"I have been giving out Chick tracts for over 30 years and was pretty sure I`d gone through all the different ways to use them," writes prison Chaplain Dann Slator. "I gave out equal amounts of Spanish and English tracts in my 18 years as a volunteer prison chaplain, but for the last five years I can`t believe how much joy I get out of these foreign tracts,"
About 5 years ago, he says that the Lord showed him this additional way. Noticing that the California culture included an increasing variety of foreign languages, he began to take with him some of the 100 non-English titles that Chick Publications carries. He would fill his pockets with the most common languages and stock his car with others that he thought he might need.
He began to study the people to try to figure out their nationality so he could hand them the right language tract. If not sure, he would fan out three or four titles in his hand and ask the person if they recognized any of the languages. When he had guessed right, the person`s face would light up as he reached for the right tract. If they said "no," he would ask their language and if he had one in his pockets, give them the gospel in that language.
If he did not have one with him, he would ask them to wait a minute while he retrieved one from his car. He keeps about 30 languages in his pockets and another 30 in the car. "A lot of times, when I talk to someone in a market and I don`t have that certain one with me, they will follow me to the car to get one." Dann likes markets because some specialize in supplying certain ethnic groups and he can meet a lot of people who all speak the same language.
He also saved enough to buy a special printing of the tract, Titanic. On the back he personalized it with a small picture of himself on a horse taken when he was a young man. When he hands the tract to someone he says, "That`s me on the horse when I worked on the Matador Ranch in Texas." It makes it even more difficult for the person to refuse the tract.
Dann sums up his life: "All I can testify to is that it`s truly been a real joy for me and my prison ministry that the Lord gave me over 30 years ago; and I believe I`m still in for more surprises."
Dann`s early life is the subject of one of Chick Publications Crusader Comics series called Unwanted. Now over 80 years old, he looks back marveling how the Lord protected his life long before he came to know Christ. Rejected by a dysfunctional family, he became a hell-raising Marine and cheated death more times than he can count. Finally cornered by the Lord, he refocused his life to challenging even the roughest sinner to give up his resentment and hate and submit to a loving Heavenly Father.
Although the foreign language tracts were developed with the help of missionaries from around the world, they now are very useful in our country where the mission fields have come to us. Go check out your neighborhood and see if there aren`t a few markets that cater to special ethnic groups.
You, too, will enjoy watching someone`s face light up when they see the tract in their own language. And who knows? Maybe the Lord will use you and the tract to break the pagan bondage strangling the spirit of that person.