Venice Beach ~ Burbank ~ Downtown Los Angeles ~ Hollywood ~ Pershing Square ~ North Hollywood
Los Angeles Evangelism Report January 2012
VENICE THE MENACE
Friday, January 13, 2012. It was around 11:30 am when Jeff met me at the baggage claim in Burbank. We left for Santa Monica and before arriving we decided to go just south to Venice Beach. Jeff mentioned his past experiences there which made me think, so what, I preached in San Francisco for three years; how crazy could it be?
On the Venice Beach Boardwalk it is hard to get a designated spot to preach but the Lord opened one up and we settled there. I started preaching and it caused John, a few spots down, to go nuts. You can get an idea of the spiritual resistance to the Gospel. Even the vendors on the other side of us, who were not enthused that we were there, told John to shut up and go back to his space. Prayer is the only thing that would stop this man.
We met a few Christians coming through but most people passed by uninterested until a young woman named Rache (pictured left)l who I saw listening from a distance came closer. Jeff talked to her one-on-one while I continued to preach. I stopped preaching and Jeff asked Rachel if she would like to cry out to God for forgiveness. Neither Jeff nor I like to lead someone in a prayer, but rather have the person from their own heart and by their own words come to Christ. Rachel prayed and repented on her own accord and about that time one of the Christians came back by and we all prayed for her then she was given the Gospel of John.
After getting her something to eat Jeff made some calls to locate a ministry in the area that would come pick her up and take her off the streets, or in this case, the beach. Finally the Salvation Army said they would come and meet her at a certain location in about an hour and a half. In the meantime I told one of the vendors I would watch his stuff while he went and got something to eat. So we agreed that I would stay until he returned and then grab our stuff and meet Jeff and the girl.
While waiting I continued to preach the Gospel and in less than two minutes here comes Jeff back alone with blood gushing from his head. He was sort of in shock and told me to call police. I dialed 911 and then hung up when Jeff said, “no, let’s just get out of here”. He had a gash over his eye and he took his shirt off and wrapped it around his head to stop the bleeding. What had happened was Rachel’s boyfriend (or more like pimp) came up and blindsided Jeff from behind hitting him hard on the side of the head. He took her and ran. Jeff left dazed wandered back to where I was. The man who hit Jeff said something like, “so you want my girlfriend”. We thought maybe he was jealous or something but later learned he was looking from afar and knew we were Christians trying to help. I am sure she was his meal ticket.
We hiked back to our vehicle and went to the drug store and I ran in and got some first aid items. We first decided to head back to Jeff’s and go to his doctor. The bleeding stopped and so Jeff said, “no let’s go to Burbank to witness as planned”. I took over driving and we witnessed late that night and over the next couple of days. By this time Jeff’s eye was swollen shut. Please pray for Rachel and the other man as we believe God had us there for a reason that day. (Jeff’s shiner pictured right)
DOWNTOWN LA – LADY IN BLUE
Went downtown today to 6th and Broadway where there was much resistance being in a bad area and received some heckling. A city ambassador came by and told me I couldn’t use the amp. I discussed it briefly and continued. About 45 minutes later a woman sergeant from the LAPD asked if she could talk to me. I stopped and she held out her hand and said, “first of all I am a Christian and I like the Word being preached on the street”. She asked me some specifics about the ministry and we talked for about ten minutes. She asked if I wouldn’t mind turning it down since someone complained. I agreed to that but said I was going to go to a different corner anyway. I left her with a ministry card and went to another corner.
This game of “cat and mouse” had started the week before. The city of Los Angeles has, like most cities, city ambassadors. These are men and women, usually younger, which act as patrols in the city. They help tourists and help police as well. This particular day it started I was at the corner of 7th and Hope street.
As is my custom I got there early and prayed over the area. I felt this was a good corner but a lot of warfare. I started preaching and shortly a demonized man came across the street yelling and the same time another woman fell down. This started a great commotion and drew attention from the City Ambassadors. A Christian man was there, and an unbeliever as well, to shield me from several of these purple-shirted city ambassadors. On of them asked if I could stop using the amp. I asked what law I was breaking and she quoted some municipal code. I respectively disagreed about the code since I told her they would need a sound meter to see if I was above the allowed decibel level to account for the street noise. I suggested they get the LAPD.
People started to gather and listen as I preached intensely and fast. I looked and behind me were around 10 of these purple guys and gals. Some were on bikes and some on foot. I figured the police would show up at any time. Over the next half hour the purple-shirted ambassadors started to leave a few at a time until all were gone. I preached to large crowds that day for about two hours. Praise the Lord! The rest of my time there in downtown Los Angeles I was given a free pass to preach wherever I wanted using the amp. What favor with the Lord, whew!
I preached in Hollywood on two different occasions this trip, both were on Saturday’s. The first Saturday I preached for about four hours as Jeff passed out tracts and talked to people. The second time I preached for about two and one half hours. Both times there were tons of people as usual here on Hollywood and Highland. The picture to the left is me preaching. You can get an idea of how many people cross the street on this intersection. Hollywood proved to be uneventful for the most part although there are masses of people, mostly tourists that come here. As I have stated in times past, this is a seed sowing endeavor and if you keep that in mind this is a great place to preach. Just down the street from us here are the many spectacles and sights that you would expect to find.
Like Hollywood I went to Burbank on two occasions. The first night, despite Jeff’s injury we went to a Burbank shopping mall and I preached while Jeff passed out tracts and talked to people. We met a man named Ian who was preaching the Gospel as well. We worked with him the entire evening and the friends of Jeff never showed until we were ready to go. Jeff finally got some new band aids. The next night just for kicks we went back to Burbank and met a group of people that were set up preaching and handing out tracts. Jeff knew one of the guys and he eventually let me preach. I felt the message went smooth and there was one guy in particular that was listening for a long time before he went back in to where he worked. He had a blue shirt on and wore glasses – that’s how I remember him since I never got his name. (pic to the right) It was a well spent evening. This shopping mall and theatre is a well-covered area for evangelism and we had the privilege of joining the many regular Christians that come out here. Burbank like many other areas here in Southern California has lots of people.