Sunday, December 03, 2006

Street Preaching

Though many think of Street Preaching as antiquated in today’s age of mass communication, fortunately it still goes on.

Here is excerpts from an article in a Delaware Online newspaper, The News Journal by Mike Billington:

Garry Dickinson bent low over his worn Bible, his fingers rapidly flipping through the wafer-thin pages until he found the chapter and verse he sought.

“You see brother, right here, in the Bible, this is the truth,” he said, pointing to a passage.

A tall man standing in line for a noonday meal at the Emmanuel Dining Room on Walnut Street in Wilmington glanced down at the Bible. He nodded, then looked away.

“You must believe to be saved,” Dickinson said, his voice intense.

A few people turned to stare at him, disapproval written across their faces. He paid them no mind. “You must believe that Jesus is the truth. He is the way. You must repent and seek salvation,” he said to the tall man. “I can’t make you believe, I can only speak the Word.”

The tall man shook his head, then turned away.

Dickinson is not an ordained minister. Neither is his twin brother Larry. Neither is Ed O’Donnell and a dozen or so other men and women who can be found on the streets of Wilmington preaching the Gospel to anyone who will listen and even to those who won’t.

They stand on street corners, in line at feeding programs for the homeless, and in parks and squares regardless of the weather. They pass out Bibles, rosaries, books and pamphlets for the spiritually downtrodden as they preach. They have been bullied, cursed, punched, shoved and kicked. Occasionally they have been arrested and often they are simply ignored, but they preach on.

You don’t find nearly as many street preachers in U.S. cities today as in years gone by. This is just the opposite in other parts of the world.

Teen Challenge was founded and has blossomed into World Challenge as the result of David Wilkerson, who was called to preach on the streets of New York to gangs.

I salute all those brave men and women that stand up for their faith and share it with others.

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