It was hot in Camden. Our church’s evangelism team had stopped on a street known colloquially as the “Heroin Highway” because of its reputation for attracting drug addicts, prostitutes, and violent crime. Hoping to keep our neighbors cool on a recent humid afternoon, we had packed coolers with Italian ice and chilled water to distribute to passers-by. Eager to start conversations with residents about faith, we set up our refreshment table just a few blocks away from our church. Within minutes, residents began flocking to our makeshift refreshment stand.
One older gentleman was particularly friendly. After reaching into the cooler for a beverage, he walked towards me and we shook hands.
“What brought y’all out here today?” he asked me.
Sensing the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I began to share about the faith which had inspired our church’s visit. But as I continued, his friendly demeanor became contentious.
“This is why I can’t stand you stupid n***as,” he stepped forward, and gave me a poke in the chest. “You don’t know anything about your history. Don’t you know that Christianity is a white man’s religion? You’re just regurgitating his racist rhetoric!”
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