Category Archives: Witnessing Encounter

Street Evangelism: Portland, OR 7/9/11

Today I went down by Skidmore Fountain and the waterfront in Portland.  I arrived at about 10am to see two men, Andy and Pavl, and Andy’s family (which included three adorable children, two of which were also handing out gospel tracts).  As I watched the kids hand out tracts I couldn’t help but think “Man, I can see MY kids doing this in 5-10 years”.

I got out my $1,000,000 bill tracts  and began to hand them out saying things like “Have you gotten your Million dollars yet?”.  Most people turned them down.  Some took it, and I had one guy ask me for the whole stack.  Being a bit nieve, I gave it to him, but “No biggie” I figured since, as long as they end up in someones hands, it doesn’t matter who hands them out.

Something I noticed today was how many people don’t have any really solid ideas about the afterlife and how many of them really don’t seem to care.  You think that if people believe in a life after death (which most of them seemed to) and that most peoples concept of the afterlife includes eternity, that more people would put more thought into it.  It really surprised me.

I had an experience today that I have NEVER had before.  When we moved to the riverfront, there was a young woman and her boyfriend (Maybe it was her boyfriend, it’s kind of hard to tell these days weather people are committed to each other, or just out having a good time) walking by.  As I looked at her with the tracts in my hands, she gave me an absoltuly hateful and evil look unlike anything I have ever seen before and mouthed something to the effect of “Don’t you dare!”.  I don’t want to sound alarmist or anything, but the look on her face looked SERIOUSLY demonic.  Was she possessed?  I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Please keep this individual in your prayers.

I had a really good conversation with two young men, Andrew and Jeff, and they seemed to be somewhat responsive.  I went through the typical way of the master tactics with them (I included myself in the “guilty of sin” part because I think when people see you fessing up to the same sins that you are asking them about, it evens the playing field and makes them much more likely to respond honestly and without feeling like I am judging them.) and they seemed to “get it”.  They were giving objections to evidence of the Bible’s validity so I gave each of them a link to http://pleaseconvinceme.com to help address their questions and my e-mail address and encouraged them to drop me a line sometime.  I really hope they take me up on it. : )

I also had another conversation with another Andrew, who’s big hang up was the idea of subjective truth vs. objective truth.  We argued back and forth, in a pretty friendly manner about this topic for about five to ten minutes.  Ultimatly I don’t feel like I made a lot of headway with him, but I do hope to see him down there again as I did enjoy talking to him.  He did speak about doing prayer circles and accessing a higher consciousness (see: New Age) and we both left saying that we would pray for one another, though I did leave him with a bit of a brain teaser asking him how he know what was revealed to him by this higher consiciousness was true.

There was another lady who came up and asked us about the Sabbath and insisted that that commandment still needed to be observed on a specific day.  This spurred me on to finding scripture that addresses this issue and I found it in Colassians 2:16.

Finally, there were some believers not affiliated with our group that came by and gave us some support which was VERY welcome since most people are indifferent, and those that aren’t are usually angry and vulgar.

All in all, a good day witnessing.  Please keep Jeff, the Andrews and the young lady I spoke of in your prayers.

God bless!

-Neil

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Witnessing Encounter: The Android in the Library

I had my very first impromptu witnessing encounter today in the library in Hillsboro (I must again give credit to James Boccardo’s fabulous book on helping me with how to approach this situation).  I met a young man and his mother in the library.  I was looking at books to check out when he and his mother came to the same section to look for King James bibles for a summer homework project that he was working on.  I suggested to him the YouVersion Bible app since he had an Android phone (I am a HUGE fan of my EVO by the way) since it was free, portable and he could look at the KJV and another easier to read version at the same time.  We parted ways, and at first and I was discouraged as it seemed to be like a great witnessing opportunity lost.

As I was walking toward the front entrance of the library, waiting for Jenn (my wife) to check out, I saw him sitting there alone playing on his phone.  I sat down and struck up another conversation with him suggesting that he read the Matthew Henery Commentary to help him with the more difficult passages.  I started to ask him his background and found out he was Catholic.  We started to discuss the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism with regards to justification (how someone gets to heaven).  I began to explain how if, as a Catholic, you believe in Jesus, but have mortal sins on your soul and you die without confession, you will not be allowed in heaven.  I then showed him Titus 3:5 showing how we are saved by grace and not by works, showing that this position of the Catholic church does not fall inline with scripture.

He then asked “So wait a minute, so if you believe, you could just go out and kill someone and then go to heaven?”  I answered him saying that technically, yes you could, but that there are many Christians who say they are Christians but really aren’t (Matthew 7:21-23).  So just because a murderer says that they are a Christian does not make it true.  I then explained to him that when we have real faith, it will show itself in our lives.  I used a favorite analogy of mine: “Saving faith is like the Flu“: Someone doesn’t throw up and run a temperature to get the flu, they get the flu and THEN they throw up and have a temperature.  I made a comparison that having the holy spirit in us is like that: someone will get saved (the holy spirit) and THEN show symptoms of it.  He seemed to understand and take it to heart.

I left the him with a $1,000,000 tract and my e-mail address.  I really enjoyed this conversation and hope that I get a chance to continue it sometime in the future.  Please keep him in your prayers.

-Neil

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