Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve Evangelism

Yesterday night I walked to Parque Kennedy and joined some of my brothers and sisters from Iglesia Bautista del Salvador in their usual Wednesday night evangelism. Shortly after I arrived many of the brothers left as they wanted to spend time with their families for Christmas. I stayed behind with some others as we waited for a good opportunity to open air preach. There weren't as many people in the park, understandibly, as midnight was just a couple hours away and most people were going to their homes.

We talked as we waited around, and then walked over to the Catholic cathedral and stood directly in front of it, across the pedestrian walkway. There was a life-size nativity scene display there and some people were gathering around to see it. As several people gathered in front of it, one of the brothers stood up on his stool and started to preach. He began by reminding them of why we celebrate Christmas, explaining the nativity scene. He then talked about why Jesus came, and spoke of the issues of eternity, talking of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come. The people around the nativity scene stood by and were attently listening. Across the street the church was having mass, and there was a good-sized crowd of people standing in the huge doorway of the cathedral, having arrived to late to find a seat. We couldn't wait for the service to be over and the people to come out.

As this brother was preaching two Catholic girls walked over to where I was and started to loudly complain and blaspheme and tell him to stop preaching. I started to witness to them, but left them alone after noticing the loudest girl was "special" and would not listen to reason. Pretty soon after a "serenazgo," or security guard, walked up to the brother and told him to tone down his voice and move somewhere else because he was disrupting the peace. He ignored him, didn't even look at him, and just continued to preach. The security guard persisted in trying to get him to shut up and leave, to no avail. He started to get frustrated and many people listening attempted to reason with the guard, telling him the brother wasn't breaking any laws, and that he should just allow him to preach. Then the "special" girl walked up to him and offered to go and call over some other "serenazgos" that were parked in a patrol car nearby. Some of them came over, and some personnel from the park in suits came over to talk to us as well. But they couldn't get us to stop preaching. These brothers get this kind of stuff almost every time they preach at this park, so they're used to it.

Well, about this time we had a pretty decent-sized crowd due to all the commotion, and even better--the mass was over and the people were beginning to come out of the cathedral. Most of them were headed straight in our direction. One elderly catholic lady started to loudly complain to the guard. A couple other people walked in front of the brother as he was preaching and started to curse and blaspheme and tell him to go away because he didn't "respect" their religion. One lady walked up to me and swore and cursed and told him not to preach. I started to talk to her. She said she agreed with what the Bible says and had repented. I told her that her mouth and actions contradicted her words and hypocrites will not enter heaven. As I was reasoning with her the Holy Spirit gave me several verses to share with her; it was amazing how I just remembered them in Spanish in detail. I shared the Gospel with her and told her that she had a mere intellectual belief but needed to give her whole heart and life to the Lord. She accepted a tract and then left. was an interesting time spent yesterday night. Ephesians 5:16 says we need to be redeeming the time, because the days are evil. I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas Eve than proclaiming the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and exalting His name--all for His glory.

This was the highlight of my Christmas...the rest of it was pretty much "whatever." I just spent it having dinner with my aunt and cousins. Today I have to go to my other aunt's house for lunch. I don't really care much for this holiday anymore; the more the years go by the less appealing it becomes. I celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of my Lord Jesus everyday, so this day isn't really different than any other day for me. Just another opportunity to rejoice in the Lord and glorify His great name!