Thursday, July 20, 2006

Speaker's Corner Toronto

"So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there." - Acts 17:17

The above picture is of Speaker's Corner in downtown Toronto where I was able to deliver a message during my trip to one of Canada's most extensive cities of size and diversity. As noted in the itinerary, from June 24-25 I travelled to Toronto upon invitation from brother Greg Gordon and spent a blessed weekend preaching the gospel and attending a powerful service where I was so privileged to here a giant of the faith, brother Richard Owen Roberts, share his heart on the subject of revival. The following is an account of the trip, faithfully reporting the noteable occurances during my course:

First of all, meeting brother Greg and brother Ricky Earle in person was an absolutely tremendous honor which I continue to recognize and do miss them sorely. Both are dear Christians who love the Lord fervently and seek to serve Him wholeheartedly. I cannot more highly recommend both of their ministries as faithful and effective articles in the hands of the Lord and encourage you to visit their websites found at: (Greg Gordon) (Ricky Earle)

Greg's ministry reaches untold millions around the world by preserving and promoting classic preachers and their invaluable legacies of faithful service. I do not believe even Greg realizes the colossal impact his labor of love has affected in the lives of so many countless people. We give glory to God for the work He has accomplished in this brother. Brother Ricky's open air ministry reaches out to high school students in that pivotal period of their lives when they must choose between the Lord or the world. I have no doubt that vast numbers of young people have heard the gospel through the hours of service afforded by our dear brother, who preaches and distributes thousands of Christian materials all at his own expense. May the Lord bless them both for their part in the struggle for the hearts and souls of men.

The first day Greg showed me around downtown Toronto, taking me to the different sites of the colorful city. One particular place was a grand old stone building converted into a theology/philosophy bookstore with many aged books and authors. I enjoyed that very much. How I wish we had something like that in Fredericton, but alas! After having supper we met up with Ricky and spent the remainder of the night preaching on the famous or infamous Yonge Street, handing out tracts and talking one on one with people. We also had the opportunity to pray for some right on the street. Toronto is definitely a wicked place.

In the morning Greg and I studied the Scriptures together before once again meeting up with Ricky and heading out of the city to attend what we thought would be a service with guest speaker Richard Owen Roberts at the Faith Mission retreat center. Well, it was a service with brother Richard Owen Roberts, but to our delight it happened to be an old fashioned tent meeting on the Faith Mission grounds. Brother Roberts spend his usual lengthy time preaching on revival and the true meaning of revival. The presence of God was powerfully present in the meeting, especially when the dear white haired saint prayed a deeply heart felt prayer for God to send our nation a spiritual awakening: "Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6)

After the meeting we drove back to Toronto to continue the mission of preaching the gospel to the lost downtown. We went to Chinatown and handed out Chinese gospel of Johns which were so eagerly received that we soon ran out of books in a short amount of time. Greg commented how wonderful it would be to have someone preach in that area with an interpreter. The harvest is truly plentiful and ready to be harvested. It was then after this we headed to Speaker's Corner where the message featured on this post was preached. Speaker's Corner is a designated free speech zone for public use right in the middle of the downtown Toronto. This audio features only a segment of the electrifying time we spent there, but still captures some of the more dramatic moments that took place, such as the man who vehemently opposed the preaching, the opening prayer, and lots of engagment with the audience.

The man who was opposing was so aggressive that I could barely get a word in edge wise, so I had to ask God what to do. I felt almost immediately to just step back, be quiet, and let him rant. At this point he was in the middle of the circle firing off many claims such as "There is no God" and "Is anyone afraid of being struck by lightning" and it was obvious he had nothing to say and could not back up anything he was presenting. He eventually gave up and stormed out of the circle while a few people clapped in approval.

Some quotes from Speaker's Corner:

Man: If I get struck by lightning you're going down with me.

Eli: Evolution is not science. No one has ever seen a banana turn into a man.
Man: You've never seen a banana turn into a man?
Eli: No, but I've seen men go bananas!

I was also able to talk with a group of Spanish Catholics about being born again, a Hindu man about the Bible, as well as a group of young girls who fell under some conviction of sin. A few weeks later Ricky was preaching at the same spot and saw those girls and was able to talk with them. One of them said they were really affected the last time and had been thinking about what was said to her ever since. Ricky was able to continue to water that precious seed! Praise be to God!

The next morning it was time to fly home and I can truly say I was very sad to leave and still do miss both the saints there and the city itself. Toronto is an enormously immoral city, and if I am to minister anywhere I would want it to be in the most needy and godless places. I pray that the Lord would allow me to return to Toronto some day. Glory to God in all things, for His steadfast love, faithfulness and wisdom in guiding our lives according to His purposes.

And so finally, you can download the file below. Be advised, however, this clip contains course language and swearing. May God bless you:


Brother Paul said...

Praise God for this report. How blessed you are to team up with these two faithful brothers. I know the Word you guys put forth will not return void. Glory be to God for the fruit it will soon yield!

Brother Paul

Luke Coughey said...


It is ironic that you were in Toronto. Jennifer and I were there on Saturday. While there, I ran accross a man reading God's Word on the corner of Yonge and Dundas, just outside the Eaton Centre doors. I chatted with him a few minutes, gave him a few words of encouragement and told him that I would be praying for him. On that note, if you want to keep our brother, Ivan, in your prayers, it would be appreciated.

It is too bad you didn't let me know in advance that you'd be in the area...I would have made the trek to see you.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Brother Ivan is a faithful brother, who is new to open air preaching but has such a heart to reach people for Christ. He is at Yonge/Dundas weekly, I believe.

Eli said...

Luke, I'm sorry I didn't think of giving you a shout before. It was very last minute and I also didn't connect how close you lived. I would have loved to see you! Lord willing it won't be that too long.

Lord bless you Luke.
Love in Christ,

Anonymous said...

a banana turn into a man? your grasp of the theory of evolution is not too firm.
While you are free to disagree with it, at least know something about it - arguing it is false because noone has seen a banana turn into a creature is absurd. Perhaps simply stating there is yet to be proof of evolution would make you seem smarter.

Eli said...

Hi Mark,

I know enough about evolution to know that it is absolutely as absurd as saying something as silly as seeing a banana turn into a man.

Actually, a banana to a man is better for evolutionists than the real truth... evolutionists believe all living things came from rocks. And where'd those rocks come from? Nothing. I think you should be happy I used the example I did.

Friend, evolution is a lie that has stolen people's minds away from the living God who all will have to give an account to on the Day of Judgment. If you would be honest and reasonable you would surrender to the truth that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", submit yourself before Him in acknowledging your rebellion and sin, and accepting the forgiveness of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no alternative than this. Sure, you can continue in your illusion of evolution and believe a foolish lie... that is your choice. God loves you Mark, but He won't force you.

I pray you will call out to God by faith. Sincerely,