The streets of Mill Avenue were packed this past Friday, as it was the Eve of the rivalry game(ASU v UofA). As we got ready to get the night rolling, a very angry, antagonistic young lady came storming over yelling, what seemed like as loud as she could. However, we would soon find out that she could yell and curse a whole lot louder then we anticipated! Within a matter of about 5 minuets a crowd of nearly 50 people congregated…OOohhh, so that’s all it takes to draw a crowd?
Jonathan began asking the young lady a few questions and shared the the gospel . In communicating, she seemed to take a lot of irrelevant rabbit trails. Jonathan, however attempted to answer and continued to break down her misconceptions of who Jesus was, and then took her through the good person test. The good person test takes the person through a few of the 10 commandments. It shows us that we have broken God’s law and need a way out of Hell; which is through Jesus’ atonement!!! At this time Marcus and Jennifer walked up and expressed that they has a pretty similar conversation with her last week; where she was just as angry.
The girl seemed to be feeding off the attention the crowd was giving her, and decided to give them a show. However, what breaks my heart about all this is the reason why she acted out with such anger, was because she had a past of a lot of pain. Christy and I attempted to speak with her one on one and for a while. She did listen and seemed more willing to speak with a woman. However, it ended on a rather sad note. “I’ll tell you whats sin, when I was 12 years old I was raped at my youth group. I WAS INNOCENT! I dare you to tell me that’s not evil. AND YOUR GOD DID THAT TO ME.” She screamed as she stormed off. I tried to find her but I was not successful. What I would have told her was what happened to her was a terribly, horrible injustice. She was sinned against by someone else. And yes, rape is thoroughly evil. But Jesus died for sins like that!
Much of her anger probably stemmed from her past. The girl and many of her friends that accompanied her that night were hurt by people who were supposedly Christians. Unfortunately whenever a truth exists, a counterfeit also exists(2 Cor 11:14-15). Christy and I were able to speak with her best friend for a while who had a pretty similar situation. After the conversation she seemed to have some healing and understood that not everything done “in the name of God,” is Christian or by any means represents Christ. Ex. Someone who claims to be a Christian, yet commits rape.
While witnessing we strive to be above reproach; we don’t go out there to argue back and forth or to find problems. It’s hard to tell if the young lady who was very hurt and angry got anything out of what we were saying. In the least we do know that this time was very productive for the rest of the crowd, who was attentively listening to Jonathan. God really gave us a lot of grace to continue through the night and blessed our conversations and preaching. As mentioned with all the commotion , about 50 people congregated and stayed for the entirety of her dialogue with Jon. They listened to the message Jonathan brought and at least half of them stuck around while Walter was preaching and listened to his “mini sermon” in its entirely.
Walter was able to speak a lot on Matthew 7 , regarding judgment...which seems to be the popular topic of choice for many Mill Avenue goers. Through Walters message several people asked Christy and I questions about what Walter was preaching and gained clarity about the gospel. Walter’s personality definitely shined through, as he was even able to demonstrate the folly of black Friday, with Fight club quotes! People seemed to appreciate the humor. Ephrem has some solid conversations where he was able to present the gospel in its entirety and break down several misconceptions people had.
After Jonathan had given a bold candidate the good person test, over the mic the man came back and sincerely thanked Jonathan for what he shared with him, and even asked to take a picture with Jonathan. Awwe, cute! Grace was abounding for everyone, except poor Justin Bond who use to come out to Mill a lot before he went to bible school in California. He was able to come out this past Friday as he was visiting for Thanksgiving. He spoke with a family for over an hour. He was trying to express to the youngest daughter of
the family that it was not okay to live with her boyfriend and why. She stated that “I love Jesus and want to follow him, but do not feel convicted about my decision to live in sin with my boyfriend.” He very cautiously and gently stated that if she didn’t feel conviction, that probably wasn’t a good sign. That if shes a child of God she ought to feel conviction. He did a great job explaining sin to her, while also showing her through the bible, that there is grace for her to change. He was able to exchange emails with the entire family and will be following up with them soon.
On Saturday a few of us were also able to head over to ASU for the close of the rivalry game.
Tough break for ASU, as they lost in the last moments of the game haha but we were able to distribute several hundred tracks and get into a few productive conversations.