Tracting at Mardi Gras
By Tim Berends
It is often very difficult to get tracts to police, but we finally found a way using It’s the Law. I tried using an approach like: “I appreciate what you do for the community and would like to give you this.” When they saw the cover, several police squads and mounted posse took it. That tract often works for law enforcement people.
When we planned the trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I wanted to reach two groups: homosexuals and Roman Catholics. I took Home Alone and Uninvited for homosexuals, and Are Roman Catholics Christians? and Last Rites.
When we arrived we called a cab, and the driver picked us up at the hotel. She asked why we were going to Bourbon street. I said, “I wanted to get these gospel tracts to the people in the gay bars because so many had been molested as children.”
She responded that she was one. She admitted that she had been molested as a child by an uncle and that the only reason her dad did not do it was because he knew she “had a big mouth.” I asked if she knew whether the people there had been molested as children and she said: “100%!”
She took the tracts and promised to read them. This story supports the point in the tract, supported also by some recent studies, that most homosexuals experienced early molestation.
In touring the bars, very few refused the tracts. We would go to the back of the room to start in case we were ushered out, we could hand out more tracts on the way. Home Alone was well received. Only one person was hostile. He crumpled the tract and threw it at me. We did a quick exit so as not to create a disturbance. I’m sure others’ curiosity was raised by the incident and the other tracts we handed out got read for sure.
The other group that we wanted to reach at Mardi Gras was Roman Catholics so I took a variety of tracts for them. Getting people to take them was a challenge but in one instance I approached a group of older ladies in the gay quarter just outside the gay bar area. They were sitting on a porch near the street. I walked up and said, “This is for anyone who is an ex-nun.” One of them reached for the tract and another said she was not an ex-nun but showed interest in the tract. I know that that tract got read.
We found a Catholic church that was just dismissing service so I got in position to give them a “hand-out,” thanking them for coming. Soon a priest came and tried to tie me up in conversation to stop me. Most people thanked me for the tract.
For a long time I was hesitant to give tracts to children, but decided if they were old enough to go to hell, they were old enough to get a tract. However, when I give it, I will often suggest they show it to their parents.
Sometimes, when witnessing, I will wear one of the Chick T-shirts like the one on hell. People often react in horror but the “PLEASE” softens the blow so they can get the message.
When you “sow” several hundred tracts a day into a mission field like Mardi Gras, only eternity will show the results. But I know each time a tract is read it will either turn a searching heart toward Jesus or be rejected and witness against the person on judgment day. They cannot claim that they didn’t know.