Wow what a great weekend. Not only was worship, communion and fellowship so sweet on Sunday, but on Friday night I got to be a witness to prayers answered for more laborers to be raised up here on the Peninsula.
The pastor of my local biblical youth group decided he was going to take the plunge and go out on the streets with a selection of the kids he is training and discipling: high school seniors, college students and recent college graduates. Not only is he training them in doctrine and Christian life, but he also wants to train them to be ambassadors of Christ, to bring the gospel message to their world. He is passing the baton to the next generation of believers. I was so excited to join them on their first go at ministering to people out on the streets.
We ended up downtown where we divided up into groups of two. There were hundreds of people walking quickly, on their way to the movie, bar or restaurant. Dave and I decided we would look for someone sitting down to start a conversation with. (I gently challenged him with a smile that eventually he’ll be working himself up to going right up to a large group of teen boys to talk with them, or getting up and open air preaching!) We walked past a man sitting at an outdoor table. As we passed we said “hi” and he called out to us, so we went over and started to chat with him, and he invited us to sit down at the table with him. His name was B. and pretty soon his friend P. came out from ordering their pizza, and joined us at the table. B. and P. are both homeless. P. said to us that she is the “mother” (figure) of B. and a few other homeless guys. We had a great conversation! They were both friendly and very open to talking about spiritual things.
We talked about where he’s from and about his kids. We asked him what his plans are for the future. When he said, “I’ll be dead”, we asked him what his plans are on judgment day. Then we got into a conversation about sin & being a good person, and about God’s justice & holiness. It was interesting because he went back and forth saying he’d be guilty and then saying he was a good person. P. knew what we meant by sin and agreed with us, and she was telling him about sin! He was not sure, so we went through some of the moral Law with him, and then he started to understand. We then shared grace and mercy: the cross & atonement; telling him the good news of forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ. We spoke of faith in Christ and repentance towards God. P. was in agreement with what we were saying and was encouraging B. to believe. We encouraged them and chatted with them a while more, and Dave gave B. his card and told him to call if he needed anything, or wanted to talk. We gave them a gospel booklet and P. said she would read it to B., who can’t read.
The best part of the evening for me was walking back to meet the group and hearing Dave tell me how excited he was to do street ministry for the first time. “It’s a whole other world out here.” he said. Amen. May God continue to raise up gospel laborers of every age, to reach out to this ripe mission field: the San Francisco mid-Peninsula.