Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Looking for Bible studies in Antigua

Around 1993 I was in Antigua to help with a Gospel meeting and one of the brethren who had lived in Puerto Rico for awhile wanted me to go with him and try to study with some of the Dominicanos (natives of the Dominican Republic) there. Of course I agreed and we were to go on Saturday morning--they would be working at other times.
Saturday morning we went to the houses of a couple of contacts he had made, but with no luck--one was busy washing and the other was not there. Because we were walking this took about 45 minutes. He then said he knew a place where we would find people who spoke Spanish. After walking about 10 minutes he told me the place was just a block away now. As I looked around I didn't see anything except a small, neighborhood bar and yes, that was our "goal". He didn't really know anything about it, he told me, but he had heard music in Spanish coming from it.
We went in--it was about 12' X 8' feet in size, with two doors and that many windows, which of course were all open for the breeze. By this time it's about 11 AM so there's only one customer, besides us, and he is quietly sipping on a beer. We sat down on the bar stools and asked for 2 cokes, which we promptly received. The music is soo loud you can barely hear yourself think--I had to shout to ask for the cokes. There are two women working there--the one serving us is busy taking beer bottles out of cardboard boxes and stacking them into a small refrigerator. The other is cleaning up and you can tell is preparing for the afternoon/evening, when business should be brisk. We sit there for a few minutes--he's waiting on me, the older, more experienced preacher, to "say something" and I'm trying to figure out what to say--I've never looked for prospects in a bar before (or since).
Finally, after about 3-4 minutes the women approaches me again and I tell her that I am here preaching the Gospel and we are looking for people to study the Bible with in Spanish. I acknowledge that a bar is not the place we usually come, but ask her if either of them would be interested. She doesn't even acknowledge what I said either way, but goes back to stacking beer bottles as quickly as she can. I wouldn't even guess how many beers she put in there, but she had been doing it rapidly the whole time we had been there. After a few more minutes the casette stopped and about a minute later she had filled the refrigerator. She approached me and said (in Spanish) "Well, tell me something about the Bible." I began a short Bible study and the three of them entered into it, listening and even asking a few questions. Then customers began to arrive so we left after getting the address of the first customer.
Now brethren, I do not relate this to encourage you to go to bars looking for people to study with. My purpose is to open our eyes to the fact that many people we "know" would not be interested in the Gospel may at least be willing to study a little. Once the seed is sown we have done our part and what they do about it is up to them. Even the smallest portion of His Word can have an effect; if not now, maybe later. While not real common in the States, there are many people who have been converted in just such sessions, being baptized that very day.
Let us not be weary in well doing, for we shall reap, if we faint not.

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