On the Frontlines of Street Ministry

December 8, 2021
5 min read

I’ve been sharing the Word of God for over a year now on the streets of Calgary, and I’ve had the pleasure to have some brothers accompany me on many of those outings. Here’s a detailed description of my latest outreach.

What a day for evangelization! I park at 11:30 am, just a few blocks from Tomkins Park so I can get free parking. I bring with me a transparent plastic bag filled with English New Testaments. I’m hoping I can give away at least 10 (I carry 15). Additionally in my backpack I have New Testaments in other languages, such as French, Arabic and Persian.

The Christmas Challenge

On my way to the park, I see two young men smoking cigarettes. “Excuse me guys, I’m heading to the park to give away free New Testaments to people. Would you want one?”

“What’s that?” they reply.

I explain it to them, while showing that I have bookmarked the Gospel of Luke. “Have you heard of the Christmas challenge? You start reading on December 1st one chapter a day, and since Luke has 24 chapters, by Christmas Day you will have a good idea of its meaning. Interested?”

“Definitely!” They both take one.

My Personal Testimony Connects with a Catholic

When I get to the park, there is a young lady sitting alone on a bench. I make the same offer to her, while asking her if she believes in God. She replies that she is Catholic, but no longer practices. I told her that I too was a Catholic, but that my knowledge of God was never real until I started reading the New Testament. She smiles and asks me for one.

Students Competing for a Bible

I then sit on a park bench to wait a few minutes because I know that in a few moments, hundreds of young students will be coming out of a nearby high school for lunch.

I get up and stand near the exit of the school on the sidewalk and offer my New Testaments aloud, saying, “Does anyone know about the Christmas challenge?” Many stop to listen to my explanation of the challenge, and then hands reach out as I deplete my stock of New Testaments in less than five minutes!

As I’m doing this, two guys ask me if I speak French (they obviously can detect my French-Canadian accent), so I start speaking French with them. I find out they are in the French immersion program. I mention to them that I have a New Testament in French in my backpack, so both want it! They decide who would get it by playing “rock, paper, scissors!” It’s funny!

Muslims Want the Bible Too

Two other guys standing there ask me, “What is this book?” I ask them if they are Christians.

“We are Muslims. I’m from Egypt and he’s from Pakistan.” I then offer the Egyptian a New Testament in Arabic in case it is easier for him to read. He keeps the one in English, but wants to take the one in Arabic for his mother. “She’s going to like it,” he tells me.

I warn them that when their family and/or entourage learns that they are reading the Injil (the New Testament according to the Qur’an), they should expect possible opposition. They assure me that they will be prepared.

I don’t have a New Testament in Urdu for the Pakistani, so I offer him a booklet of Bible verses in Urdu. I explain to him that if he likes what he reads, he can then go online to find the Bible in his native language. They warmly thank me!

A Woman Wants to Go to Church

At this point, I have no English New Testaments left, so I start handing out evangelical comic strips to young people hanging out in the park. I like to hand out different tracts so they can exchange their leaflet with each other after finishing reading their own.

Then, out of nowhere, an elderly lady approaches me to ask if I am a Christian. She explains to me that she is Vietnamese, that she saw me distributing the leaflets, and would like to go to my church! She doesn’t have a church and would like me to take her there!

I write down her address for Sunday and realize she lives in the same apartment block as my father! She tells me she knows my father well! So when I pick her up, God willing, I will take my father too, who always gives excuses not to come. Now he has no more excuses – I’ll be bringing his neighbor!

It’s Time to Sow Gospel Seeds!

Moral of the story: It’s time to sow! Young people are open to the Gospel! Muslims too!

Thank God for our church, which provides Gospels of John and New Testaments at both church entrances for free. When I first saw them over a year ago, I said to myself “These shouldn’t lie on the shelves! There are people out there who need them desperately!” And so this is how I started a ministry of sowing New Testaments in our city. I must have given hundreds away over the last year.

One sows, another waters, but it is God who makes it grow! (1 Corinthians 3:6)

Hurry! Our Savior is coming soon! Our life down here is coming to an end soon! Sow, sow, sow!

Maranatha!

Written by Michel Emond

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