object lessons and threw it across the platform. I was concerned for his safety and the safety of others, so I called the Police and they came down and escorted him out. I don’t know what happened to him. I hope he got help, and a shower, and is being seen to. Please keep him in prayer.
Dominique: Dominique is a Christian that we met who overheard when Tom was yelling at Wes. Please see the photos above for an account of that. Dominique was praying for Wes and told him after Tom left that he had tried to witness to Tom before and got yelled at too. How great is God that in the midst of dealing with an angry Atheist, God would send a Christian to pray and let us know about it!
Megan: I gave a gospel tract to a young woman named Megan. She said, “Is this one of those Jesus papers?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “I get these a lot.” So I said, “Maybe God is trying to get your attention.” She said, “Yeah, I think so because when I read this I find out that I’m a liar and a thief and a really bad person.” So I said, “Did you read the end? The end tells you that because God loved the world so much, He sent Himself down to die on the cross to pay for the sins of liars and thieves and really bad people, and we’re all in that category.” It was as if a light went off. Megan thanked me. We talked about Jesus some more and she gave me prayer requests! Imagine that! An unbeliever who doesn’t even know me, gave me the names of her children, and asked me to pray for them. So I prayed on the spot and she thanked me and said she’d really think about Jesus being Savior.
Angry Phone Man: On the same day that the “sad violent man” came to where we were ministering, another man (whose name I didn’t get) came over to where we were and disrupted the ministry with violent and loud swearing. He picked up the hand-set of a pay-phone and began yelling into it. He yelled so loudly that people on the other side of the platform could easily hear him. Lots of people were looking. He wasn’t talking to anyone on the phone, just yelling into the headset, “Hello! Hello! Hello!” and swearing at the top of his lungs.
Chuck: After preaching a short Open Air message in the subway, a young man named Chuck came up to me and said, “Dude, I’m a Christian, and I loved what you said, but I’d never have the guts to get up there and say that in public!” So I said, “I didn’t think I’d be able to do it either, but I started one step at a time and God is soooo good! You know He wants to use us to reach people. So pray for boldness. Pray for love for the Lost. And start somewhere. Not everyone has to open-air preach, but find a way that you can make an impact for the gospel. Maybe hand a gospel tract to a stranger. Try that and see how it goes.” He smiled and shook my hand and got on his train. I pray that God uses Chuck to reach people for Jesus!
Mike: Mike called the phone number on the back of our tracts. I picked up the phone and he asked me for my help to find a good solid Bible-believing Church in Cambridge, the city right next to Boston. Mike is new to the United States. He’s from Uganda, and I gave him a few suggestions for good churches. His accent was very strong, so it was hard to communicate. So right after we got off the phone, he texted me his email address to make sure that I’d email him the Church names and websites. Isn’t that great?! He and I have emailed back and forth a few times since. Praise Jesus!
Scott: Wes, one of our team members, met Scott a Jehovah’s Witness. Wes initially thought that Scott might be open, but he texted Wes links to Jehovah’s Witness website articles. Please keep that relationship in prayer, that God will rescue Scott from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and bring him into a relationship with the true Biblical Jesus.
Anti-Semitic Man: The Police had stopped me and my team one afternoon, but let us continue once I explained that what we were doing was protected free speech. A tall African-American man came up to me and said, “What the Police tried to do to you was illegal!” He was very forceful about it. So I said, “Well, the good news is that they dropped it and let us continue. I’m happy about that.” Then the man said, “They are trying to get rid of your rights. And you know who’s in charge of that?” I said, “No.” He said, “The Jews!” I was so taken aback by the blatant antisemitism and that this man had no shame sharing his antisemitic views with me, a person he doesn’t even know, that I honestly thought I heard him wrong. So I said, “Well, the Police have a hard job. They’re doing their best to keep the peace down here.” But then the man said again, “It’s because of the Jews.” I’d love to tell you that I had a great comeback for him, or that I told him that his prejudice is wrong, but honestly I was speechless. I was literally dumbfounded and had no idea what to say. He did take a gospel tract from me, so I pray he reads it and comes to meet the Savior Who is Jewish, and loves all people. I mentioned that the man was African-American because, I would think that he would know what it’s like to be the victim of racism or prejudice. We live in a world full of sinners, and we all need the Savior, Jesus Christ. Oh, did I mention that Jesus is Jewish???
If you want to see what an Open Air message looks like in the subway, please feel free to watch one that was recently recorded below…
We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!
And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!
For Christ and His gospel,
Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella