It was the first day of Summer Witnessing Campaign. After two weeks of intensive training in Chicago, my two teammates, Karen and Eric, and I had just hit the streets of New York City. We felt excited, a bit scared and somewhat tired. The morning sortie (tract distribution) had been disappointing. Many had refused to take our literature, and a few had insulted us. Now that we had rested, we were ready to go out again.
As we emerged from the subway hole onto the streets of Greenwich Village, the sounds of buses, street musicians and vendors surrounded us. We had no idea what God had in store for us that night. We stood on the corner and prayed that God would protect us, give us wisdom and send people with open hearts across our paths. I posted Karen by the subway, moved Eric across the street, and walked a block away, where I started to hand out my literature.
The tract we were distributing evoked a number of responses, mainly negative, from young people who were more interested in sinning than in talking about Yeshua. I did get into a few good conversations with some Jewish people who were interested in hearing how a Jewish girl like me could believe in Jesus.
After about an hour, it was time to check on my teammates. They said that they had also encountered some interesting people. We decided to take a quick break, compare notes and have egg creams because Karen and Eric had never tried that famous New York concoction.
We ducked into a coffee shop, and as we started to share our experiences, the waiter came to take our order. Thinking it might be a good opportunity to witness, I handed him a broadside. When he came back with our egg creams, I asked, What did you think of the pamphlet?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.
“Well, what do you think about Jesus?” I continued, remembering the questions we had been taught to ask during training.
“He’s coming back,” the waiter answered.
I paused for a second, wondering where he stood in relation to God. Sometimes people we meet do not say what they are really thinking. I thought about Nicodemus, and how he had not come right out with his question, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4) Did Jim, the waiter, need to be born again? I asked him another question: “Will you be ready when Jesus comes back?” Jim said he wasn’t sure.
Karen and Eric prayed as I talked to Jim. I sensed that he was ready to give his heart to Jesus. “Do you want to be ready?” I continued.
“Yes,” Jim said. I explained God’s plan of salvation and told Jim what to pray to commit his life to Christ. He hesitated for a minute, not sure if it was OK to pray on the job. I assured him that it would just take a minute, and that he could even keep his eyes open, because God knew his heart. Jim repeated the simple prayer to receive Yeshua.
We had come in to rest and have egg creams, but God had different plans. He had used us when we hadn’t even expected it. Karen, Eric and I were grateful for God’s surprise. We shared our first victory together and it was exciting to have played a part in Jim’s step of faith. The experience much encouraged us and brought us closer together as a team.