Earthshaking Opportunities: First the World Series, Then…
In Jews for Jesus we are always looking for opportunities to share the gospel. In Bible days the Apostles used to go to the marketplace to preach at times when they knew great crowds of people would be there. At Jews for Jesus we try to follow their example. And what better place for crowds than just outside the stadium before an important baseball game?
The staff had been praying that we would have the World Series here in the San Francisco Bay Area. As we saw the A’s crush the Blue Jays and the Giants overcome the Cubs, we were more than excited. Immediately we decided to write broadsides for every game of the Series—a new broadside for every game!
We were excited because we knew we would be able to minister to thousands of fans of not one, but two teams. At a baseball game at either the Oakland Coliseum or San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, one person can hand out about 1,300 tracts.
At the first World Series game in Oakland, our broadsiding team handed out 8,000 tracts titled IT’S BAY’S BALL.” When we came back for game two we handed out another 8,000 tracts with the title “WE’VE WON ALREADY.” We were all prepared for game three in San Francisco with a tract titled “CAN THE GIANTS COME BACK?”
We had almost finished distributing these broadsides outside Candlestick Park, and the game was about to begin. I was walking through the parking lot, when suddenly I felt like the ground was moving under my feet. For a second I could not understand what in the world was going on. Then I realized we were having an earthquake!!
Immediately we started hearing frightening news about the disaster. Due to power failure, traffic lights were not working. The roads were badly congested and we had a very hard time getting back—first to the office and then to our homes.
The next morning’s news told more of the great extent of the disaster. A section of the Bay Bridge had collapsed, making it unusable; across the bay in Oakland part of a freeway had crumbled entirely, crushing or trapping many vehicles. In San Francisco many homes built on land-fill in an expensive area of the city had collapsed or burned.
In a rather powerful way the Lord had reminded us of the fragility of human life and possessions. Some had died instantly beneath tons of rubble. Many who had put all their trust in material things like expensive pieces of property and luxurious cars had seen those things disappear in only seconds.
The staff gathered to pray, and again we saw a great opportunity to share the gospel. Looking through our tract supply, we found one titled “The Earthquake Factor.” As we hit the streets with our tracts, a lot of people took them. Many were in a state of semi-shock. We prayed with two people to receive the Lord that morning.
As Christians we had the great opportunity to offer some comfort—to remind people of the only thing that won’t pass away, that will remain for ever—the love of God in Jesus. The Apostle Paul said it best, and I am sure that earthquakes would be included in his list:
“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).