I would like to share a few testimonies from our inner city evangelism as of late.
DOES JESUS STILL HEAL PEOPLE?
Recently, as I was open air preaching and Lina was translating, we finished by inviting people to come forward to hear more about the Gospel, have their questions answered, receive Gospels of John, or to receive prayer. An old man came forward very slowly, limping and stumbling very slowly, obviously having a great difficulty walking. As he approached, he told us that he had a sciatic nerve problem and that nothing he does can cause the pain to be relieved. No matter which way he stands, or sits, or lays, it hurts just the same, and he could hardly walk. So in faith, the man asked for prayer. We prayed and laid hands on him in the name of Jesus, and the pain ceased. He told us that it felt warm when we were praying, and that it doesn't hurt any more. Then he quickly walked off without limping and without any difficulting walking! Actually, he walked off so fast that we didn't even get a chance to talk to him any more, and barely managed to get a Gospel of John in his hands!
OPEN AIR CAMPAIGNERS
We have also managed to meet another brother that open air preaches in the city. He is with the ministry, "Open Air Campaigners". These guys are known for their sketch board method, where they paint and preach at the same time on the streets. This brother brings a blacklight and florescent paint and as it gets dark in the city squares, the paint glows on the board and it attracts a lot of people. We have been meeting up with him lately to preach. Just this last weekend, they had a whole team come in from Canada and do an evangelistic campaign in the city. It was a great time of witnessing to all the people that gathered, and all of us had some really good conversations with people about their eternity. We have a couple of contacts from this outreach of people requesting that we come to their home to give them personal bible studies.
EX-DRUNKARD STILL CHANGED
Some of you reading this may recall Javier, the man we talked about around 6 months ago. He was a man that lived on the street, homeless, and was one of the worst drunkards we ever saw. He couldn't even eat without washing his food down with strong liquor or else he would get the shakes and vomit. As we would preach in the city, he would frequently stand by weeping and crying out to God for forgiveness. During that time, not only was he homeless, in bondage to alcohol, but he was also violent and suicidal. It was just a matter of time before he died on those hard streets. But one day when we were preaching he finally said he wants to change. So we took him to a Christian rehabilitation center in the city and get this, they rejected him, saying he was too far gone. They told us to bring him back in a few days if we can manage to keep him sober for that long. So having no other choice, we took him into our home.
During that time, he wept constantly. He went through withdrawls, through shakes, through mood swings, etc. But every time he would get bad we would pray for him and he would feel better. Well, after that few days of staying in our house, he was sobered up and feeling better. Now he didn't want to go to that rehab center any more. So we put him on a bus and sent him to his parents' house.
Now his parents had rejected him and kicked him out of their house because of his drinking problem. But now that he was sober, he was going to try to go back. Since then, we hadn't really heard from him.
Last night, we ran into him as he was walking through the city. He actually stopped to hear the brothers with us preaching, and we saw him there. He looked different! No longer dirty, smelling like alcohol. He was clean, nice clothes, and had glasses on his face! He would always tell us that he wanted glasses so he could see but he didn't have any money, and he wanted them so bad that we prayed and asked the Lord to give him glasses. Well, now he had them! He told us that he was now living in his parents house, which means that he's not drinking like he used to. And also, he had found a job at a tire shop and was working. His next step is to learn how to read.
It doesn't appear that he is converted yet, though it is hard to tell seeing that even if he was, he wouldn't be able to read the Bible and so his spiritual growth would be greatly stunted. He has heard the Gospel numerous times and even seen evangelistic films about the life of Jesus, so he does have enough knowledge of the Word to produce saving faith if the Lord grants it. But all this is a tremendous miracle to the glory of God. This man appeared to be past hope, the worst of the worst, the most filthy of all people in bondage to sin, but the Lord has done a work! Christ died to save sinners! He is the Great Physician to those who are sick!
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
-Charles H. Spurgeon
“If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon