One day, I walked into the Bloor subway station, located at Bloor and Yonge, in downtown Toronto, where I was working at the time. The Holy Spirit immediately spoke to me and said, “Do not go downstairs.” I had no idea why he said those words to me, but I obeyed and did not go downstairs but instead remained on the floor that I was on.
Downstairs was the subway train that I normally took to go home. If I did not go downstairs, I would not go home. For some reason, the Lord was delaying me.
I took the opportunity to sit down on the bench nearby. Two (seemingly) Korean (or possibly Japanese) women were talking to each other. I sat beside them and closed my eyes and prayed, “Lord, if you want me to speak with these two women about Jesus, please open a door.” I also prayed about other things. I prayed for about five minutes. When I opened my eyes, the women were gone! So much for talking with the two women!
My spirit was all of a sudden free. Although I did not hear the Lord speak to me at all after this, the burden to remain on that floor was clearly lifted. So I proceeded to go downstairs to catch my train.
Standing in front of me —about 10 feet in the distance— was a man who looked vaguely familiar. Where had I seen this man before? My brain scrambled to consider where I might have possibly met him. This man’s facial characteristics were truly familiar, but he was wearing shades and a hat, both of which were very unfamiliar.
Oddly, we were staring directly at one another. I did not have to turn either to the left, nor to the right, to even begin speaking with him. As our eyes were virtually locked on one another, though separated by about 10 feet of space, I said to him almost at my normal volume of speaking, “Did I meet you perhaps three or four days ago on the subway, and give you a small little pamphlet, about this size” (as I gestured with my hands to indicate about how big the pamphlet was). In fact, I had one of those pamphlets right in my pocket —it was an evangelistic pamphlet— but I decided I didn’t want to pull it out precisely then, as it did not seem to be at all necessary.
The man replied astonishingly, “I read the pamphlet, but you didn’t give it to me. You’re confusing me with my twin brother George. I’m Jack, he’s George. He read the pamphlet you gave to him that day, and brought it home, and then gave it to me, and then I read it.”
I was amazed.
Then, I knew why the Lord had spoken to me earlier, telling me, “Do not go downstairs.” For at that point in time, subway trains were running every 1 to 3 minutes, and in the span of time that it took for me to pray on that bench upstairs, sitting beside those two women, at least one or two trains would have already passed by. Had I gone down too soon, I would have never met Jack. The Lord wanted me to meet Jack. There was a divine plan in it all.
But note, it would have never happened, had I not been obedient to the Lord in the first place, to give out that small pamphlet to his brother George, several days earlier! Thus, two acts of obedience had to happen for me to be able to meet Jack that day. First, I had to deliver the pamphlet to George. Second, I needed to not go downstairs when the Lord told me to wait!
What was this all about? I was just a human being, but God was choosing to use me, and speak to me, because I was prepared with a message to give. And God will do that — he will literally meet you in amazing ways if you will but be prepared to reach out to the lost in the city, whatever city that happens to be. For the Bible says,
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)
One sure way to do that is to “arm yourself” with sanctified pamphlets such as I make available free of charge at www.amazingtruestories.ca. These pamphlets are provided as downloadable PDF documents that can be printed on virtually any printer. Simply print them on letter-sized paper, fold them in half three times, and you have a convenient message that you can easily pass out (these messages can fit in virtually any pocket).
It has been my repeated experience that when I am prepared and willing to meet people and lovingly give these pamphlets out, that God will begin to move in unprecedented ways. In fact, your decision to be fiercely obedient to God’s call on your life to reach out and evangelize may very well bring your relationship with God to a whole new level.
Jack and I spoke that day, as we both entered the same subway car. I was able to speak with him for a good period of time, during which he said to me, “We come from a long line of atheists. We are hard to reach.”
Wow, what an interesting comment.
