Sunday, June 27, 2010

Street Evangelism, Naperville:

This past Friday night, an innocent walker in Naperville would have been surprised by the vast array of street performers that lined the cracked cement of the river-walk. Near the fountain, a young guitarist was playing an array of tunes for a good sized audience. About 200 yards away from her, Buffalo Wild Wings had chosen to set up a bean bag toss and offer prizes. And right in between these two events, a man stood in front of a large easel. He didn’t have a large amplifier and he wasn’t offering fabulous coupons, but a crowd still grew around the man and his easel. Maybe this was because he had friends, and a crowd draws a crowd. Or maybe it was because he was offering something much more filling than a six wing meal.
It was our team’s pleasure to go out to the river-walk in Naperville and share the Gospel with the people there. We stayed for about three hours and worked out a steady routine. Pastor Castaldo would begin evangelizing in some creative way and we would walk up at some point during his presentation and create a crowd. After the presentation was over, we would talk to the people that had come and stayed throughout the Gospel message. This was the routine that we settled into and it was very successful. Many conversations that centered around the Gospel stemmed from this routine.
One of the conversations that really affected me was a long talk I had with a man who was from Texas. He was ready to talk about anything and everything and it was fascinating to hear about his beliefs as a devout Catholic living in Naperville, IL. He told me about his church and why he believed what he did. I did the same and then we talked about the similarities and differences between our beliefs. This man made me excited to witness to people in Italy. One of the things that a participant takes away from an experience like the one we had in Naperville is the urgency of sharing a Gospel that will affect people eternally. Our team is extremely excited to share this Gospel of joy in Italy.
Although Nata left a small dent in a public ‘garden’, I believe that God worked through our team this past Friday night. Over gelato after the evangelism, our team grew closer and we are all extremely excited about our upcoming trip. God has put together an awesome team for this quest and we are excited to see His hand in Italy just like we saw it on the river-walk in Naperville, IL.

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