Hereunder is a little crumb from the time-table of my life. May it be a savory and nutritious morsel in your innermost being!
In 1980 I was ministering again in Santiago, Chile. While visiting a Christian home, a brother said to me,
“I am tired of sitting down; let’s go for a walk.”
We walked for about one-and-a-half hours, during which he stopped no less than six times to witness to someone on the sidewalk–and never repeated himself! First he approached two maids sweeping the sidewalk and said to them, “Neat work. But do you know what is the best cleansing?” They looked at him attentively, “It is when the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ washes away your sins!”
He then explained further and got them so interested that they gave him their home address. When he went to see them later, they had gathered 17 relatives to listen to him. Some were born again that night. As far as I know, a weekly home meeting has been going on in that house since that day!
I must confess that when my friend began speaking with the two women I felt embarrassed.
“It is not wise for a man to speak to women,” I thought.
Satan always whispers to us, “This is not a good time; you had better wait.”
Some of us are still waiting!
As my friend and I continued our walk, the next person he spoke to was a man selling fruit and vegetables on the sidewalk.
“How is your partner?” my friend asked.
“I have no partner,” the puzzled vendor replied.
“Oh, yes, you do!” my friend answered, “Who do you think makes these bananas grow?” and he followed that with a fresh and clear presentation of the Gospel.
Once again I had felt embarrassed and had said to myself,
“Never witness to a man who is working; you are robbing him of his time!”
Again I had to chastise myself when I realized how receptive this vendor was. Satan is a liar. He confederates with our old self and will always tell us, “No, not now! Don’t witness to this person! This is not the right time, or place! No! No! Nooooo!”
My walking friend next spotted an old man slumped in a wheelchair being pushed by a nurse. As he zeroed in, I began grumbling to myself,
“We should never bother with such an old person, we should reach the youth.”
But my friend, mercifully spared from perceiving my negative thoughts, joyfully began to witness to the old man and his nurse. A delighted smile swept over his wrinkled face. To my amazement the old man lifted a thin arm, holding a well-worn Bible, and said,
“Alleluia! I am a born-again believer too!”
The nurse was rejoicing also. We four had a wonderful praise time right there on the road!
The Holy Spirit finally had won over my doubting, criticizing heart and spurred me into action. From then on, both of us evangelized the people that we met during that memorable walk!
In my experience I never find it easy to preach to a stranger. I always have to turn to God in prayer, take it by faith, and against my natural timidity, begin talking to that person. Once I do, the ice is broken and I have had very satisfying opportunities in leading people to Christ.
One day I read a book by Charles Trumbull, one of the most successful persons in leading people to Christ in a person to person way. He frankly stated that even in the latter years of his life, he never found it easy to talk to a stranger about the Lord. In every case he had to agressively deny his negative feelings and by a sheer act of will, initiate the conversation. He found that when He did, time and again he was enabled by God to lead a person to Christ. Which reminds me of the following Scripture:
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2.
Heavenly Father, whether we be timid or bold by nature, we thank You for commanding us to preach the Word; to be instant in season and even out of season; to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Although, like Charles Trumbull, I never find it easy to break the ice and preach Christ to a stranger, I am so thankful that You are indwelling me. I can do this together with You, You in me and I in you. You are more than adequate to do this through me and with me. I trust you, for by myself I can do nothing, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have experienced many times that when I break the ice of silence, You have enabled me to tell people about the Savior. Many times You have also given me the joy of leading someone to Christ when I speak to them face to face. Do alert me the next time an opportunity crosses my path. I am looking forward to it, with fear and trembling, but also with hope and expectation. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
From Praying God’s Word – Chapter 18
Updates from Cuba
Starting in the 1990’s Fred was significantly involved with Cuba. The Lord has continued to move strongly in Cuba through many brothers and sisters in Christ including some key workers who Fred helped to disciple. Since 2009, a project to evangelize the whole country has reached many Cubans with many new believers added to the house of God. The work is ongoing to evangelize the entire island country.