Monday, August 7, 2017
Toronto Canada Soul-winning Event
The soul-winning marathon in Toronto was our first ever event in Canada, and it was a huge success in a lot of ways. Several Canadians, especially my friends Rob and Shane in Toronto, have been faithfully attending soul-winning marathons here in the U.S., and they have been trying to get me up there to Canada for a long time. They finally talked me into it, even though I thought there was a pretty good chance that I wouldn't be allowed to enter Canada.
If the U.K. and South Africa didn’t let me in, it didn’t seem like Canada would either, based on the Canadian government’s reputation for being extremely liberal. Soul-winning marathons are about preaching the Gospel, which is not illegal there, but I was still expecting them to ban me like those other places had.
When I got to the airport, they scanned my passport and put some special markings on it. They took me aside and searched me, and I was thoroughly interrogated. They asked if there was any “hate propaganda” on my computer, and I said, “It’s possible, depending on what you mean by that.” I explained that we weren’t going to be displaying or handing out anything like that, but I really thought it was over at that point because there were videos on my personal computer that many would consider controversial.
They asked for my passwords, and they took my phone and laptop into another room for about 45 minutes to go through the files on my personal devices. Apparently, there was nothing that offended them because after scouring my computer and phone, they just came back and let me through.
On that first Thursday we just had fun and saw the sights. Friday was the soul-winning marathon, which started in the morning. The forecasts predicted a high chance of rain and thunderstorms all day, but the rain held off until after the marathon. We said we were going to quit at 4:30 in the afternoon, and right at 4:30 there was a torrential downpour. My soul-winning partner and I were standing under a roof talking to someone when the storm finally came, so that worked out well.
I had been booked to preach that night in a hotel conference room. Over 100 people showed up, and the title of my sermon was “Emphasizing What God Emphasizes.” We performed baptisms afterward in the hotel swimming pool, and a total of 29 people got baptized, which was a new record for a soul-winning marathon.
There was a great spirit among the Canadian Christians up there. In fact, a total stranger actually approached us in Panera Bread right before we left for soul winning, saying she wished she was a part of our group because we had such great energy! She was a Christian lady who ended up going to the Babylon USA movie the next day. There were more than 90 people at the movie on Saturday morning, including several who were not able to take off work for the soul winning event the day before. I met a lot of great people during my visit that I hope to see again.
The Bible says, “Mine eye affecteth mine heart,” and I believe that it was God’s will for me to go to Canada. You can hear about a place, but it’s always different to actually see and experience it. God really gave me a burden for the people of Canada. Canada is a melting pot, and we were able to talk to people from all over the world. The totals for the trip were over 90 people out soul winning, 46 people saved, and 29 baptized. The people were much more receptive than I expected, and I am hoping to be able to go back and do more work there in the future.
Here is a sermon inspired by the people I met in Canada called "The Righteous Remnant."