Thursday, March 10, 2016

Adding Virtue to Listening

Jesus had set an example for us on how to listen. That is, to patiently listen. We may find it hard especially when we are put into an unpleasant situation, but it still pays to exercise it.

A lesson from PAFCOE’s Friendship Evangelism class puts it this way: If we are willing to patiently listen, we will be tapping into a natural resource. If we show respect and courtesy by listening, we will find others will begin to reciprocate it back to us. When we win their hearts, we will win the right to be heard.

Such lesson, if put into practice by a soul-winner will bring a remarkable result. And such was Elfeujun’s experience, a 3rd batch graduate of PAFCOE’s Bible Work program.

San Juan mini park, where Elfeu and Mark's Bible studies were mostly conducted
“One day, I was looking for tatay Godofredo in the mini park of San Juan City. When I found him, we sat in the side way, studying our Bible lesson while the people were passing in front of us. Halfway in our study, a man came with a barber’s electric hair trimmer in his hand. He sat beside me and listened to our discussions. The Bible study was over and tatay Fred left, yet the man stayed. I made friend with him using the FORT method and learned his name. He was Dante Sales, a retired seaman. I found out that his wife died last year and had no one to attend to him because almost all of his children had families of their own,” recounted Elfeujun.
                He went on to say, “After knowing him for that brief moment, I inquired of his Christian life and found out that he was a Catholic. I invited him to know more of the Bible by studying it together, but he refused because he had, as he thought, enough knowledge of it. I tried to say to him that he could increase his knowledge of the Word of God, but he insisted that he knew already those things. He began discussing to me about Genesis. He talked about God creating Adam, and Eve taken from his side. He talked of how they sinned by eating the forbidden fruit and were sent away from paradise to till the ground; and he went on talking….”

                “I felt that I was just wasting my time listening to him, but because I had only 25 minutes left before lunch, I decided to listen to his discussions. I really wanted to talk also, but for some reason, perhaps the Lord held my tongue that I just managed to listen until he discussed about the lamb being slain and its blood which was placed into the door posts of the Hebrew houses so that the angel of the LORD will just pass by and leave the firstborn alive,” he continued.

Elfeu and tatay Dante having Bible study lesson

                Convicted by the Holy Spirit, he finally spoke. “I asked tatay Dante if he knew what the lamb symbolizes of. He couldn’t answer so I took courage to present Jesus. I told him that the Lamb was Jesus as stated in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” Surely, the Holy Spirit worked into his heart because he listened carefully. I told him that Jesus—the begotten Son of God had to die so that the firstborn of humanity symbolizing the descendants of man will not perish. I presented that in the same way, we also needed a Savior because we are deeply plunged into sin and cannot save ourselves; we knew what is wrong but are powerless to resist it. We needed more than human power, we needed a Savior, and that is Jesus, the Lamb of God,” he narrated.

Sensing a wonderful way to minister to the needs of tatay Dante, he showed some flyers he brought with him. “That time, Sir Kevin was about to conduct the Prophecy of Hope Seminar in Quezon City. I discussed to him the flyers,both the Prophecy seminar and Health Expo. The Lord made him interested in the Health Expo because he wanted to avail the free services especially the massage. I invited him and praise the Lord he came with us!”

Truly,when you listen with the patience and love of Jesus,
opportunities to share Him will be opened.

“He listened night after night and learned many things. He told us that he knew Jesus is coming again but he did not know that the Bible clearly indicated the manner of His appearing. He also liked the food we gave him every night because it was vegetarian. He said it was good for his health for he had diabetes. I really got thrilled what would be his reaction when he would learn about the Sabbath. And when that topic was presented, he agreed to it! Praise God! But two weeks after, we felt his absence. I was thinking maybe the truth got too much for him. I contacted him and learned that he went to the province to make some work in his properties. I felt sad because he couldn’t finish the seminar,” he told with sadness.

Elfeu’s dying hope was brought back to life when, “After a week, tatay Dante came back, yet it was the last few days of the seminar. During the last Friday night, Sir Kevin asked those who wanted to be baptized to stay. To my surprise, Tatay Dante stayed.Oh no! I was thinking, ‘No, we can’t bring some unconverted man into the church!’ Kuya Mark told me, ‘Well then, this is the time that the Clearing Sheet is much needed. Just clear him and show him that he lacked the essential truths.’That Sabbath morning, tatay Dante brought with him his clothes because he wanted to be baptized. I took time to do the clearing and told him that he should not feel bad if the Pastor would not permit him for baptism that Sabbath day. Good thing there was another scheduled date for baptism which would be two weeks after and he gladly consented,” he reported.

Dante Sales (not in baptismal robe) with the candidates for baptism
“Kuya Mark and I studied with him daily to cover the topics he missed which were of great importance. He received the truths openly and listened and discussed with us with joy. Two weeks had passed, kuya Mark cleared him again and by God’s grace we found him ready for baptism. When tatay was immersed into the watery grave, my heart was pounding with joy. Praises be to God that He is patiently working into tatay Dante’s life. We even praise God all the more that He is patient to us and caused me to be patient also in listening to him. This experience taught me that,Evangelists should not just talk all the time. They also need to listen, and sometimes to patiently listen,”ended Elfeu.

We praise the LORD for the wonderful lessons
He had taught to His soul-winners. Indeed,
adding a virtue to listening proves to be effective.

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