Monday, May 11, 2009

Fishing at the Kentucky Derby (pt.6)

While we were standing on the side in a little grassy strip against the wall handing out tracts, I wanted to walk further down and see where I was. As I was heading down, I couldn't help but hand a tract to these gentlemen and snap a photo. These are some of the best hats I've seen by the infield crowd!

I gave them some celebrity millions and the young one a teen celebrity million. Boy, I sure was glad I had those. If you don't know the difference between the celebrity millions and the teen celebrity million they're great. The teen celebrity millions have caricatures of popular teen celebrities. On the back where the Gospel message is, instead of asking someone if they have ever committed adultery in their heart, it asks if they have ever dishonored their mother or father which I believe is more appropriate for younger children since my children don't know what adultery is yet. I don't want my 8 year old knowing what that is indepth yet. There will be plenty of time for her to know.

Just a few hundred feet from where we were I met Dennis from South Africa. When I told him I had a friend in South Africa he asked me who it was, as if he'd know Nigel. He didn't know my friend which was no surprise. He was trying to sell beer and water out of his cooler. I gave him a million and that's all I needed to start the conversation. I found that as long as I tried helping this man sell his water he was interested in talking.

Our conversation began by me asking him the million dollar question on the back of the tract: Did he think he was good enough to go to heaven?" I asked, "Have you heard of Heaven and Hell?" He said, "Oh, yes lots of times." I asked where he thought he'd go. "As far as I know...I wish to go to heaven rather than hell," he said.

I said, "Oh, absolutely! What do you think you need to do to go to heaven?" He said that "You must worship and believe."

It was a really interesting experience because we were constantly interrupted by people buying water or him trying to sell water but he still wanted to talk. It was a good opportunity for me because I gave the people a "Derby Trivia" tract as they were leaving. So I explained to him that he was close in his understanding, but that worshipping and believing is not all that is required. I told him that he must have faith in Jesus and repent. I explained that his all of his sins anytime that he has told a lie, stolen anything, were what was going to keep him from heaven because God uses a standard to judge everyone by and we don't measure up to that standard. Since he had a thick South African accent I kept asking if he understood what I was saying to him. He said he did so I continued. I explained that when we believe and repent that He will not hold us guilty. We can't earn our salvation and he wholeheartedly agreed.

I gave him the "Why Christianity?" Gospel tract. As I explained that it was a Gospel tract he told me that he was searching for answers. He said he wants to know more about God and doesn't know how to find out! I was stunned. I had never heard anything like that come out of someone's mouth on the street ever. Just goes to show you how limited my experiences are. He asked where I go to church and I explained that I lived over an hour away and didn't live in this city. Mental note: I guess I should do some work before an outreach in an unfamiliar city to get the name of a local church or pastor to refer people to should the need arise.

I reiterated with him what needed to be done and he said that he really appreciated out talk and he would read the "Why Christianity?" tract. I encouraged him to get a Bible and read the book of John and to believe and repent. He shook my hand and thanked me once again for our conversation. I was not met with anger or hostility but a man whom God is working on his heart who is searching for answers. Please keep Dennis in your prayers.

No comments: