I Recall Central Park In Fall. WERT – Saturday 8/…

I Recall Central Park In Fall.

WERT – Saturday 8/26

WERT Weather Report – Cloudy with blue skies peeking at times. Warm temperatures.
____________________

As we got off the bus we headed to the subway. We were planning on heading over to Central Park via the subway. We connected again as a group and made sure we didn’t lose anyone from the bus to the subway. We all were kind of dazed and wide-eyed walking through the station. We each purchased a Metrocard that would give us our ride now and one return trip.

While on line Sean was able to speak for about five minutes with a man who was from Mozambique. Sean, having gone there a few years ago was able to connect with him well and eventually exchange emails for further communication. It is amazing how God puts you in the right place with someone who you will be able to connect with.

John had worked in the city a few years ago and he was our default guide to which subway we needed. As I noted in a previous post, public transportation is a great place to talk to people (mainly because there are people there). In the 10 mins we were either waiting for the train or traveling I was able to start conversations with two people very easily. “Is this the train that will take me to Central Park.” “How long have you lived in NYC”, etc. As Sean has noted before we must become masters at starting conversations. Using your surroundings and current circumstances usually work well for me.

The seven of us got off the subway and walked up to the street. We were in the southern corner of the park I believe near Columbus Circle (the large statue of Christopher Columbus gives that away). Nathan and I thought that perhaps this area would be a good place to do some open air preaching if we ended up doing that. Platform to stand on, plenty of people, etc. We ended up gathering together at another statute (all gold – a woman and three horses) and decided this would be the place we would meet @ 2:30pm that afternoon after we were done witnessing (It was just after 10:30am now).

We gathered in a circle and began to pray. I believe Sean read some verses and I prayed. Nathan prayed as well. My cell phone rang during prayer. It was my brother Joe calling so I opened the phone and pointed it towards Sean and Nathan. After the prayer I spoke to Joe for a min about where he was in relation to where he was. Joe was the lone area contact meeting up with us.

We broke up into smaller groups. Chad and Jaired went off together, Nathan and Sal as well. That left John, Sean and I together. Knowing that would be too much for people to handle, we would have to break that group up when Joe came ;-). Sean and John had the camera and were going to start interviewing people. I split from them and spotted someone to talk to beside the roadway in the park. No cars were on the road, only hundreds of people jogging.

I approached a young man (maybe early 20’s) standing by the crosswalk and started a conversation. I told him we were in the park today trying to get people’s thoughts on what happens when they die. He smiled when I asked him that and our conversation began.

Jorge is the assistant cross country coach for John Jay College in NYC. I knew the John Jay was famous for criminal justice and I asked him if that was his major. I was able to take him through the law of God and ask him how he stood in light of God’s standards. Initially he said that he was a “good person” but after the questions he admitted that in fact (after he had broken each of the commands I presented) he was not a good person in God’s eyes. He was very honest.

Jorge then shared with me some personal things weighing on his mind. Though he moved away from the focus being on him as he spoke, it was such a big deal to him that he had to talk with someone about how he was hurting.

Get this –
Jorge’s girlfriend had just cheated on him.

With a married man.

While she was on a missionary trip.

And that Jorge had raised all the money for her to be able to go.

Wow.

I expressed my sadness to hear of something like this and I asked him how he felt about what had happened. He said he felt sad and angry. How could someone do this to him after all he had done for her?! He was noticeably shaken. He continued to talk about what had happen for a while. I understood his feelings but I did not want to get side tracked from the bigger issue at hand – his standing with God.

He had already admitted that if God judged him based on His standards, he would be guilty and his destination would be the lake of fire. He said that this did concern him. He seemed serious about this too. He said he was raised with a “Christian” background but he had not been following it at all now.

So I asked him again how he felt.

– “Sad,…angry”
– “Especially because of all that you had done for her.”
– “Yes! Exactly”
– “Jorge….that is exactly how God feels about you. He has done so much for you, to give you life and breath and you have committed adultery against him. Idolatry with the things of the world, even when you know you shouldn’t have.
– “……….”

Jorge was very convicted after that. He even physically expressed contrition. And then he said the following:

“So what are you saying I should do?”

Wow! I didn’t even know what to say – nobody had ever said that before…lol. It reminded me of Acts 2 after the people were pricked in their hearts by Peter’s words – “what shall we do to be saved?”

I told him that he needed to repent. I told him that he needed to ask God to forgive him and make Jesus the Lord of his life by following His words. I expressed to him that God was willing to accept Jesus’ payment for his sins instead if he would do this.

Then I asked him if he wanted to pray and he said said yes. He bowed his head and prayed silently. When he was done, he looked up and shook his head. Then he asked me “do I need to forgive my ex-girl friend?” I told him that Jesus said that unless we forgive others, we ourselves will not be forgiven. I told him that it doesn’t make what she did right, but you need to forgive even still. He said he would. I asked him if he had a Bible and he said yes. I told him to read Matthew 5,6,7 as that gives a good overview of what Jesus wants him to do.

I will probably never see Jorge again. But you know what, I am confident that the LORD can work in his life still. I believe that if Jorge reads the Bible, God is big enough to show him the truth. I believe that God is powerful enough to continue to work with Jorge beyond our conversation. He isn’t coming to my church or my fellowship. But he is going to read the Bible and ask God to help him understand it. I have faith in a God that big, that powerful.

If you only have a few moments with someone, do you know what you will say to them to get them thinking, to pierce their hearts, to lead them to repent because they are currently enemies of God? We need to know that and then we need to pray for the people we speak to. Pray that God can give the increase. Pray that God can overcome our frailties of speech and unclear words.

Jorge left and I gave him some more info, including my contact information. I turned and prayed for him and praised God for helping me as I spoke. Wow. That was awesome.

As I turned and looked for someone else to talk to I saw John and Sean in a great conversation with some runners. Then I looked to my left and I saw Joe walking up towards us. I was so excited. Joe traveled from his apartment in Long Island to meet up with us and preach the gospel together. Nothing that is going to encourage you like that. We greeted each other and then looked to head off and preach together.

The park was full of people (the harvest is plenteous).
We were on our way…(the laborers are few)

Pray the Lord of harvest that He would send more laborers.

______________
WERT Weather Report – Into the park, the day is getting nicer and nicer.

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