Tag Archives: U of T

Day 15: Ricardo Shares about an Afternoon at U of T

Ricardo has been faithfully partnering with us in the work of the Gospel every Thursday this summer. He has been a great encouragement to me. Below he shares about an afternoon he spent with Ewan, spreading the Gospel at U of T.

I started talking to a guy who seemed to be an x-Muslim. He had some issues with how unfair life seems to be. He didn’t let me talk much. He just kept telling me how bad life is and that, while trying to be good, his girlfriend cheated on him. He mentioned that when he was bad, all girls liked him. The conversation continued and I got to speak with him about God.

When I tried to explain the Gospel, he responded, “If I was going to believe in God, I would rather believe in Islam.” I told him that the god of Islam could not be both merciful and just. He kept cutting me off when I tried to speak. Eventually he left because he had to go to an exam. He said he was too upset to hear about God anyhow.

Ewan was busy talking to an Orthodox guy, so I started handing out million dollar bill tracts. When handing the bills to two young guys sitting on a bench, I asked them, “Why would you make it to heaven?” They seemed to know about Christianity. I can’t recall exactly how they answered, but I got to explain the Gospel thoroughly and they seemed to understand!

Afterwards, I approached two women near the subway and asked them the same question. At first, they said something like, “There is no God.” I said, “How else can you explain the harmony of the heavens under about 28 different forces that are so accurately set and necessary for life?” They said they’d rather believe in Buddhism. I questioned the Buddhist goal of achieving various levels of purification to achieve the reward of nothingness (Nirvana). They said that though it is nothing, at the same time, it is everything. Soon afterwards we parted ways. I came back to meet up with Ewan. We were drained, so we prayed and left.

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Day 1: Summer Evangelism

Today marked the beginning of our 10 weeks of summer evangelism! Ewan lead four of us in some street evangelism at U of T. We started our time in 2 Timothy 2 and prayer. It was great to be reminded that “the word of God is not bound!” (2 Tim 2:9).

Arthur (who came with us) and I approached a number of people. I was surprised by the number of people who did not want to talk; I had heard that campus evangelism was more ripe for this stuff … maybe it had something to do with the crazy hot weather. Even so, the Lord provided 3 meaningful conversations that I’ll briefly recap.

Catholic

I approached a young man on a bench. He was kind enough to let me sit down and chat with him for a while about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation. Though friendly, he wasn’t very talkative. It was tough to  discern his interest level. When I paused to ask him questions and learn his thoughts he was rather silent. Who knows the way the Lord’ll use the word. I gave him 2 Ways to Live to read.

Atheist

The next conversation we had lasted a long time. We talked to a retired teacher passionate about socialism. Very friendly, but yes, quite zealous for socialism; he was out on the streets selling socialist literature (stuff on Marxism and Darwinism). I told him that I’d like to study more politics, but that I study theology and religion. I asked him about his thoughts on God. He told me he was an atheist. This lead to a long discussion about the existence of God, creation vs. evolution, sin, the nature of man, the problem with our world, God’s hatred of evil, Jesus Christ and his salvific work, judgement, morality, presuppositions and even more!

At some point in our conversation, he mentioned that his daughter is a Christian. He told me about her and her husband’s beliefs (which he learned through their conversations with him). I thought, “this man has been prayed for a lot; though he seems so lost and so certain of his atheism, I must seek by God’s grace to speak the truth in love for as long as he allows.”

At the end of our long conversation I had to tell him that he is suppressing the truth about God is unrighteousness (Rom 1). I’m not sure if he really understood what I meant, for he shook my hand and seemed very thankful for the exchange.

Atheist

I approached another young man sitting under a tree. He was friendly and allowed me to sit and chat. He was visiting from China, told me he had adopted his atheism from his parents and pretty much told me that he didn’t really care about anything else. I tried to engage with him from a number of angles, but he wouldn’t bite at anything; I wanted an actual conversation! Eventually I told him, ” Imagine that it’s all true? That there is a God; He’s real and we are all rebels not wanting to follow him, but that judgement comes and the only way to receive forgiveness for your sins is by Jesus?” He replied, “I don’t have a good imagination.” I was silent for about 15-20 seconds, sitting there is utter awkwardness. I thanked him for the time, gave him the 2 Ways to Live tract and journeyed on.

And how do I feel at the end of the day? Humbled. I wish I would have said this and I wish I would have said that … yes, my mind goes on. I should have prayed more before hand. I should have approached more people; I was shying away from potential opportunities. I should have … I should have … I should have … I should stop thinking about so many should have’s!

What I must remember is that God is good and he uses initiative evangelism; our labour is not in vain. His Gospel is not bound; who knows what it’s doing in their hearts right now! Reasoning with people with gentleness and respect is powerful. May the Lord cause His word to increase and may the number of disciples multiply greatly!

Please pray for us today. We hit Don Mills and Lawrence this afternoon.