This weekend I went to Wisconsin to see my friends Betsy and Jane. And I met a new friend, Marla. We made a day trip to Wisconsin Dells, city of water parks and tourist attractions, which means lots and lots of people.
We went there with the intent to share the gospel. We handed out many, many tracts and had several conversations along the way. On main street, we split up. Marla and I took one side of the street and Jane and Betsy took the other. Marla and I had just met that morning, but we ended up making a pretty good team. Marla is much better at starting conversations than I am, but I have no problem talking about spiritual matters once the conversation is started. We soon figured out how to play off of each other's strengths.
A few memorable encounters:
- A young woman named Emily(19) who had no church background (not even Christmas and Easter). She allowed me to share the gospel with her. She listened very intently and was very polite. I urged her to think about what she heard and search it out for herself.
- A man named Bob (love the name Bob!). He was a lot of fun to talk to because he truly thought about every question that was asked and seemed to be intrigued by them. He had a Catholic background but didn't practice any longer. He seemed to lean toward the idea that all people will go to heaven. When asked if that included people who committed great acts of evil (such as Hitler), I could visibly see that he had never thought about that before. Then he said, "I have never thought about that before. I need to think about it." We only got half way through the conversation with Bob before his family came out, and they moved on, but we left him with some good material to mull over.
- My big tract of the day was the red and blue illusion tract. I love that one for people sitting on benches. I handed some out to a large family who had just posed for a picture near one of the benches. A few minutes later one of the girls from that family, a young woman named Francesca (Hi Francesca!) approached me and asked me about my ministry. She told me she was a Christian, and we chatted for a few minutes. We exchanged blog & e-mail addresses. It was a joy to meet her, and I look forward to corresponding with her.
- Our last encounter of the day was with a man named Enrique. He was from Chicago (as was Francesca--oddly enough I met only one person from Wisconsin in Wisconsin Dells). Enrique started out saying he believed that when we died our bodies would go into the ground and our souls would go into something else, much like reincarnation. But halfway through the conversation he said he also believed in Jesus. When I took him through the law, he began to sober. When he said that the bad he has done is in the past and behind him now because he's done many good things since then, I asked if that logic would work in a court of law if he had committed a crime such as rape. I asked if the judge would let him go because he had done many good things. He said, "Not a chance!" The analogy seemed to resonate with him, and he later told us that he had a few friends who were currently in prison (some serving life terms). We left Enrique with a lot to think about and a lot to read (he said he loved to read--we just happened to be prepared for a statement such as that).
Those are just a few of the conversations we had that day and just the conversations Marla and I experienced. The same kind of thing was happening on the other side of the street with Betsy and Jane.
We passed out many tracts, had many conversations, had many rejections, shared the gospel many times. It was a great day!
I pray the gospel will take seed in the hearts of those who heard it and that God will be glorified.
When asked the question "What do you think happens to a person when they die?" Many people (close to all) said "I've never thought about that before." That's a good reason to be out there having conversations with strangers. Give them something to think about.