Hallelujah, Jesus!

BY BERNARDO ROJAS

As a Christian I can understand why a true believer may choose to give their testimony about being saved, but this may not always be so clear to the average bystander. I remember the first time I saw a person publicly talk about how they got saved. It was 1989 in San Antonio, T.X. and my parents had taken my older brother’s fiancée and me on a summer vacation to attend my brother’s basic training graduation from Lackland Air Force Base. His graduation was around 3:00 p.m., so my family decided to take in the local tourist sights. We visited the Alamo and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, but out of all the things we saw, none left a more mysterious impression on me than a random man publicly preaching God’s Word.

It was a sunny, busy morning in that town square full of people shopping, taking pictures and doing the kinds of things people do on vacation. In the middle of all this activity was one brave soul dressed in Sunday attire, preaching. He was wearing shiny white leather shoes and a straw fedora, which he used to fan himself as the day grew hotter. I just ignored him at first. After visiting a couple of shops and stopping for refreshments, my family circled back to the preaching man. He had a Bible in one hand and was preaching up a storm through a bullhorn in his other hand. He would read from the Bible and interject things like, “Oh Yes! Hallelujah Jesus!” As he preached he would get encouragement from random people with occasional, “Woo-hoo!” or “AMEN!” re

sponses, but for the most part everyone just continued on their way without forming a crowd to listen.

I, being the sheltered country boy that I was at that age of 13, stopped to listen. I can remember thinking to myself, “Is this man crazy, out here in the hot sun with that bullhorn? Who is he talking to?” As I stood there listening and wondering I looked to my left and saw another younger boy listening to the man give his testimony. I noticed that he was listening intently, and I decided to make a comment to him about the man being “obviously out of his mind.” I full-heartedly expected the youngster to agree with me and have an innocent little chuckle at the gentleman’s expense. Instead, the boy looked up at me and said, “No, he is not crazy. He is preaching the word of God.” Then he walked off and left me standing there by myself.

I was mesmerized at how a younger kid could have known what the man was talking about while I did not. Suddenly, I was in an awkward place, and the preaching man did not look so crazy after all; now he seemed to glow in the late morning sunlight as I scurried away to find my parents.