By: Tat Szeto
I completed the 3 month weekend course at the Toronto Chinese Christian Short Term Mission Training Centre in March 2017. During that period, I received classroom instructions in the morning and hands on practice in the afternoon. Thereafter, I joined various local mission opportunities such as the monthly gospel sharing at Asia Legend restaurants and the quarterly outreach at Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. But the climax was Jesus Loves Chinatown!
I attended 4 of the 6 days event that ran from August 22nd to 27th, 2017. There were the Chinese speaking division and the English speaking, and I attended the English division. We had devotional time in the morning, training and street evangelization during the day. Besides sharing the gospel on the streets and at various institutions, we had fellowship moments such as group lunch and snack, and sharing and briefing at the end of the day. But what struck me most was experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel first hand.
We sang hymns of praises and performed mimes at the Toronto Harbourfront and at the Dragon Centre right at the heart of downtown Toronto Chinatown. People would stop by to watch, and we would pass them gospel tracks and share Jesus with them. Some were friendly and receptive but some were hostile and even smeared at us. We took it all in with a smile because we did it for the Lord. When Pastors Wendell, Marcello and Williams preached, though hardly anyone stopped to listen, we did not feel discouraged for we were there to make a statement and proclaim the name of our God.
When I was teamed up with Pastor Marcello to do street evangelization at the Dundas Square, I did not know what to expect. Arriving at the place, we found people lining up for games of fortune and free food and drink samples. Not sure how to approach gospel targets, I prayed. Then the Holy Spirit led us to join the line for the wheel of fortune. Sure enough, soon a man, and a lady with a child joined behind us. The man was an atheist, and the lady was from a family with Catholic background. The 5-colored bead chain proved to be a very helpful lead-in to the conversation. We shared our faith with them and challenged the lady of the assurance of getting to heaven on death. Gospel seeds had been sown, and we entrust the cultivation and growth to the Holy Spirit.
Across from the Dundas Square, there was a stand put up by the Muslims. They offered free Kuran and books on their faith. Pastor Marcello engaged the Muslims attending the stand, and challenged their belief. Yes, a spiritual warfare is raging, and we as soldiers of Jesus, must stand firm and strong to hold on not only our ground, but to advance against the dark forces enslaved by Satan!
At the Scott Mission on Spadina Road, we would talk to people who came for free grocery and meal. They had very different backgrounds and were in different stages of life. They all had a story to tell. So we listened and tried our best to empathize. Yes, they came here for physical needs, and our God of providence, satisfied them through the Good Samaritan, the Scott Mission ministry. We would draw them to Jesus, the living water and the bread of life. I was thankful that God led me to have good conversations with 6 people during my 2 visits, and prayed with them.
On my last day at the event, I got teamed up with Pastor Tracy and Moses, son of Rev. Peng, to go to The Hospital for Sick Children. After talking to two families sitting on the benches, we were again searching for gospel targets. Then we spotted 2 ladies sitting in the cafeteria with 2 children running around. They appeared to be busy working on something and did not look too inviting. So we gathered to pray before approaching them. Then Pastor Tracy engaged them. I sat beside them and prayed as they talked. Once again, I witnessed the power of the gospel at work! The younger lady accepted Jesus to be her personal savior, and Pastor Tracy led her do the affirmation prayer. They exchanged email addresses and we even took a picture together to capture this moment of blessing and joy. Praise the Lord!
Yes, Jesus loves Chinatown. There are lots of lost souls in our own community and beyond. How can we stand to see them wandering in darkness drifting around, not knowing that they can have this peace and strength to face the ups and downs of this life, and an assured eternal life of going to heaven at the end of this earthly journey through the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Connect the world to Jesus. There will be Jesus Loves Chinatown 2018. Come join us to experience the joy and blessing of being the conduit to knowing Jesus.