It’s not every day that car airbags lead to the proclamation of the gospel. In this article I testify to the importance of gospel tract.
A Tough Weekend for Davenport PD
It had been a tough weekend for the Davenport Police Department. Two officers answering a possible burglary in progress call were confronted by an armed gunman when they entered the location. Both officers were injured, with one of the officers shot in the head. The suspect was killed. The wounded officer is expected to make a full recovery.
Another Davenport officer suffered a bite wound to his bicep when he tried to arrest a woman for DUI, after a hit-and-run collision.
The fourth officer injured during this last weekend suffered cuts to his face. The officer answered a check-the-welfare call. People in the house told the officer that the person in question had assaulted them. When the officer attempted to physically detain the man in order to conduct a search for weapons, the man attacked the officer. The man tried to pull the officer’s gun from his holster. In doing so, he grabbed the officer by the face, cutting him.
Considering the weekend had by officers with my community’s police department, I decided I needed to spend some time outside the station with my “Law Enforcement Lives Matter” sign and some gospel tracts.
A Cold Day and a Cool Reception
Every Tuesday afternoon, my brother in Christ, Roy Sandercock, takes his work lunch hour to join me on the streets for sign evangelism. This day, we agreed to minister outside the Davenport Police Department. I arrived about a half-hour before Roy.
It was a cold day. The wind added to the chill in the air. I arrived at the corner of Harrison Street and 4th Street, and hoisted my sign. The first motorist with whom I made eye contact looked at my sign and gave me the finger. My community is very supportive of its law enforcement. The vast majority of people who react to my sign do so in a positive manner. That my first contact with a motorist was a negative one made me wonder what kind of ministry outing I would have.
Shortly thereafter, a man walked to the corner. I handed him an “Are You Ready” gospel tract.
“What’s this?” He asked.
“It’s a gospel tract.” I replied.
“Oh! I already know the Lord.” He said.
The conversation started well enough. That is, until I asked him where he worshiped.
The man was a nomad–one of those guys who insists that he is the church and whenever he hangs out with Christians he is doing church. I also learned he was a Oneness Pentecostal–a denier of the triune nature of the Godhead.
He wasn’t happy when I called him to repent of his idolatry, of denying the Trinity and creating a false god in his imagination. But, at least he kept the gospel tract.
The Airbags Exploded
Roy arrived and, as we do every Tuesday, we enjoyed fellowship and ministry together. Not long after Roy arrived, we were both startled by what sounded like a shot from a large-caliber gun. After we flinched, we turned to see two vehicles stopped in the #1 eastbound lane of W 4th Street, just east of the intersection with Harrison Street.
There had been a collision. A woman driving a four-door sedan hit the solid steel bumper of a full-size work pickup truck. The driver of the truck pulled over to the left side of the one-way street. The driver of the sedan sat behind the wheel of her car. Smoke was billowing out of the passenger compartment of the car.
I handed Roy my sign and made my way to the driver’s side of the car. “Are you okay? Are you injured?” I asked.
“I think so.” She tearfully said.
I helped her out of the car and escorted her to the sidewalk. She was a little wobbly so I asked her to lean against the building. I returned to her car to drive it to the side of the road. That’s when I put two-and-two together. The explosion Roy and I heard was the driver and passenger-side airbags deploying.
The driver of the truck was on the phone with the police department, which ironically was directly across the street. So, I focused my attention on the driver of the car. Her name was Marlene. She looked at her shaking hands, tears still streaming down her cheeks.
“That’s gunpowder on your hands, from the charge in the airbags.” I said. “You’re fortunate the airbags deployed.”
Marlene didn’t have a phone. She asked me to call a friend for her to let him know what happened.
I continued to console her until the police officer arrived.
From Airbags to Gospel Tracts
Since I didn’t witness the accident (Roy and I only heard it), the officer told me I was free to leave.
Neither the officer nor the two people involved in the traffic collision had time for a full gospel conversation. Had I not had gospel tracts with me, the likelihood is that parties involved in the collision would have not heard the gospel at that time. They would have left the scene of the collision with nothing more than a police report number and the thought of increased insurance rates. And the officer would have left the scene with just another report to write.
Sadly, many Christians underestimate or completely dismiss the use of gospel tracts in evangelism. To do so is a mistake. This testimony shows that gospel tracts are an important tool in the Christian’s evangelism tool bag.