February is supposed to be the coldest month of the year, but I’m excited to report that we saw many many warm hearts as God used His Word and His Gospel to reach the Lost. I
I pray that this update encourages you that God is very-much alive and still at work!
I want to say something about “Hecklers,” or those who react loudly and rudely to our gospel ministry.
We typically get fewer hecklers than you might expect.
I think this is because we really do try to speak reasonably to people in our words, our tone, and body language.
Being an Evangelist does not give us a “pass” from treating people with respect and dignity.
So we don’t often get hecklers. And when we do, they typically stop fairly quickly because I do not allow my team members to respond harshly.
The two verses I ponder often when it comes to evangelism are:
- “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
- “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
But you never know what you’re gonna get in the Subways…
Get this: BOTH TIMES God provided someone from the crowd to answer the Heckler! You just don’t see that very often!
Here’s the first one…
This doesn’t happen every day. While I was sharing a message in the subway, the man on the left got in my face and started heckling VERY LOUDLY.
He kept repeating over and over “You believe in talking snakes!? You believe in talking snakes?!”
He wouldn’t let me get a word in, so I started praying, “Lord, what will I say to this man when he finally stops to take a breath?”
Amazingly, the man in the back came out from the crowd and began eloquently proclaiming Jesus and His resurrection!
He skillfully countered the heckler with Biblical truths.
He spoke OVER the Heckler, saying things like: “Listen to what this man has to say; he’s telling you the truth about God!” He said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!” He said, “Jesus is the only way to God,” and “Jesus rose from the dead!”
Finally, the train pulled in and both the Heckler and the Christian man got onto the same train car together. (I can only imagine what that train car was like.)
I can only say, “Wow!”
In less than one week, it happened AGAIN!
I was sharing the gospel in the subway, and a LOUD and distracting heckler (on the right) got really close to me, interrupted what I was saying, and wouldn’t let me get a word in.
I actually thought that he might physically harm me because he got really close.
I was praying, “Lord, give me the right words to say when he stops talking,” but I didn’t have to.
A man from the crowd put himself physically right in between me and the heckler, pushing him back a bit, and physically shielding me from physical harm.
The man rebuked the heckler and told him to “let the man of God continue his message.” (I’m not completely comfortable being called a “man of God” but I appreciate the kindness.)
Then others in the crowd were shaking their heads in agreement that they wanted the heckler to stop and for me to continue sharing the message.
I don’t blame you if you don’t believe this, but I can assure you that this is how it happened. And this was the SECOND time in a week that a stranger came to my aid to answer a heckler.
Wow! God provides in unimaginable ways! If my face looks funny in this photo, it’s because I was stunned. Praise God!
You never know what’s going to happen in the open air, and you never know how God will provide and answer to an awkward situation!
As you look through the sampling of photos, please please pray for the people in them.
Seeds have been planted, and we ask for prayer that God will water the seeds and that they fell into fertile hearts.
I’ll let the following photos do the explaining of some of what went on this past month.
Please pray for us and those we meet!
In addition to the people in the photos, some other people who stood out are:
David: David is a young man who was wearing a baseball cap that had the “F-word” in large letters on it. After listening to my message, he came up to me and said very meekly, “I don’t go to church, but will you pray for me?” He didn’t say much, and boarded his train to leave, but not before taking gospel literature.
Corey: I was giving an open air message, and had just explained repentance, when a man in his 20’s walked right up in front of me and interrupted politely. He said, “Hey, I pushed you yesterday, and I’m really sorry.” So I thought back to the day before and I vaguely remembered being shoved. I said, “Of course I forgive you. I don’t remember anyone pushing me. I thought I got shoved just because it gets busy with a lot of people down here.” But he said, “No, I knew what I was doing and I did it on purpose.” He said this in front of everyone who was listening to my message. I asked his name, and he said, “Corey.” I told him my name and told him that I forgive him. We shook hands in front of everyone. He told me (and everyone else), “I am dealing with anger issues, but you’re alright.” I encouraged him to seek Christ and he nodded and left. What an amazing (and unexpected) object lesson for the crowd of Biblical repentance. Corey didn’t make up excuses for why he pushed me. He admitted it, owned it, and apologized for it. I pray that he finds forgiveness in Christ through the gospel!
Ricardo: I was really glad that my friend, Proctor, was with me the day Ricardo came by. Proctor is a nurse, and Ricardo is a War Veteran suffering from PTSD. He was having visible side effects because he abruptly took himself off of medications without his Doctor’s help or guidance. Proctor was able to talk to him about his PTSD and his medications, and we prayed for him that he would seek Jesus and know Him as Savior. Ricardo appreciated it and told us he was going to the hospital now to get a refill of the medications that he took himself off of.
