'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full"

Luke 14:23

Friday, July 23, 2010

San Francisco Gay Pride (6-27-2010)

We set up at our normal location on Market and Powell and by 9 in the morning the city was more packed than it would have been at noon on a normal Saturday. A street preachers dream, to be sure.

At 10:30 the parade started. These 'Gay Pride' parades are traditionally opened by the self described motorcycle organization called Dykes on Bikes http://www.dykesonbikes.org/index.php. They ride their Harley's up and down the route and work the crowd up into an uncontrolled frenzy. The noise is deafening. All at once half a million crazed supporters start screaming at the top of their lungs. The spirit of rebellion that erupted was simply indescribable. I saw at that moment, perhaps for the first time in my life, why the Lake of Fire is absolutely necessary: it is the only possible thing, other than Grace, which can finally subdue the rebel's wicked heart.

After a couple of hours we wanted to move closer to the parade. We found a wonderful intersection that had been closed off to cars and began preaching there. Almost instantly we had several hundred people around us. The police came over quickly and asked us to move to the designated free speech area. We explained that if we were not breaking any laws then we would like to stay where we were.

To our astonishment they set up a free speech area around us. There we were, right in the middle of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, preaching the gospel to thousands as the police surrounded us. Even with the protection it was a difficult venue. At one point someone hurled a rather large ice-coffee at Jim and I. It missed us and hit about four police officers square in the face. They were pissed and had the guy in a cruiser within 30 seconds.

We preached from that spot for several hours. Finally, about an hour after the parade ended we had to move as they reopened the intersection for traffic.

Jim suggested that we jump up on the nearest street corner and start preaching again. Within a minute we had another several hundred people around us - this time though the police had gone bye-bye. Things got ugly quick and soon Jim and I were covered in water, spit, fruit juice and whatever else they could hurl at us. At last a police officer demanded that we move on so we went back to Market and Powell.

One of the coolest things I experienced that day was a sweet man named Gerald. He was probably in his mid-fifties and when I was preaching he came up to me and told me that he had come to the Lord at the SF Gay Pride Parade over ten years ago!!! I asked him how. He explained that the Holy Spirit just simply convicted him of his sin, opened his eyes and showed him Jesus. I gave him the biggest hug I knew how. What a merciful God!!

We heard estimates that there were nearly a million people out celebrating sin that day in San Francisco and yet only about 5 street preachers...would you pray about joining us next year?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Santa Rosa Street Market (7-7-10)

Santa Rosa closes off an entire street every Wednesday during the summer and thousands of people flock to eat, drink and be merry.

We initially went down to the free speech area but there was not a lot of foot traffic so we walked back up to the main intersection where generally everyone enters. When we got there we were not sure where we should set up so we stopped and prayed. We then noticed that people were forced to wait on the corner for several minutes before the light changed and they could cross, so we set up there.

I started preaching first - simply lifting up Christ, explaining to the people His infinite glory. Soon we had a crowd. A young man jumped up on a trash can and started contradicting everything I was saying so I jumped up on the one right beside him and preached even louder. I noticed at the last second someone running behind me and towards me and I knew that they were going to take a shot at me so I was able to sort of jump right as he made contact and landed safely. Praise God!

I jumped right back on my stool and began preaching again. Soon we had about a hundred people around us. Most of them were youth - extremely rebellious youth. Many of them boasted about being either homosexual or bisexual and were clearly all soundly bound in their lives of sin.

I noticed that as some of them railed us they were actually crying indicating some profound conflict going on within them. One objected, "you have made three of my friends cry." I assured them that if they run to Jesus He would wash all their tears away in so many words.

When Jim was preaching there was a young man named Edgardo behind him visibly distraught. I asked him what was wrong - the sum of it was he came under conviction. I prayed for him and trust that something profound had happened in his life just then.

At the peak there was probably 200 people around us. I noticed one woman standing in the middle of the crowd crying as I was preaching. Later she introduced herself. She said that she has two grandchildren who were so lost - just like the kids we were preaching to. She was so sad that they were generally rejecting the message of God's grace, etc.

This was one of the most glorious times preaching the gospel that I have ever had.

**Attention: If you live in the Santa Rosa area and you have a burden for youth please pray about coming out. There are hundreds of very troubled kids out there and they need Christ. As Jim and I preach there are literally dozens of one-on-one opportunities to explain the gospel to these precious souls.***

Please pray for this ministry in particular - the spiritual warfare at this street market was more intense then I have ever seen. Examples of spiritual warfare included:

1) One 'local church leader' going around to the kids contradicting most of what we said.

2) Massive opposition form the homosexuals in the community.

3) Physical confrontations.

4) Hundreds of youth bound by Satan.

5) The leader of the Street Fair trying to run us off (even in the free speech area).

6) A young man claiming that we were not really from God because were we not healing anyone. This man some how found a big piece of cardboard and wrote in huge letters - HEALING MINISTRY. He was then praying for people to get healed - for example, one young man in a wheel chair. I could never figure out if he was serious or not but it was most certainly demonic.

Another interesting note - although many of the youth were 'outraged' at us, almost everyone of them stayed and listened for the full 2 hours!! Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!