The Gospel in the West End of London
The Lord greatly blessed The Open-Air Mission’s (OAM) week of outreach this June in the tourist areas of London’s West End.
A team of twenty-two made the gospel known to a large number of people. Many listened to the preaching and some then stayed to talk about Christian things. A large number of John’s Gospels were given out, as well as the booklet Ultimate Questions which we had available in over 30 languages.
There was great rejoicing on the Wednesday when at Trafalgar Square one of the team had the great blessing of answering the enquiry of a young Chinese student called Eddie – how could he become a Christian?
Team member Sammy from Northern Ireland went through the account of the Philippian jailor in Acts 16. He told Eddie that if he was prepared to repent and trust in the Lord Jesus and his finished work on the cross, he too like the jailor could be saved.
Eddie asked the Lord to be his Saviour there and then. He was put in contact with the pastor of Westminster Baptist Church. Please pray for him that he might grow and be firmly rooted in the faith.
On the Sunday morning we went to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and for the first hour and a half were the only speakers there. This meant that as tourists disembarked from their coaches they made a bee-line for our open-air witness. What better thing on a Sunday morning than to listen to the preaching of the gospel!
We spent three days in Covent Garden working alongside the Evangelical church there. The place always has such a buzz about it and the main street was teeming with people right through the four-hour period during which we were witnessing. Those who listened to the preaching were approached by team members and asked what they thought about the message.
It was a joy to see conversations taking place almost constantly at open airs throughout the week. A conversation about spiritual things often opens up naturally after someone has been listening to the gospel. Our experience runs counter to the accusation that open-air work drives people away from Christianity.
Many we spoke to were genuinely interested in knowing more about the Saviour. They were being drawn rather than repelled by the preaching! It was a joy too to see many from the four corners of the earth being contacted with the gospel. Here is a brief resume of some conversations that took place during the week.
A man, who looked as though he was from the Middle East, listened intently to a number of preachers. Actually he was from the USA and said he was a Christian. However it was evident that he was only nominal in his belief. The gospel was explained to him and he went off with a John’s Gospel.
A young Polish man with a Roman Catholic background did not shrink from admitting concern about his sin and knew the importance of having the righteousness of Christ laid to his account. He took a Polish Ultimate Questions booklet and details of local Evangelical churches.
An Albanian man was offered a leaflet. He began comparing Islam with Christianity. It was sad to realise how pleased he was that his father was an imam and that he was almost sure he would get into heaven because of this relationship. However, he expressed gratitude for the discussion that took place and warmly received a John’s Gospel.
An atheist scoffed at the preaching as he walked past, but when offered a tract stopped to talk. He was formerly an army nurse and open to hearing the gospel. Although he had swallowed all that Richard Dawkins maintains about origins, he seemed willing to think again. He too accepted a John’s Gospel.
A young Muslim woman, on duty at the doorway of the nearby cinema, seemed unsure about what Islam teaches. She did know the five pillars of Islam and hoped she could fulfil them to achieve goodness before God.
After the gospel was explained, she gladly received a booklet called Pilgrimage, containing the testimonies of five Muslims who have come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour.
A young man listened to the preaching for some time. Afterwards, he said he dismissed all organised religion and preferred to pray and meditate on his own. He was asked if he knew his sins were forgiven. To this he replied, ‘That’s a difficult question to answer!’ He was shown Christ’s dying words on the cross and challenged about what the Lord had done for sinners.
Praise the Lord for all those spoken to and for God’s enabling of the team during the week. What a blessing that the highways and byways are still open to Christians to go forth and tell the wonderful message of salvation!
Trainee OAM evangelist