London Journal – Sunday, October 12, 2008

In the morning we went with VS to her church, Westminster Chapel. Pastor Greg Haslam preached a strong message on the ways Satan’s deception is at work in our day and on the need for discernnment.

Then off to All Soul’s Church for training, discussion and prayer.

The scheduled speaker was caught in a gigantic traffic jam and could not attend, so they asked me and Bob (a retired educator) to report on our observations from attending Friday’s International Conference on Policital Islam, Sharia Law and Civil Society. The group was very much interested in what was presented at the conference, and they asked many questions.

Next, we walked to Hyde Park, which was a major attraction on this warm Sunday. It is the largest park in London, covering 142 hectares, or 350 acres.

One man was printing word posters. Why he was lying on his side I did not learn.

In Speaker’s Corner we observed a line of Muslim men saying their prayers. Some of them had brought a mat to kneel on; others knelt on the bare blacktop. The prayer posture included standing, bowing and kneeling.

I had several meaningful converstions with people about religion, objections to Christianity, and the claims of Islam. Two students from Italy had good questions about the nature of religion, the evils of the Inquisition, and why all religions can’t agree to live in peace. Our converstion was interrupted by a man from another religion who insisted on talking loudly, asking many questions but not allowing time for any responses. I tried to ignore him in order to talk with the students, but he became very angry and, in my face began insulting me as a (expletive) American over and over in a loud voice. I decided it best to walk away but was grieved that I could not continue a conversation with the two students.

I was surprised at how hard it was to think clearly and with peace of mind while someone is denouncing me abusivley and people nearby are listening and wondering what is going on.

After we left the Corner, our group went to Kentucky Fried Chicken for debriefing, mutual support, food and fun. Then after awhile we relocated to another restaurant that some of the group preferred.

BG has a car, so she drove three of us home. She was especially interested in conversation with JoLene and me as a pastoral-type couple about all sorts of things, so we sat in her car talking for half an hour or more about life, team relationships, and the way she is perceived and treated by some of the men on her team. All this time the windows were steaming up from our animated talking.

We got to bed at midnight, fifteen hours after we set out today.

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