Lena: While I was handing out gospel tracts, Lena came around the corner and just stared at me. She told me that she hadn’t prayed to God in 3 years, but that morning she prayed for the first time. She was taken aback that after praying to God for the first time in three years, just a few hours later she ran into me, a Christian handing out Bible literature. Lena thanked me and promised to read it and seek the Lord Jesus!
Maria: Maria is a polite Christian woman who recently arrived in the US from Guatemala. She came right over to our team and addressed us formally as “Evangelists.” She asked for tracts in Spanish and wanted extras to give to her family and friends!
Billy: One of my team members, Wes, got into a good conversation with a young man named Billy. Billy shared with Wes how God had recently delivered him out of the homosexual lifestyle. Praise Jesus!
Sage: Honestly, being an open air preacher can be discouraging. There are times I think nobody is listening. One day I gave a short message that, in my mind, nobody was listening to, and it didn’t appear to me to be very engaging. Well, God knows how to encourage! A young woman named Sage came right up to me after my message and said emphatically, “Praise God! Keep doing what you’re doing!” God used Sage to encourage me just when I needed it!
William: William is a Veteran in his 60’s and a Roman Catholic. He said he doesn’t understand “Born Again.” He kept insisting that God will honor his track record of good deeds and military service and let him into Heaven for that. Very sad. Please pray that the Holy Spirit moves in William.
Zayda: Zayda is a Hispanic woman who confided in me that her husband had just past away 2 weeks previous. She was very concerned about how her daughter, Barbara, is taking it. She said Barbara is asking a lot of questions about eternity. She thanked me for giving her a gospel tract. I promised to pray for Zayda and Barbara.
Immanuel and Abinet: Of these two young men, Abinet appeared to be the one most moved and convicted by the gospel message. He said he grew up in a Christian home, but doesn’t follow the Lord. I’m certain he has a mom praying for him, hoping that he’d run into other Christians to share Christ with him again. Please pray for this young man.
An Ethiopian Muslim: Eric didn’t get this young man’s name, but he stood out because he said something you almost never hear from a Muslim. After talking with Eric, he said “I realize that I need God’s grace.” This is nearly unheard of for a Muslim, as Islam doesn’t have a concept of grace. Very exciting!
Manny: Manny is a young man who grew up Roman Catholic, but says he’s looked into Mormonism and Christianity. When I took him through “The Good Person Test” he admitted that he’s not good enough to go to Heaven. But instead of being interested in grace, he said that he will be good enough to earn his way in by the end of his life.
Diane: It’s amazing what giving a gospel tract to a stranger can lead to. When I gave one to Diane, a middle-aged African-American woman, she got sooo excited, and said she’s looking for a good church and asked me to recommend one. She gave me her email address and I had the privilege to send her info on a solid Bible-believing Church not too far from where she lives!
Atheist Racist Guy: My friend, Proctor, was ministering with me in the subway, when he received a racist comment. Proctor is African-American, and an Atheist white man walked right up to Proctor and said, “How can you, as a Black man, follow the religion of your oppressor?” I thank God for Proctor, because he ignored the race-baiting, and merely told the man that the issue isn’t race, but getting your sins forgiven. Jesus is Savior for all races. The man argued for a bit about Christianity stealing from Egyptian mythology (a ridiculous position we hear from time to time). We didn’t get his name, but God knows his name. Please pray for him. Thanks!
Melanie: Melanie is one of the sweetest and nicest Jehovah’s Witnesses I have ever spoken with. She’s only 19 years old, but is very intelligent and well-spoken. What’s really cool is that just a few days before, I updated a “Cheat Sheet” that shows where in the Bible that Jesus is God, so it was fresh in my mind. After reviewing a few Scriptures from her own Jehovah’s Witness translation that show Jesus’ deity, she asked me outright, “Well, who raised Jesus from the dead?” I said, “I’m so glad you asked. Great question!” And I had her open to John 2:19-22 and had her read it aloud. Then I said, “Who was it who raised Jesus from the dead?” And she said, “Huh? I think I’m going to have to study up on this one.” This is HUGE because Jehovah’s Witnesses hardly ever show indications that you’re reaching them. I told her, “Melanie, you’re bright. You can see that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. Jesus is God.” Please pray that she turns away from the Jehovah’s Witness cult and turns to the true Jesus of the Bible. And please pray that I’ll run into her again. And if you want that “Cheat Sheet” on the Trinity, you can download it for FREE at: http://luke-15.org/trinity.pdf.
If you want to see what an Open Air message looks like in the subway, I made up a spontaneous one on “Ash Wednesday” because I saw so many people with ashes on their foreheads. Please feel free to watch this short gospel presentation below…
We love you and thank Jesus for you!
Thank you so much for your prayers, financial support, and notes of encouragement, without which we would not be able to reach the Lost for Jesus Christ!
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