Waterfront ~ Downtown ~ Seaport Village ~ Balboa Park ~ Parade ~ USS Midway
San Diego Evangelism Report – February – March 2011
San Diego is a city of nearly 1.3 million people and it is the sixth richest city in the US. With the fantastic climate as a backdrop it is always in the top ten best places to live. San Diego is a very clean and beautiful place. Although a subjective observation, it has been the most positive response for the Gospel than any other city I have preached in.
The area Churches and the rescue mission seem to take very good care of the city’s homeless population. Frequenting the city four days a week I have preached, as usual, in the downtown area, the waterfront area and Balboa Park. I have met some brothers here that share the heart of evangelism, Jerry Benson, John and Doug. Working with them at times has been a great blessing.
So many highlights have happened here in the last several weeks, so I will just mention a few. The situation that comes to mind first is; one day as I was preaching downtown a man came up from behind me. As I stopped and gave him my attention he said, “I want to repent of my sins”. His name was Tony, a believer who is in outpatient treatment for drugs. He shared how he went out with the old crowd and had a relapse. I prayed with him that God would give him the victory and he went on his way rejoicing.
On my first day preaching around the light rail commuter stop I had a young man come up and stand by me for several minutes before I turned and talked to him. He said that he heard me preaching about Jesus when he was down the street and how he wanted to come closer. It seems that the Lord had been putting specific people in his path each day and he recognized it as the Lord trying to get his attention. His name is James and apparently he felt he could not come back to the Lord after failing so many times in the past. I was able to visit and pray with James about this when another Christian brother, Darrin, came up and encouraged James even more. We all had a closing word of prayer before departing. Later the following Sunday I saw James in a downtown area Church I attended and that he had mentioned the first day. As far as I know he is seeking the Lord, praise God!
I first met Jerry and Erica on the waterfront while preaching there on my first Saturday. I helped them the best I could as they were living on the streets. Over the course of the next several days I saw them again and each time had a chance to witness and pray for them. The same Church that I saw James at, Horizon Park Chapel, is where Jerry and Erica go to get resources. We attended the worship services and Bible study together that day. We got there early and I spent several hours with them going over scripture and telling them of my past mistakes. Although they are not drug addicts they seem to be on the streets running from their past. They are from Colorado and they are bent on getting married. I sensed that their families didn’t approve and thus they left for that reason. I am sure there is more to the story but I believe Jesus had me meet them for a reason. I also learned a lot from them. Not everyone on the street is an addict like I was. I met at least 4 people who were homeless but didn’t use drugs or alcohol. The Lord has challenged me not to close my heart to the homeless and to “freely you have received, freely give!”
On a busy corner during the lunch hour I was preaching near where the Justice Hall and court buildings are. We are not the best critics of our own preaching or teaching so it is always a great encouragement to me when more than one person comes up and says that I have given a very clear presentation of the truth. Awe that is the Lord! It was a very exciting and powerful day. When I was finished, I noticed a man standing in the background. He was in a business suit and as he approached I noticed a big smile so I said to him, “I trust you are a believer”. He was and he told me that he was on his way somewhere and he needed to hear what I had just said. God’s timing is something else we agreed. His name is Victor and he said he would keep me in his prayers.
San Diego St Patrick’s Day Parade 2011
Jerry Benson, John, and I went to the parade. I preached with my vox amp along the parade route. I would walk several yards and preach, then move on. We covered most of the parade route. John and Jerry handed out tracts. The strategy is to go when the biggest amount of people gather on the sidewalks but before the parade starts. Once it starts I quit preaching.
I found my niche to be in the downtown area usually at midday. Because of the time I get into the city I have had a new experience here and that is to preach to the commuters as they arrive to work. I found this to be a good time even though you would think people are in a hurry. Once again the Lord has given me favor using my amplifier to preach. The police seem to be fine with it although I had a couple of complaints from office workers on the second and third stories of the buildings. I usually don’t stay on a corner for more than an hour and if it is congested I take a few breaks.