Monday, June 9, 2008

Back to Ybor

It's been about a month and a half since we attacked the devil's domain in Ybor City (Tampa), Fla. So we decided to go back out Saturday night and attack again.

We were all hungry (well, Nadia was the one who insisted on eating), so we went to a place in Centro Ybor and ate and chatted. We tried to witness to our waitress, but someone had ruined our opportunity by offering $20 for a good person for only a few questions, then stretching out the test and not giving up the dough. Our practice is to give it to them even though they don't deserve it, as an illustration of grace; apparently, this person couldn't afford to let go of the money, which means he should have tried something else. Don't make it worse for them--they can't pass the test anyway.

So I left her a good tip instead (no, not $20). She did pick up the tract that the kids sitting at the table behind Nadia (she sat on one side, Isaac and I on the other) had left. I believe they took the other one.

As we went back to the car for tracts, Nadia wanted to go to the Castle, where the gothic/satanist kids hang out in Ybor. I objected (mildly) because they had all turned down my tracts--and that never happens with this particular tract (I can't give you a link, because it's not for sale--it was discontinued, but it is still effective). But Nadia insisted, because she has talked to many of them several times.

So back we went, and even Nadia couldn't get them to talk. But she said that we should stand near the entrance and try to get in. In the club? Yes.

We already stood out like a sore thumb, not wearing black at all (save for my socks and shoes), and I had this huge Bible under my left arm. I think that may have accounted for the hostility we received, but there is no excuse whatsoever for the conversations we couldn't help overhearing (we were only two feet away to begin with, and closer as time went on).

You know the phrase "mind is in the gutter"? Wow.

Usually, when I am trying to break into a crowd to talk about the Gospel, I try to key off something they are talking about. Like a group of young kids going to a concert, or a group of grown men going to a baseball game. These guys were talking about fornication and almost nothing else. What does a Christian say to break into these conversations? I can't rejoice with them or laugh at their jokes. The only thing to do is either keep quiet or attack. With our plans to go inside, I chose the latter, knowing that they would probably ignore anything I said anyway.

I noticed also that, while there were many young men and women there, there were very few older women there, but a sizable number of older men. Older men who got there early. So, parents, what are your daughters doing on Saturday nights?

I was concerned that the club had a cover charge, which most clubs do, because I didn't have lot of money to spare, having just paid for two separate plane trips, one to Niagara Falls for an evangelism boot camp, and another to St Louis for a family reunion (so I can witness to some family members that I might never see again). Then I heard from inside, as some people were getting in, that the cover was $15. I turned to Nadia.


She nodded.

"I don't have $15."

"I have a card. That's what I did last time."

"They don't take cards here--it's cash only."

"They did last time I was here."

I pointed to the sign on the exit door that said "Cash only, no cards or checks."


So we didn't go in.

But I told her that next time we would be prepared: I would be wearing my black "Jesus for Jews" shirt, which always gets attention at the Rock. I was going to mention that I would also wear black pants, but she got all excited, because she remembered a Jesus shirt that she could wear, too.

Unfortunately, we have to wait about three or four weeks for that. Oh well. Lesson learned.

We did hand out a ton of tracts, and Nadia got to talk to a couple of people. We never did set up to preach, even though I had wanted to. I did not feel right about doing so in front of the castle, even though we had a rather captive audience (they didn't want to lose their place in line, because the first few people in get in free). And we just never set up at Centro Ybor (we went back there after the castle).

So we finished around 11:15, which is rather early for me and Nadia (we usually have others with us than Isaac, but he is a good friend, and he was the only other person who showed up). I so wanted to be able to talk to some people, but I love dispensing tracts, too, so I can't complain. God bless, and thanks for the prayers.

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