On The Street, 8th February 2014
Miguel and Vinnie witnessing to some youths.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:14-17)
Today, in spite of the severe weather warning that had been announced the team took the Good News of Jesus Christ on the street. John preached from Philippians chapter 2 concerning how that Jesus was sent by the Father in order to die for our sins. He spoke of how only by placing our faith and trust in Him and accepting the truth about who Jesus is and what He did for us on the cross can we be accepted by the Father. While John was preaching a lady approached Amélia. We had met her before some time ago. She had had problems in the past but had repented and turned to Christ. She spoke concerning God TV where she had watched Benny Hinn and Maurice Cerullo and was not impressed by them. She asked Amélia if believers should have discernment to which Amélia replied that we should. She was worried in case she had committed the unforgivable sin (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) because she had taken the name of Christ in vain. Amélia and Miguel explained to her that taking the name of Christ in vain was not the same as blaspheming the Holy Spirit. When asking them what it meant Miguel gave her the example of when the Pharisees had accused Jesus of working miracles by the power of the devil.
A man approached Miguel stating that he had come up from London. He requested some of the leaflets and immediately began to distribute the as he carried on walking.
The wind was very strong today. Further along there were some market traders who set up canopies. Several times gusts of wind blew over these large, and heavy, canopies. Finally one of the canopies was completely overturned injuring a lady. We could hear her screams and Amélia ran over to see if there was anything she could do but by the time she got there people had already stepped in to help. Soon paramedics arrived and she was being treated for her injuries and the shock. The market traders quickly dismantled their canopies. Also the Manchester Wheel was closed as the wind was causing the gondolas to rock quite a lot making it too dangerous for people to ride the wheel.
The South Western part of England and South Wales have been receiving the brunt of the stormy weather leaving people’s homes flooded, roads and railways damaged causing millions of pound worth of damages. Sadly there have been several fatalities including a seven year old child. In fact the whole of the Atlantic Coast of Europe has been ravaged by storms that have seen up to 90 foot waves crashing into seaside towns along the coast of Portugal, Northern Spain and the Northern Coast of France, leaving these countries already in financial crisis with damage to their infrastructures and businesses running into tens of millions of Euros.
After the team moved location where Miguel preached. Amélia was approached by a large number of people that requested copies of the leaflets. John was also approached by a couple of brothers in Christ who requested leaflets so that they might distribute them. A young man who had accepted one of the leaflets returned to speak with John. He was a believer also and an evangelist. He and John had a long conversation about the challenges facing believers in these days. He was encouraged by the things that john shared and afterwards they exchanged details.
An older couple approached John. They were regular visitors to Manchester coming into the city in order to preach the Gospel. They encouraged John to continue the good work.
Later Vinnie (a brother in Christ) joined the team helping Miguel to speak with a group of youths who had posed various questions to Miguel. They had, at first, misunderstood something Miguel had said and had stopped in order to challenge him about it.
Whilst John was engaged with a fellow evangelist who requested if he had any leaflets he could spare a couple approached asking for money for something to eat and drink. It is not our custom to give money to people. Normally we offer to buy them something. Usually people refuse food or drink if they simply want money for either alcohol, drugs or tobacco. The young woman thanked him for the offer so John went with them to buy them food and drink. We generally recognise the people who beg in the city centre however John did not recognise them. John asked them about where they had come from. Apparently they had only recently become homeless due to the Government’s policies concerning Social Security payments. For some reason they had lost any entitlement to all the payments they had been receiving and ended up on the streets. This is becoming more common place as more and more people are being refused Social Security payments leaving them homeless.
It is not our place to judge people who are homeless and living on the streets. We have limited financial resources ourselves and cannot help everyone who asks us, but if we have it by us to help we are happy to help.
When John returned Miguel was talking with a Chinese lady that makes her living by doing portraits of people on the street. She is very talented. Miguel’s grandmother, Peng, is Chinese so it is a way of opening a conversation. John explained that Peng was born in the city of Guangzhou which is across the border from Hong Kong. They shared with her something of the work that Peng had been engaged in Guangzhou helping the beggars and sharing the Gospel with them. John carries copies of a DVD that contains a feature about Peng that appeared on Chinese State television highlighting the work of Christians in China during the past 30 years. Things have come a long way in China since the days of the infamous 10 year Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976. During that period of Chinese history thousands of Christians were arrested and sent for “re-education” or even put to death.
Today Christians in China enjoy freedoms that they could not under Mao. Even so the authorities keep a close eye on the activities of Christians and can still be arrested for engaging in any activity that local Communist Party committees deem to be contrary to the public good. Of course much will depend on the individual committees especially if some members are anti-Christian. Even Peng had been investigated because of her work amongst the street beggars.
The lady thank them for the dvd and we look forward to speaking with her in the future as to her thoughts.
Please keep us all in your prayers.
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