I know you have your stories and I am curious. What is the strangest outreach situation you have ever found yourself in? Define strangest however you like.
I once was witnessing to this person who was so beligerent. He told me and my partner that we were liars and hypocrites and that we had nothing worth listening to. He was screaming and jabbing his finger toward us.
After a few minutes he came back and said, “Okay. I’ll listen, but don’t expect me to believe it.”
After a few more minutes, in which we were sharing the Gospel with him, he was telling us about all his life’s failures and disapointments and how he knew he needed God. He thanked us for coming out there and showing that we cared about people.
It was the most dramatic change in attitude I’ve ever seen.
Being from the farm, our neighbors raised pigs. The husband spent many an hour at the watering hole and left the wife to clean the pig pen. My dad volunteered his service as well as mine. He scooped the pig waste into 5 gallon buckets and I would haul them out and dump them. I still am horrified by the smell that lasted for days, but, my grandmother stayed close to this woman and she was later converted. She couldn’t understand that we would help her like that for no pay. I couldn’t understand why I would subject myself to that either, but, it was all worth it.
I’m sure I’ve seen something stranger, but so far the only thing that comes to mind is this:
I had spent two months in Brazil and picked up quite a bit of Portuguese in 1997, so in 1998 when I went with a group from Harding on campaign I was often placed as the “interpreter” on outings to invite people to Gospel meetings. Normally things went fine. At one house, though, the elderly couple invited us in and the old fellow began speaking very rapidly about (I think) a medical condition he’d had and how God had healed him so he didn’t need the medication any longer. For every 100 words he said I think I translated maybe 10, if you call that translation.
When I lived in Ithaca this family contacted the church about helping them with some groceries and an outstanding bill. The two adults (boyfriend and girlfriend) were both on disability. So I went to visit with them. As I was sitting in their living room, they proceeded to pull out a large bag of marijuana and a water bong to smoke. While graciously offering to share with me, they claimed that it was for medicimal purposes.
I seriously wanted to ask this couple if they owned some ocean front property in Arizona to sell me. Do I look that naive?
Seriously though… I really want to try and help people who are in need and I always try and visit people requesting benevolence help with an open mind and the love of God. But it is experiences like this that Satan uses to try turn me into a jaded person towards all people in need.
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