I asked the Lord, “Lord, what am I going to do for this man? I only have the same pamphlet that he has already read. Is there not something else I can give to him?” I fished around in my backpack, and found a rough printed copy of a short book I wrote, “Supernatural keys to healing, volume 1.” It is a short book, and is good for Christians as well as non-Christians. There are principles in that book that go right back to the gospel message of repentance and forgiveness. Jack’s stop was coming up soon, so, before even showing the book to him, I asked, “Is anyone in your family sick?”
Jack responded, “Is anyone sick? We’re all sick!” This then opened the door for me to ask him if he would receive a book from me on healing, and he said, “Yes!” Thus it was that I gave him the book, and his stop was up and coming, and he was on his way soon after that, because his stop was the very next stop.
This was the evangelistic escapade the Lord led me on in this case, and because the Lord intervened and spoke to me clearly, it was exciting. It was not boring — anything but!
Every so often, I will visit Domino’s Pizza where I will pick up a pizza for the family. My daughters love that especially. On one occasion when I went there, I gave out some evangelistic pamphlets (as I often do wherever I go). When I went there, the same man I had met the previous time was also there. He came up to me and thanked me, saying, “I read that little pamphlet you gave me. It was really good. People need that these days.” This was interesting, because this man did not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. But he was very open to receiving the pamphlets.
Five or more were working there, as well. As we were talking, I said to the man, “I have some other ones. Would you like them as well?” For I had written several others since the last time I had seen him.
The man’s eyes lit up and said, “Yes.”
Several of his co-workers then gathered around. I showed them an assortment of pamphlets, one of them being, “Why worry?” which happens to be a Scripture-filled pamphlet explaining why we should not worry but have faith in God. One man saw the title of the pamphlet and said, “I need that one.” Well, that was a confession, wasn’t it? This man had a problem with worrying. The entire world has a problem with worrying, in fact! People are wondering what is going to happen to them and their families. There are so many things to worry about. Well, Christians have an answer. So I figure we ought to give it to them. What an amazing blessing to be able to give that pamphlet to that one man, yet I gave away three or four different pamphlets in that one visit to Domino’s alone.
The Sales Clerk at Canadian Tire
Yet again armed with pamphlets (which are conveniently folded so as to be able to easily fit in any shirt or pant pocket), I went to Canadian Tire to buy a sheet of plastic to cover our kitchen table. I went to the checkout, and a roughly 18-year old man was working there. He punched through my purchase, and then I felt the immediate presence of God suddenly telling me to ask him what would happen if he were to die tonight. It was sudden and very clear. So I said, “Can I ask you a question?”
The man said, “Sure.”
I said, “If you were to die tonight, where would you go?”
The man was alarmed, and paused, and then exclaimed, “That is a really good question! I have been thinking a lot about that since my mother died last year.”
This single question caused such a stir with this man, that he completely abandoned his responsibilities with the store for about 20 minutes, as we talked about Jesus Christ coming back to this earth, and our need to be ready. I did not press him at all. He was eager to talk, and even turned around, and talked with me, facing the opposite direction from his clients. His clients then went to the other checkout while we kept talking at length! He was listening to me, and gladly received the message I gave to him, and then suddenly became alarmed.
“Oh, no!” he said. “I forgot my work! Fortunately,” he said, “my manager is not here right now, otherwise, I would be in big trouble.”
This is how significant this conversation was to this man. Because his own mother had recently died, he knew it was a matter of “life and death.”
The Midnight Stroller
Again on another occasion, I was coming home, and it was about midnight. Again, I was armed with an evangelistic pamphlet, indicating my willingness, so I was ready to hear from the Lord. Therefore, the Lord spoke to me. That evening, I do not recall hearing any words, but inside my spirit, I knew the Lord was telling me to keep going straight, which was not the way to go home, for my home was to the left, yet it was not far away from there, either, so there was hardly a risk in continuing to go straight, either. What would it cost me? A few minutes of my time, perhaps? So I kept going straight, just like I knew the Lord wanted me to.
