6/19/11 Roberto, about 45
One fear I have in evangelism is encountering someone I've talked with before and not remembering their name or much about their lives or beliefs from the previous conversation. Yesterday I re-encountered Roberto, whom I talked with a few weeks ago, and I simply could not remember his name or anything we had talked about. It wasn't so embarassing however. I just simply told the truth - that I talk to a lot of people and its hard to remember all the conversations. He understood and we continued to talk. I used questions about what he remembered from our first conversation to guide this second one. Roberto is a very poor reader, having only attended school up to the third grade. He is Catholic, and although he says he believes in Jesus he also believes very strongly in praying to various saints, the Virgin Mary, and angels. We talked about the abundance of false teaching in the world but because of his reading difficulties my usual advice didn't work; to check what different teachers say by comparing it with the Bible. I needed to describe false teachers by the characteristics Jesus used to describe them. Still, Roberto's authority for discerning truth continues to be "if it feels right in my heart" and he refused to look to the Bible or to trust those who preach it or teach it. This reminds me of the need to be ready to witness to people who make up a large percentage of the world's population - those lacking the ability to read the Bible for themselves.