Do the hard thing

Together with Bishara, we had planned to spend an afternoon handing out Christian literature at a busy intersection in the area, but we had not yet specified which intersection.

Bishara suggested we walk to the traffic circle near our church and begin handing out Arabic materials. Under normal circumstances, I would have loved to go along with that idea. Handing out Christian material in a predominantly Arabic area is actually quite easy, as most Arabs are polite enough to take what you are offering them.

However, on this particular morning I had been pondering the possibility of going to a different city which has a mixed Jewish/Arab population. I had heard a few stories about ministry in that city, and was interested to go there and see it for myself.

The only problem is that this particular city is an hour’s drive away, and since the population there is mixed Arabic/Jewish, we would need more Hebrew material. The actual process of handing out the literature would also be more difficult, as we would more than likely face more rejection in a mixed area.

Despite the disadvantages and added challenges of this plan, Bishara decided to go with it, so we grabbed the Hebrew New Testaments and materials that we had on the bookshelves in the church and hit the road.

Along the way we listened to worship music and prepared ourselves for what we were about to do. Marlyn, a woman from our church who is constantly looking for opportunities to tell people about how Jesus transformed her life, came with us. This was actually her first time to do evangelism in this way, so she was both excited and a little fearful.

Bishara parked the van near a popular shopping area, and we made our way to a busy traffic light to stand and hand out Christian literature to the passing cars.

Working outside of Nazareth is harder, as fewer people accept literature, and many people refuse to even make eye contact or roll down their car windows. As we persisted however, we found that many people, both Jewish and Arab, were willing to take literature.

One Jewish woman rolled down her window and read the words “The New Testament,” on the front cover of the book I was offering her. To my surprise, she actually seemed pleasantly surprised by this, and she accepted the gift.

Emily offered two men some pamphlets which they weren’t interested in, but then they saw the New Testament she was holding and asked “Is that a Bible? Can we have one?”

Marlyn showed no hesitation once she got some literature in her hands, running around the cars like a woman on a mission. Once she sets her mind to a task, there is no stopping her!

To our surprise, we actually ran out of Hebrew language materials after about an hour of standing at the intersection. At about the same time that we ran out of materials, a security guard from the shopping center came up to talk to us. He informed Bishara that we were standing on private property, and that we needed to move.

Unwilling to miss the face-to-face opportunity, Bishara tried to offer the guard (a Muslim man) a New Testament. The man became quite nervous and decided to leave us alone to make our own decision about whether to stay or leave. Since we had run out of most of our material, we decided to pack up and head home.

We pray God continues working in the hearts of the people we interacted with that day.

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