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Saturday, 25 July 2009 00:56

Street Preaching in LA, July 24, 2009

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

When I first came to Bible Baptist Church, I was talking to Sis. Sunny, and she said that they did street preaching, and that it is really encouraging. At the time, I was a bit down, so I was like, "Really? Street preaching encouraging...?"

During street preaching, the men are usually preaching aloud, holding up scripture signs, and passing out tracts to those who pass by, while the women are passing out tracts, CD's, and pamphlets near the exits of supermarkets.

This past Friday, in LA, at Hannam Chain, Pastor Kim started the preaching. At the exit of Hannam, Sis. Esther and I were passing out tracts and pamphlets in Korean, English, and Spanish.

A flustered security guard was yelling at the customers in the car. "Go, go, go." "Come on, get going!" He was trying to get the traffic flowing because the traffic was backing up. A Hispanic man had parked right in front of the store and had just gone in; when he came out, the security guard yelled at him, "You're not supposed to park in front of the store!" Meanwhile, Sis. Esther and I were giving out tracts. Already frustrated, the security guard stomped up to Sis. Esther and said, "You can't do that here. You have to stop."

He started yelling at her, getting all of his anger out on her, "You are making it more crowded," as to blame her for all of the congestion. First of all, the flow out of the supermarket exit was smooth, people politely receiving the tracts and going. However, with his commotion, he started to draw a crowd of people around. Two people even asked Sis. Esther for tracts while he was yelling at her. One of the stately managers had come out and walked away; I watched him carefully as to see what he would do. He disappeared off into the parking lot. Then he came back, and the security guard tried to use him as back up. "See, what they are doing? They are making trouble! They are making it worse." The manager said quietly to him, "It's okay, they're fine." And he walked back in. That really upset the security guard. He was yelling and started swearing, he yelled at Sis. Esther, "Are you even Korean?!" "Yok Yok Yok" (swearing curse words) I watched the whole thing and could tell Sis. Esther was very grieved, but she took it. I thought of this verse, "... we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter..." (Romans 8:36)

Meantime, the men continued to preach. One of the men that I could hear very well was Bro. Jae Hyun, who was preaching about the cross of Jesus, and how Jesus had paid for all sins: past, present, and future. I could see people standing by their cars and just listening. It seemed to give them hope. Every time I hear this at street preaching, I get encouraged. I understand a little better about what Sis. Sunny was talking about when she said that street preaching is encouraging. Also, Bro. Gene preached with such passion and fervor that he even lost his voice!

While giving out tracts, a lot of people ask, "What is this?" They are referring to the booklets that look like comics. Usually, they take it because they are curious. Some people will say, "Oh, I go to church," and they don't take it. Tonight, one lady strode right past me and said, "I am righteous." I shrugged, "Okay." A lot of times, the peoples' faces are hardened. I tried to greet them warmly and friendly, and this usually softens them up. Especially for Spanish speakers, they tend to have hardened faces, but when I say "Hola!" "Perdoname" and "Gracias" as they take the tracts, their countenances change dramatically. Unfortunately, I was deeply saddened when I saw one Spanish tract in the garbage. I rescued it out of there! The good thing about Koreans that night was that if they didn't want the tract, they would put it on the chair or on the newspaper stand. I only found two to rescue, so that was redeeming.

There were free buses heading toward the casinos that were parked nearby. A group of Hispanics were there, so I got to pass out my Spanish tracts quickly. One man, who was the driver, looked sheepishly at the tract, as if embarrassed. At first, I wasn't sure why he looked so embarrassed, but I asked him, "Are you the driver?" He nodded.

One Korean man took the tract and pamphlet with a very willing and open heart. He had been reading something very carefully, so I knew he enjoyed reading and would probably enjoy reading what I could give him. After some time, he said to me, talking about the pamphlet, "This is amazing. What this says is so true. When I used to go to church, there was nothing to learn. But, this, this says lots of things!" He met Pastor Kim and talked with him three times, on and off.

I noticed differences in the receptiveness of the people to the tracts depending on the culture. There were some Black people that passed by on the streets, and they all took the tracts. The second most receptive were Hispanics, as only one rejected it. The Filipinos tended to reject it, as only one or two accepted the tracts. Koreans also tend to have a high rejection rate. However, it is interesting to note, that on other nights when our Caucasian sisters and brothers come out with us, Koreans are more receptive to receive the tracts. Go figure! (Hey white brother men and sister women, we need you all!) Oh yeah, and that's another thing, I have found that passing out tracts is much more enjoyable with others than when you do it alone.

The highlight of the night, for me, was when I was introducing the Korean man to Pastor Kim. And who was street preaching?!!! It was Brother Paul Kim! (I really wanted to shout aloud, but you know, had to keep my composure) He was preaching like a pastor! It was such a pleasure to see him street preach! He was confidently preaching, making the good news clear. I could not wipe off the smile off of my face. It really is encouraging to see the brothers street preach and to hear what they say. I expect all of them to be great pastors, evangelists, missionaries, or deacons very, very, very soon.

Romans 10:14, 15 "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!"

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