8/29/10 Leonel, about 20, and Javier, about 25
I like witnessing at parks because if I'm not spiritually ready I have a nice place to pray first, which I did today at a bench in the shade. Instead of praying for boldness as I often do, I found myself praying for love, because "perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18) I looked around and loved what I saw - parents playing with their children, couples in love, and the beauty of God's creation. Suddenly I heard someone climbing the tree behind me, so I went to talk to him. His name was Leonel and he was hiding from a dozen or so young cousins he was playing with. He only spoke Spanish so I asked if he would help me with mine, and we had a nice long conversation in which I was able to share much of God's word before his cousins called him away. He trusted in his own goodness but was able to admit his sins as we talked, and was interested in reading what I gave him as he left. Next I gave a "million dollar" gospel tract to a rough looking hombre (Javier) who promptly gave it to one of his three children saying "I don't need no religion". I asked if believes in God and he pointed to a rock and said "If I tripped over that rock, it's my fault, not God's." I explained that, just as we can't cover our eyes and expect not to get hit by an oncoming train by ignoring it, ignoring God won't make Him go away either. This caught his interest but he said "What about people who sit on the train tracks and pray the train won't hit them?" He was turned off by church people who try to use God for their own selfish purposes. Though he was distracted watching his kids, he had a surprising amount of insight and had many questions such as this. I could tell he was too busy for a real long conversation, so I offered to give him a Bible, saying I knew he would get a lot from it by reading it for himself. He looked genuinely surprised and grateful - "You would give that to me?" I challenged him to pay special attention to what it said about Jesus, "because if you want to know what God is like, just look at Jesus."