Eight of us piled into our cars at about 7:30AM Tuesday morning to drive the 45 minutes to Fullerton and catch a train to Del Mar Racetrack, where we would feed 600 Mexican workers who live on the track in tiny apartments out of view of the public. This was an opportunity to show God’s love and we were joined by a few other San Diego churches in this outreach. Dennis Agajanian (from Harvest Crusade fame) provided the music and I provided the Gospel message. Unfortunately, it didn’t start out very well…
Four women from our church missed the train that was to take us to our destination. No problem. They took the next train that was scheduled to leave an hour later. Then that train got stuck in a train traffic and was delayed another 45 minutes. While they were travelling, the conductor found out that a man was stealing a ride to a rehab center in San Diego and was going to throw him off the train. Two of our ladies interceded and paid the fare for the poor guy. Train security insisted that, “They didn’t have to do that…” They arrived at the track just in time for the message. On our train, we handed out Gospel tracts and talked to people all the way down.
We served food to the hungry laborers then baited them to come to hear the short sermon by having a raffle and a money giveaway.
I preached a tough talk from the heart using the 10 Commandments, God’s wrath and Hell using a translater. Then I talked about God’s love being demonstrated through the sacrifice of His Son. When I made the offer to come forward in repentance, no one moved. I waited. Nothing. As I scanned the crowd, I noticed that men were crying and wiping tears from their eyes. Still, no one came forward.
My translater Jose, assured me that they understood the message and that fruit would be borne later on when the on-track Chaplain led his Bible studies. “Hispanic people are very timid,” Jose explained. “But they heard what you said.” He reminded me that this is a very rough and tumble crowd, extremely macho, with a strong sense of pride. That fact, and also the truth that God’s Word never returns empty buoyed my spirits. We handed out million-dollar bill gospel tracts in Spanish, much to the delight of the crowd.
We then got a personal tour of the champion race horses in their stalls and then headed back to the train station at 6PM to go home. On the train we went up and down the aisles handing out million-dollar bills to a very receptive–and captive audience. I exhorted Ed (The Shark) Lee and my Administrative Assistant Barbara to go to the verboten Business Class and paper the people with tracts. Without hesitation they leaped from their seats and handed them out to everyone just before the the train steward yelled at them, forbidding them to hand out literature on “her train.” I spoke to a demon possessed man sitting behind me who was having conference calls with the voices in his head.
At our final destination three of us scrambled off the train just before the door closed on the remaining five. The train left with the four women who missed their train earlier in the morning— along with “The Shark.” I pounded on the door of the deaf train, gave up, and watched as it faded into the darkness. They’d have to go another 60 miles to Union Station in L.A. before AmTrack stopped; they would then wait another hour to take the train back to Fullerton.
From my bed, I called Ed Lee on my cell phone to see how things were going at about 11:15pm. “It was great,” he said speaking to me from the train that was finally taking the other team members back. “We handed out more tracts, talked to more people about the Lord, and we were totally blessed. God is good.”
I drifted off to sleep with a big smile on my face, very grateful that God uses every situation for His glory.