Intuitively, I knew this had something to do with evangelism, for it was in my spirit, and “he who is wise wins souls” (see Proverbs 11:30). To my left I noticed two people walking up the hill, so I came to the light, and then did a U-turn, and slowly made my way back up the hill (thus, now heading towards my house).
It was midnight, and what was I going to do, and how was I going to be effective at giving a tract to one of these men? I rolled very slowly up the hill. There were no other people visible on the street, and my lights were on, and it was midnight. It was quite obvious that I was coming from behind. I needed a quick line, so I stopped, then rolled down the passenger window, and said to one of the two men (who by this time had stopped walking), “Excuse me, but could you please tell me the time?”
I knew what time it was. After all, my car clock was right in front of me! I did not think this man could see it, though, but perhaps he could.
The man replied, “It is ten after midnight.”
I replied, “Thank you very much.” Then, without waiting too much, I said to him, “Excuse me, but can I give this to you?”
He said, “Sure.” I passed him an evangelistic pamphlet (aka “tract”) through the window. The man looked at it and paused. Then he asked me a revealing question. Something he saw on that pamphlet must have spoken to him, because he said to me, in a very appreciative tone, “You did not stop to ask for the time, did you?”
I said, “No. But I really felt I needed to give this to you.”
The man responded, “Thank-you.” Then, after a slight pause, “Thank-you very much.”
It seems that the Lord had already been speaking with that man, and my job was to simply be obedient, and deliver the message. I said, “You’re welcome,” and went on my way.
The Security Guard
I went to eat lunch at a restaurant, and in the process passed through the lobby of a high-rise office building. In those buildings, there are often security guards sitting at desks. This was not the building where I worked, so there was no risk of setting off a firestorm of disapproval from anyone I knew or who knew me, so I felt the liberty to give an evangelistic pamphlet to the security guard. I did. I gave the pamphlet to the security guard and he accepted it. Then, I went to the restaurant where I met my co-workers.
An hour later, we finished our meal, and I had to yet again pass through the same lobby. There was the security guard’s station, just as before, but there had obviously been a shift change, because the male security guard was no longer there. It was a female security guard. Her eyes were not at all on her work, nor the building, nor any other person. She was holding up the evangelistic pamphlet I had given to the other security guard, who obviously had left it there, for her, and for anyone else who might want to read it. Thus, even if I had spent 10 minutes speaking to the first security guard about Jesus, I could have never been able to pass that same message on to the second security guard, unless it had come by way of written material.
Thus to hand out a pamphlet (or tract) is ideal. And that is also how the Protestant Reformation spread so much, for it occurred at virtually the same time as the Gutenberg printing press was invented. A coincidence? Not at all. The Lord loves the printed word of God, and words which are written which point others towards the written word of God, or which contain the written word of God, as these messages do.
The Costco Worker
While visiting a Costco warehouse (doing some normal shopping), I offered one of the workers there a small evangelistic pamphlet I had written. Upon showing it to him (and I had never met this man before), he said to me, “I have read that already.”
I said, “What? You have read it already?”
He said, “Yes, you leave those lying around.”
I said, “No, I do not leave those lying around. When I give them away, I always give them to a person. I do not leave them lying around.” (For it is true, I never do. For my policy is to always give them away in person to someone who is receptive, although it may also work to make them available through other means.)
The Costco worker replied, “Well, you left it at the Gas Centre.”
Then, I remembered, roughly the day before, I had bought gas at Costco, and had given the same pamphlet to a worker who was working at the Gas Centre. I had distinctly noticed that as soon as I gave it to him, he then put it down in the little booth, where this other man must have found it. So once again, evangelistic messages can easily make their way into other people’s hands!
After that, I reflected and told the man that I had given it to one of his co-workers at the gas station. Then, we had a good discussion about Jesus. I did not need to tell him anything about what was in the pamphlet. He knew what was in it, for he had read the whole thing! The man was convicted, and tried to make excuses as to why he did not need to trust in Jesus. I said to him, “I sense the Lord is trying to speak to you.” After some discussion, he went about to do his work. I then turned to my right, and immediately met a fellow Christian from church, and we prayed for this man’s salvation.
