Friday, March 25, 2011
Worldwide impact of a humble street preacher lives on today
By Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Little did street evangelist Frank Jenner realise the ongoing worldwide impact of his commitment back in 1937 to speak to ten people a day about his Christian faith on George Street in Sydney in Australia.
But today churches across the world continue to hear the amazing story of how one man’s dedication to challenge at least 100,000 people about where they stood before God, would literally result in a cycle of changed lives across the globe.
According to Christians Together, Frank Jenner’s story first emerged a number of years ago in a Baptist church in Crystal Palace in southern London.
The Sunday morning service was closing, and a stranger stood up in the back, raised his hand, and said, “Excuse me pastor, can I share a little testimony?” The Pastor looked at his watch and said, “You’ve got three minutes.”
And this man proceeded. He said, “I just moved into this area, I used to live in another part of London, I came from Sydney, in Australia. And just a few months back I was visiting some relatives and I was walking down George Street, you know where George Street is in Sydney. It runs from the business hub out to the rocks of the Colonial area.”
And he said, “A strange little white-haired man stepped out of a shop doorway, put a pamphlet in my hand and said, ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved? If you died tonight, are you going to heaven?’”
Everyone applauded and welcomed him into the fellowship.
And she said, “I used to live in Sydney. And just a couple of months back, I was visiting friends in Sydney, doing some last minute shopping down George Street, and a strange little white-haired man, elderly man, stepped out of a shop doorway, offered me a pamphlet and said, ‘Excuse me ma’am, are you saved? If you died tonight, are you going to heaven?’”
She said, “I was disturbed by those words. When I got back to Adelaide, I knew this Baptist church was on the next block from me, and I sought out the Pastor, and he led me to Christ. So sir, I’m telling you that I am a Christian.”
He said, “Mate, how’d you get saved?”
He said, “I grew up in this church from the age of fifteen through the Boy’s Brigade. I never made a commitment to Jesus, just hopped on the bandwagon like everybody else. And because of my business ability, grew up to a place of influence. I was on a business outing in Sydney just three years ago, and an obnoxious, spiteful little man stepped out a shop doorway, offered me a religious pamphlet and accosted me with a question, ‘Excuse me sir, Are you saved? If you died tonight are you going to heaven?’ “He said, “I tried to tell him I was a Baptist elder. He wouldn’t listen to me.” He said, “I was seething with anger all the way home to Perth.” He said, “I told my pastor thinking he would sympathize with me, and my pastor agreed. He had been disturbed for years, knowing that I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus - and he was right. And my pastor led me to Jesus just three years ago.”
At the close of his teaching session, three missionaries came up and said, “We got saved between 15 and 25 years ago, respectively, through that little man’s testimony and asking us that same question on George Street in Sydney.”
And he said, “How’d you become a Christian?”
He said, “Well it was miraculous! I was a rating on a United States Battleship, and I lived a reprobate life. We were doing exercises in the South Pacific, and we docked in Sydney Harbour for replenishments. We hit King’s Cross with a vengeance. I got blind drunk. I got on the wrong bus - got off in George Street.
“As I got off the bus, I thought it was a ghost. This elderly white-haired man jumped in front of me, pushed a pamphlet into my hands and said, ‘Sailor, are you saved? If you died tonight, are you going to heaven?’” He said, “The fear of God hit me immediately. I was shocked sober, and ran back to the battleship, sought out the chaplain, the chaplain led me to Christ and I soon began to prepare for the ministry under his guidance. And here I am in charge of over a thousand chaplains and we’re bent on soul-winning today.”
The man said, “I want to meet him.” Two nights later, they went around to this little apartment, knocked on the door. And this tiny, frail, little man opened the door. He sat them down and made them some tea, and he was so frail that he was slopping tea into the saucer as he shook. And as he sat with them, this London preacher told him all these accounts over the previous three years. This little man sat with tears running down his cheeks.
“Sometimes, I was ill - I couldn’t do it, but I made up for it at other times. I wasn’t paranoid about it, but I have done this for over forty years, and in my retirement years, the best place was on George Street. There were hundreds of people. I got lots of rejections; but a lot of people courteously took the tracts.” And he said, “In forty years of doing this, I’ve never heard of one single person coming to Jesus until today.”
Now I would say, that has to be commitment. That has to be just sheer gratitude and love for Jesus to do that. Not hearing of any results. Margarita did a little count. That’s 146,100 people that simple little, non-charismatic, Baptist man influenced somehow to Jesus. And I believe that what God was showing that Baptist minister was the tip of the tip of the tip of the tip of this iceberg.
Mr Jenner died two weeks later. And can you imagine the reward he went home to in heaven? Nobody except a little group of Baptists in southern Sydney knew about Mr Jenner, but I’ll tell you his name was famous in heaven. Heaven knew Mr Jenner, and you can imagine the welcome and the red carpet and the fanfare that he went home to.
To read the full story of Frank Jenner go to:
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