Friday night was busy. There was a pretty good crowd with the South Carolina fans in town. I believe I counted 8 folks out preaching and giving away Gospel tracts. I had the privilege of preaching for a few minutes. I went through Jude and shared the Gospel. I spent the rest of the night talking with my friend Jared, since there were so many folks on the corner giving tracts away. Many people heard the Gospel and received Gospel tracts.
Saturday was the South Carolina vs UGA game. Bobby, Hannah and myself got dropped off close to the stadium about 3 hours before kickoff, which was at 6:00 pm. We set up in the usual spot, on the bridge by the scoreboard. After we prayed Bobby began reading from Acts as Hannah and I offeredGospel tracts to fans passing by. The different reactions given by people, even as you offer them a tract, are very interesting. For instance; a man, who was a believer, told me to save the tract for someone who wasn’t saved. When I asked him to help me out and take it to give to someone else, it was as though he had never thought about that. He eagerly took the tract and said he certainly would. That has happened many times and seems odd to me that a believer never considers sharing a tract with a lost person. At other times I have had fans come and ask for tracts to give to others, so we see both. Several people came by and gave us encouraging words throughout the day, which is always greatly appreciated.
A young lady came up to me and was very polite saying, “I agree with your message but this isn’t the right place for it.” Yes, she was, as Bobby calls them, part of the “but nation”, but even inside the but nation there are different attitudes. Some are real snarky and condescending while others are genuinely concerned that there is a better way or place, although I’ve never heard anyone with either attitude, give me a good answer as to where this magical Gospel preaching location is. 🙂 This young lady would fall into the second group so I asked her where the right place would be. She said, “maybe somewhere, where there wasn’t so much alcohol present.” I asked her where that would be and she agreed that there was alcohol in most places and walked away.
As all street evangelists probably know, this can be a hard and heartbreaking ministry. You get kind of used to young college students being belligerent and hating God but what really breaks my heart is to see senior citizens walking in enmity against God. I saw an elderly couple at the game Saturday and when I offered them a Gospel tract, they looked at me with one of the most bitter scowls I have ever seen. That kind of bitterness would have to be acquired over years of hardening of the heart and it is really sad. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a young man that couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 came up to me, shook my hand telling me he appreciated us being there.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell is a person is trying to encourage you or heckle you. As we were transitioning from Bobby reading to me a man and his adult son walked up and started quizzing us on what the opposite of faith, hope and love was. Trying to discern his intent we listened to him for a minute or two and then I asked him what his point was. He went on about trying to teach his son the most important thing was love, faith and hope and finally I just said, “kind of singing to the choir aren’t you?” he agreed and I was able to get back to what I was there for. I still do not know if he was there to encourage, interrupt or impart a pearl of wisdom to us but to be honest I was a bit irritated. It was a confusing conversation, to say the least.
Closer to the end of the day something interesting happened. I was reading acts, Hannah was right in front of me passing out tracts and bobby was somewhere over in the middle of the bridge, when a man came up and began yelling at me to shut up, using some colorful language. He was probably less that six inches from my face yelling so I pushed him away with my hand or forearm a couple of times telling him to get out of my face, but he was relentless. Bobby came over and got between the man and myself so I could continue but he kept trying to out-flank Bobby to get to me. Eventually Bobby persuaded him to move on but he was out of control mad. He didn’t even seem drunk to me, but I could be mistaken. Talking with Bobby and Hannah afterward, we thought it may have simply been the man’s conscience dealing with him. I hope that was the case and I pray he repents and trusts the Savior!
Hannah was a trooper, as always, and gave out many tracts as Bobby and I read Acts.
We wrapped up reading Acts right at kickoff time and headed to our pickup locations. I want to give a big thank you to Bobby’s wonderful wife, Kara, for loading up all the kids, dropping us off and picking us up at the stadium. She saves us much time, walking and possible parking fees, if we cannot find a free space.
Hundreds of tracts were given away and thousands heard God’s word. Pray for Athens and the UGA fans!
Until All Hear!