This week I received a colorful leaflet at my door and found out that a Neighborhood Fair was going to happen on Saturday. I had a brilliant idea: if people will be around having fun I might use the opportunity to reach some Albanians for Jesus. For those who don;t know where I live, it is the place called Greektown, where many new and old immigrants from Balkans live. It has the highest concentration of Albanians in Canada.SO I had some reasons why I could be successful in street evangelism.I sent messages to Albanian believers in my group and prepared myself to be out there.
Saturday came and I had the feeling that none will show up to be with me and it happened. So I went spying around to see what I can do. It was the first time I was doing that, I didn;t ask for any permission and I needed to be wise what to do next. So I took a bunch of pocket leaflets “Paid in full” in Albanian, my business cards and went out. I was fun because in 5 first minutes I met 5 Abanians, three ladies and two young men. The men were surprised that a stranger talked to them in Albanian, then the awe continued when I introduced myself as an Albanian pastor and later hand out the materials. They looked at me as I was coming from another world. That was all, but I knew that those guys know other guys at the cafeteria where a lot of ALbanians hang out.
The ladies were interested to know about the Albanian church. One even asked “Are people coming there?” and gave me a face with unbelief. “Because we as ALbanians don;t usually go to church”. I gave her an answer and the other one asked if I was from Jehovah Witnesses. I said NO and I saw a relief in her face. I invited them to contact me if they have more questions and visit church services.
Then I met a young woman who has opened a small restaurant in the neighborhood with her husband. SHe accepted my leaflet and invited me to bring some of these materials at the promotional section at her shop. Then she was able to tell about Renildo, her nephewin Albania who was in desperate kidneys transplant. A lot of emotions there in the street. She said only God can make a miracle.
Left her impacted promising her to pray for the 20 years old boy. Then I heard to men ahead of me who were speaking in ALbanian. I followed them closely, not knowing how to start a conversation. Then jumped next to them ans spoke in ALbanian and offering the leaflets. They took the printed paper in their hands and continue to walk slowly as they read all the material. I followed them for a long time and they were reading it.
I said hi to some other Albanians from afar and then stood at various stops waiting to start new conversations even with no-ALbanians. I had a T-shirt with a picture showing how people were escaping hell’s flames walking through the cross. and a description “I can tell you about the CROSS”. I could see how some by-passers would look at at my shirt and immediately see on another side.others look at my face through their dark glasses. Even three policeman stopped in front of me as they were waiting if I will pull the megaphone and start preaching about hell. that didn’t happen so they looked for other things.
That’s what happened. what it is the result? God knows. I was there and I let some people know about God and myself as his representation.
Here are some thoughts after this experience:
-It is great talking to people normally as they pass by, like you are one of them, without pushing them to hear what you have to say.
-materials in hand are very important because you can talk later to the person through that material, even if you didn;t had the chanc to say more than HI.
-prayers are needed. I prayed almost one hour prior coming out, as I was a bit afraid what I need to do. so the frustration helped to put me in a situation to pray more. Pray for open heaven in the area of evangelization, people who you will meet, protection from attacks and God to work with the hearts of people who are able to share.
-Don;t go alone. God can use individuals but it’s his will not to go alone, at least have one with you. it is needed for encouragement, support and sometimes to exchange thoughts or prayers as you are outside. Loneliness in preaching outside can be overcome easily by having someone with you.
-Trust God. sometimes people receive your message and you thing that they hate you by preaching in the street. But God can use their frustration and bring them to himself. pray for those you meet and be loving but bold to tell the truth. you never know what those strangers are going in life, so better put the truth in your shot.
that’s a quick reflection from yesterday evangelism. I hope that you are informed, encouraged and challenged to go out to reach the lost.