"We don`t have to 'go unto all the world.` The world comes to us," says 42nd Street Soul Saving Station Pastor Brian Kelly. God has given him and his church an amazing place to witness at one of the main crossroads of the world: the New York 42nd street, Times Square subway station by the number 7 train. The thousands of people per hour who use that station are greeted by a banner that asks: WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? They also cannot miss the 100 scripture signs along the wall and 4 tables of tracts in dozens of languages. They are able to browse until they find something that catches their interest.
Members of Kelly`s church, King James Bible Baptist, along with his wife, Rose, have staffed the outreach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since January 2007. They will go through 100,000 tracts in a couple of months. Over one million have been given out since the beginning, including 200,000 Chick tracts. Many KJV Bibles and New Testaments have also been distributed.
Many people will pause in their haste to catch the trains to scan the display. Kelly has file cards in front of some of the rack pockets stating the language in that pocket. Non-English speakers are delighted to find something in their native tongue and will read it avidly. Over 1000 tracts go out every day in languages other than English. For some, this is the first time they have heard the gospel. Kelly remembers one Finnish woman who broke into tears after reading the tract, Somebody Loves Me. Early in the morning, thousands of Mexican people come through, going to work. One whole rack is devoted to Spanish language tracts and it gets a lot of attention that time of day.
Many come back to ask questions about the Bible or tell them that they prayed the prayer in the tract. Every day someone is prayed with to accept Christ. Some days several will make a commitment to the Lord. Each tract has follow-up information on the back page with a phone number. Some call with questions and often are led to pray for salvation. They have found favor with the Transit Authority officials and police who see them as a quieting effect on the crowds.
People who are going to the Shea Stadium are given The Slugger and The Superstar. Those headed for the airport get Flight 144 and The Long Trip. He also keeps Caught and The Outcast to give to pornographers and prostitutes. Homosexuals get Sin City and Doom Town. People just out of jail get Gunslinger and Execution.
Besides the language variety, every possible religion is represented in the crowds. Roman Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, all stop by the displays and look for something that will speak to them. Kelly tries to see that no one leaves without a tract. For a small church of less than a dozen people, this amazing outreach is square in the middle of an awesome mission field. Only eternity will reveal the impact.