So I promised on Facebook to give some more details about the awkward day of evangelism we had. Most of the awkward moments came from simply not knowing the language, but I figured I’d give a play-by-play about who we talked to. Please pray for the people we met and spoke with.
From the moment we started, our plans got, well, scrapped. First, we planned to meet Cosmin (a Romanian friend who likes to do evangelism) at Piaţa Universitate at 2 pm, but Cosmin forgot all about getting together. Jake called him, and we made plans to meet at 3 instead. But shortly before 3, Cosmin called to say he couldn’t make it after all.
On our way to Universitate, we hopped on the tramvai, costing us a whopping 30-cents and saving ourselves two whole blocks of walking. But, little did we realize, the tram was heading the wrong way. So we decided to catch a subway at a different staţie de metrou. Unfortunately, in our rush, we got on the wrong line and ended up heading to Gara de Nord. It wasn’t a big deal, though, ’cause there are lots of lost people around the train station, too.
At Gara de Nord, we prayed and asked God to give us some clues about people whom he wanted to touch through us. As many of you already know, I’m a big fan of the “treasure-hunting” style of evangelism. Anyhow, after getting a couple clues, we headed out to go find the people matching what God had given us.
The first clue we followed was “fountain,” so we headed across the street to a big fountain. We waited a while, praying and asking God to point out someone to us or give us further direction. After a while, we approached a woman who was filling up water bottles in the fountain. (Very healthy practice, I’m sure.) Jake talked to her, and it turned out she knew English well enough to have a small conversation. We never got around to the gospel, though, because the guard (and there are hundreds of guards all over Bucureşti) soon came over, and then the woman began to skirt away. We managed to get a tract to the guard before we headed out, though, so pray for him.
Next, we walked around, already feeling the difficulties of not knowing Romanian. But on the other side of the street, I noticed a woman pushing a kid in a stroller, one of my clues. I quickly caught up to her and then said, “Scuzaţi-mă, doamnă. Înţelegeţi engleza?” which means “Excuse me, ma’am. Do you understand English?” She said, “Nu” and then we just stared awkwardly at each other for a few minutes while I tried to think of how to proceed. The light changed green, and she solved my dilemma by walking away.
So we walked down the street a ways, and I saw two men sitting at a table outside a cafe. Both men were wearing red and white shoes, a clue I had received. (Now, I’ll have you know those were the only red-and-white shoes I saw all day, and, believe me, I was looking for more.) So I excitedly approached and asked if the men understood English. Their friend (not wearing red and white shoes) said with an accent, “Little bit I understand.” So I proceeded to tell my story, how we were praying, God gave us a clue about someone wearing red and white shoes… The man then told the two men what I had said. They smiled awkwardly, laughed, shook their heads, then packed up their food and left.
After that, we walked around Gara de Nord for a bit more, but I was kind of tired of getting shut down and not being able to even give a tract or anything. Eventually, after getting tired of walking around, we got back on the metrou and headed towards Piaţa Victoriei, where we planned to head to Kisseleff Park. At the park (which, by the way, is the most peaceful and most “American” of all the parks in Bucureşti), we ended up talking to a few people. Jake decided he didn’t want to do the “treasure-hunting” style but would instead just talk to anyone he felt led to talk to. “Treasure-hunting” really works well for me, so I decided to keep using it.
Walking through the park, we spoke with a couple young men, one of whom (named Christian) spoke fairly good English. He said he grew up in a Baptist church but was not sure about wanting to obey and follow Jesus. Jake spoke with him for a bit, and before we left we even prayed for him. Then we left him with a copy of Jake’s testimony tract.
Next up, I saw a group of kids by a playground. One of them was wearing a yellow shirt, which happened to be one of the clues God gave me. Encouraged after the good encounter we just had, I headed up and boldly asked, “Scuzaţi mă. Do you speak English?” One of them, again not the one for whom I had the clue, said, “Yes, a little.” So I tried to explain to him how we were going around talking with people about Jesus, and how God had given me the word “yellow shirt” as a clue to look for. The boy then began to tell his friend in the yellow shirt what I had said. At least, that’s what I thought at first. But as the boy spoke, the yellow-shirt kid stood up, looked down at the ground, grabbed his bike, and moved to stand next to us, as if he thought he was supposed to follow us because he had gotten into trouble or something. I figured at that moment that maybe the translator hadn’t gotten things correct, so I just gave the kid a gospel tract and said goodbye.
So we were faithful. We planted a few seeds. We looked like idiots. We got some tracts out. We even got a chance to pray for someone.
(Oh, by the way, the young man who let us pray with him sent Jake an email yesterday to tell him that he’d like to talk more with him because he has a lot of questions about God. Praise God!)