Saturday, February 13, 2010

More than Gold 2010 - Vancouver: Days 4-5

Friday we began our ministry in Vancouver. Rhonda and I were stationed at Yaletown Station. After the Opening Ceremonies, they anticipated at least 8000 people coming right by our table where we could serve them hot chocolate and water. They anticipated correctly. Here are some pictures of our serving the crowd. It is dark so it is hard to see. You can see Rhonda talking to a person but I did not want to use the flash for fear of interrupting the moment she was sharing with the person. (Click on the pictures for a larger image):

I had some good conversations with some folks. I talked with an Indian gentleman about what were doing there. I told him we were showing hospitality to show that we serve a good God who is kind and hospitable. I talked to a person I presumed to be homeless who wanted some change because he had not eaten. I gave him Slim Jim’s instead. I talked to a young man named Ryan who was drunk and wanted to use my phone. I told him “No” and told me he lost his girlfriend and needed to talk to her. I figured he meant he did something dumb and she left him for someone else. After a little talking, I realized he meant that he literally LOST HIS GIRLFRIEND. I called her for him (the phone was not leaving my person) and got her on the phone. She told us where she was at and we found her. He was so happy but he was so drunk and could barely understand me. I just told them to hold hands and make sure they do not get separated again.

I had other conversations as well. We got back to the church around 1:30-2:00 am.

Saturday, we had another good day. It was not as long as Friday and had some good conversations with folks. We served at Main Street/Science Station. It is essentially across the river from the Olympic Village. We got to the spot but there was no truck from which we were working so we waited until it got there. We had to wait two hours but God is constantly teaching us that we must be flexible when serving Him.

We walked over to the Science Station where the Russians are staying (I think). They are already preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Soshi, Russia. Right when we got there to look at the place, some protestors began to shout “Soshi: land of genocide!” and the crowd began to curse at them and yell at them to shut up. Rhonda and I got out of there as fast as we could. Here are some pictures of the Russians promoting the 2014 Olympics (sans protestors). (Click on the picture for a larger image):

After that we needed something to lighten the mood. This seemed to do the trick (Click on the picture for a larger image):

The truck finally arrived and we began serving our hot chocolate. We have backpacks which hold and dispense the hot chocolate. So after being filled up with hot chocolate, we walked over to the train station and began serving people hot chocolate. Here are some pictures of the backpacks (click on the picture for a larger image):

We had many good conversations with many different people. It is amazing how peoples’ faces light up when you give them chocolate. There was a group of young people around 20 years old (three guys and one girl). They said they wanted some hot chocolate and I asked them if they were from here (meaning Vancouver). They said they were from Quebec. I told them I was from Colorado and we drove here. One of the guys said, “You drove all the way from Colorado to hand out hot chocolate?” I replied, “Yes. I drove all the way from Colorado to give you a cup of hot chocolate and tell you that I serve a good, kind God who loves you.” They gave a kind and nervous laugh and said, “OK. Well, thanks. Bye.” I just pray that they think about the lengths God goes through to reach one person. It is not that he sent me to Vancouver from Colorado; it is that He sent His Son from Heaven to Earth. That is the lengths to which God will go.

When Rhonda’s and my shift were over, we headed back to the church. I wanted to find a restaurant to sit and eat at but decided we just should go back to the church. We rode the train and then the bus. I was a little disappointed that I had no real in-depth conversations today. When we got of the train, we saw a Wendy’s and thought we should just go there and eat. A young Indian man got off the train before us and was going the same direction we were going. He sort of looked back and I joking told him, “We are not following you; we are just going the same direction.” He smiled and continued walking. Suddenly, he stopped and turned and began to talk to Rhonda and I.
He told us that he had a friend die yesterday when a car hit him. We talked for just a minute to get the details and his name, Dep, and then I told him I wanted to pray for him. He said he does not understand much English, so Rhonda grabbed his hand and I put my hand on his shoulder and I began to pray for him. I am not sure he knew what was going on or what we were saying, but God heard us. He said, “I cannot understand hearing it very good but I can read it good.” I gave him a New Testament and I encouraged him to read 1 Corinthians 1 where it talks about God comforting us with all comfort so that we can comfort others. Then I encouraged him to read John. I pulled out a More than Gold pin and asked if I could explain the colors to him. He said he had to go because he was meeting some friends but he asked if we were part of a church. I told him we were part of Royal Heights Baptist Church just down the street a few blocks. He asked what time he should be there. I told him “10:00 am tomorrow.” I had not clue if that was the right time or not – turns out their service starts at 10:30 so that would be a great time. We blessed him and then he left. I pray he truly was interested in Jesus and will come to the church tomorrow.

I will post more in the next day or two as time allows. Please continue to pray for us.