Repent and Turn Ministries

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Street Witnessing 040513
Street Witnessing

Downtown Springfield, MO
Park Central Square

April 5, 2013


Tonight was First Friday Art Walk in Downtown Springfield, Missouri.  First Friday Art Walk always makes for larger crowds.  Dennis (with Seek and Save the Lost Ministries) came out to street witness with me tonight.

Dennis and I arrived from where we parked and walked to Park Central Square.  There was already a large number of people hanging out at the Square.  There was some kind of event going on as well from a local college at the Square, playing music on the speakers, which made it a little difficult to hear when speaking with someone.  

We prayed and I decided to stand in front of the water fountain with my 6 foot tall wooden cross.  Not long after standing there, three young teenagers walked up and started talking about the cross.  Their names were Levi, Hunter and Zach. We talked a bit, then I asked each one of them if they thought they were a good person.  They said yes.  I asked them if they had lied, stolen, looked with lust, and used God's name in vain.  They all admitted to doing these things.  

During this witnessing time, the young teenagers, between the ages of 14-16, were saying very crude, vulgar things to each other, as well as vulgar acts between one of the boys and this girl who walked up.    

I explained that the Bible says that those who do those things will not inherit the Kingdom of God, and that one day we will all have to face God on Judgment Day.  The girl who was with them said that her aunt just died the night before, and that her other aunt died two years ago.  I told her I was sorry to hear that.  One day we will all stand before God and give an account of our lives.  

Zach asked if I thought being "gay" was a sin.  I told him that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible.  He said the Bible says, "God made you how you are for a purpose".  I told him the Bible didn't say that.  He couldn't provide me with the Bible verse.  I said that homosexuality is a sin, along with lying, stealing, fornication and adultery.  

I explained that if I grew up hating someone of a different race and wanted to beat them up every time I saw them, would that be wrong?  That's just how God made me, I said.  Or, what if I wanted to commit a terrible sin and rape women?  Is that wrong?  I said if I grew up thinking that was how God made me all my life, what would be wrong with it, according to Zach's logic.  No, God doesn't make us that way.  We are born into a sinful world with sinful desires.  We cannot just do what "feels" right to us.

He then said he grew up with a Christian background, but a pastor was pushy and he wasn't going to take that, so he stopped going to church.  I let him know not to turn his back on God because of any man.  Look to God.  Going to church is important, but being born-again - saved - is most important.  We must repent (turn away from our sins - have a change of mind in regards to what sin is), and trust in Jesus to save us.  Zach thanked us for talking with him and left.  

Dennis walked away and began to pass out gospel tracts to the hundreds of people standing around (Dennis in red). 

I was standing in front of the water fountain with my cross, and many people walked by looking at it and me.  I just smiled and said hello, being friendly.  There are all sorts of reactions.  Some people nod and say "Thank you".  Some people avert their eyes from the cross.  Some come up and shake my hand and say "God bless you" (mostly older people). 

A young man that was dressed as a Satanist, with a pentagram drawn on his hand, looked down and didn't look at the cross.  Later this guy had to walk close by the cross.  He raised his hand, the one that had the pentagram drawn on the backside, up to his face, as if shielding himself from the cross.  Another woman walked up and kissed the cross.  All kinds of reactions. 

A girl approximately 14 years old, came up and sweetly asked if she can get her picture taken with the cross.  I said yes.  She stood right in front of it, and then when her friend went to take the picture, she lifted her arms up as if she were hanging on the cross.  I told her she wasn't bothering me by doing that, but it offends God.  She didn't act as if she cared, and walked away.  

I shouldn't be shocked by what I see going on in public by teenagers, college age and even young adult.  But it still surprises and grieves me.  If you don't go out to public places like downtown areas and see it yourself, you probably don't have a clue as to how hateful, how hostile, how mean and intolerant they are to anything to do with Christianity. Even the older people are that way...they just aren't as "in our face" about it.  One man - older than college age - walked by later in the night and heard an open air preacher.  We heard him say that if he was younger, he would go over and do something to the preacher. 

Later, we walked south of the Square to see if another local open air preacher, Aaron, had arrived yet to preach.  He hadn't yet.  I started witnessing to a college age guy.  I don't remember his name.  We discussed churches, beliefs, what it meant to be born again - a multitude of topics.  He thanked me and walked away when we finished. 

Dennis decided to open air preach.  He pulled out his step-stool and his small amplifier and began preaching.  He preached for almost 30 minutes.  During the time of his preaching, a man with a guitar walked up to him.  At first we thought he was going to be a heckler.  However, the longer Dennis preached, this man just played the guitar softly to provide background music.  Now, the other man with the donkey mask, came up to be a heckler and cause a little trouble.  He wasn't too bad, though.  

While Dennis was preaching, there were people who would periodically walk by and make a rude or mean statement to him about his preaching.  The man with the guitar would threaten them, sometimes going as far as calling them back so that he could beat them up.  His language was much worse than what I just said.  We didn't approve of his actions, as it can make the people walking by think this man is part of our group - Christians.  This isn't a good witness to us.  However, there is a possibility that God is working on this man's heart, and he is taking a defensive stand for God in the only way he knows how - by threatening to beat those who oppose the preaching.  Or, he can be a tool of Satan to discredit our witness.  Only God knows. 

I spoke to a man named Jason who was approximately in his late thirties.  He was yelling at Dennis while he was open air preaching.  He was saying if we are Christians, why don't we do what Christians do and feed them, as they are hungry.  I called him aside and told him that sometimes we do take people to eat or give them money to eat.  However, tonight we are street witnessing and open air preaching. 

Jason said he was an atheist.  We was a very intellectual man.  He said he "used to be a Christian", and even taught Sunday School and youth groups.  However, he said that he ended up just not being able to reconcile everything in the Bible.  He didn't have the faith it needed - and just decided there is no God.  We discussed the Bible - a lot.  I explained to him what repentance means, and that he will have to stand before God on the Day of Judgment one day...even if he doesn't believe in him.  He thanked me for talking and left. 

After Dennis preached, we walked down to where Aaron was preparing to preach.  He had his small group with him, along with their two tall wooden crosses and his amplifier.  He started preaching.  Aaron's preaching lasts about an hour. 

As Aaron was preaching, there were lots of cars driving by, honking and "revving" up their car to keep him from being heard.  Another guy sat up across the street with an electric guitar and loud amp and played some kind of loud noise to try to keep him from being heard.  People will do anything to stop hearing the gospel. 

This is from Dennis:
I took Michaela and Ariel through the good person test. Ariel said that she was a Christian and pretty much looked around the whole time, but Michaela paid attention.

I took Josh through the good person test. His two friends ran off right away, but he stayed and listened to the whole thing. He said it bothered him some that he'd go to Hell if he died right now. I asked him if he had a Bible at home and he said that he did. I told him to start with the Book of John, go back to Matthew and read the New Testament.

We had a good night of witnessing and being a witness for Christ.  

In Christ,

Brad St. Clair