This was to be my first time street-preaching in my hometown so I was a bit apprehensive to say the least. The Phoenix is a local "punk emporium where teens with angsty [sic] expressions, tattoos, and drooping ear gauges rule the mosh pit" (this is the description I got off the website). In other words; its a den of iniquity.
I felt somewhat relieved that Jim was leading the way as he has preached there many times. On one occasion (by some divine miracle) he was actually granted permission by the owner to preach the gospel during the intermission of a Punk concert. He got about 20 seconds into the 'sermon' before the crowd began shouting, "We love Satan! We love Satan! We love Satan!" Now Jim and the owner of the Phoenix have a rather tenuous relationship...
As our time approached I became very nervous. This was a "Rap" concert so my imagination was running away with me over what might happen. Around 5 PM I noticed that I had missed a call from Jim on my phone. He had left a message saying that he would not be able to make it down in time and that he was sorry.Oh well, I guess it was not meant to be. There was no possible way I would go down there alone - not to a rap concert. (My wife was adamant about that.) Then my heart started pounding, "What about all the people who have prayed for this? Should I go Lord?" Immediately I knew what the answer was, now I just had to bring my will into conformity.
That was no easy task and I paced the house for over an hour, praying that the Lord would give me the courage to go. The courage never came so I had to go without it and trust that the Lord would supply what was lacking when it was needed.
It was packed outside with about 500 of Sonoma County's youth. I stood up on my chair right at the front of the line and preached the gospel for about an hour.
It was quite a scene. They mocked and railed me for the entire time. It mattered little - Christ was making His appeal through this poor preacher - begging them to flee from their sin into the arms of the Savior. They continued to mock and rail and spit and sin as I continued to preach and plead and rebuke and warn. It was a glorious night! I can't wait to go back!