The Second Man at Bloor and Yonge
Since I took the Bloor and Yonge subway rather frequently, the Lord has taken opportunity to speak with me there on more than one occasion. Once I walked in, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “There is a man on this floor you need to speak with.” Armed with an evangelistic pamphlet (aka “tract”), I had what it took to do the job. But why did I need an evangelistic tract to do the job? That is because of two reasons. First, evangelistic tracts are effective, and can be reused and passed on to others, thus doubling and tripling the effect, for no extra effort on your part. That’s good stewardship! Second, I do not often have a lot of time on my hands to be able to speak with someone for extended periods of time. Evangelistic tracts are prepared messages which are well thought-out in advance. When you have things to do, you can easily give out a tract and let the power of the written word do its job. Because of this, I always carry with me evangelistic tracts. That just makes sense!
Thus it was that I sought out to find the man. And I found him! He was the one playing the guitar. It was not so difficult after all, for the Lord will confirm these things to you. We spoke for about 45 minutes, while a man about 15 feet away listened to the entire conversation. Then, after I had testified to this man, who was very open but who was not yet a believer, the man who had been listening to us from a distance came by and said to the man, concerning me, “Listen to him. What he is telling you is the truth!” This became a “confirming sign” to the man who needed to hear the gospel message. For the Lord is seeking people who will worship him, and most of our conversation centered around clearing up misconceptions of God that this man had learned when he was younger. In fact, we spoke for about an hour-and-a-half in all, and it was an hour-and-a-half well spent, for the Lord was leading! (Note, I put a good amount in his hat, about 7 dollars in all, which was more than he was making at the time.)
The Highways and the Byways
Finally, I want to share with you what happened to me on one particular Saturday. I felt like I was “missing” something, and that I was not handling my accountability before God properly. I wondered, “Lord, what am I missing?” I did not know what he was saying. I was spiritually blinded to the reality of the lost around me, just outside my very door! I eventually went outside, and said to my wife, “I am going out for a walk.” I felt miserable. What was wrong? Why was my spirit saddened? The Spirit of the Lord was grieved because people needed to hear the message, and he wanted me to go outside and share the gospel!
I found a woman one block away who gladly accepted three tracts. I was surprised. She wanted them, saying she was going to give them to her Christian husband! (But the Lord wanted her to read them, and she probably will!) I found another two people at the gas station who each accepted one. Five tracts were given in the span of about five minutes! My spirit was beginning to feel better. The groaning that I had been feeling was starting to lift.
I went back to the house and grabbed more pamphlets. I walked to the bus stop and met a Jamaican man, John by name. I struck up a conversation with him. He was going home for the day. He lived more than an hour away by local transport, and could easily read some tracts en-route. There was joy in my heart. The attitude was great. You could feel the joy, and my own heart was being lifted, because God was in it. John gladly received three different tracts from me, and went his way. It had been a good encounter, and he went away smiling, like me!
My burden was completely lifted, and I went home rejoicing.
This little episode further emphasizes the fact that God is not content with us simply meeting people along the way, but wants us to intentionally go out and reach out to the lost, for the time is late, and the Lord of the harvest is about to return.
Responding to the Message
If you have felt a stirring in your heart while reading this message, know for sure that the Lord is speaking to you and wants you to take action. Think of the perishing! Think of the lost. Can you hear them crying out for an answer? Who is going to bring that answer to them? You will, and God will reward you for it. Go now, before it is too late!
“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (See Luke 14:23)
*The printable tract is provided as a PDF document that you can easily print on any letter-sized paper. Print the page (on both sides). If your printer cannot print both sides, simply print on one side, then feed the paper back in, and print on the other. Then, simply fold the page three times in half. This tract is small (2.75″ x 4.25″ — a bit larger than a business card) and convenient for responsible free distribution.