Downtown San Diego ~ Balboa Park ~ Waterfront Promenaded ~ San Diego State University
San Diego Evangelism Report – October 2013
I just returned from San Diego where I met up with Jerry Benson, an evangelist. I was there seven days preaching the Gospel. As always I have a report on what took place and some photos in a slideshow below. I really appreciate all of those who have prayed for me and contributed financially for this trip. Thank you! I came out almost exact on what I had budgeted for. Including roundtrip airfare, lodging, food, and local transportation it cost $500.00 total. Some of you spend that on a latte each day. (just kidding)
I preached everyday and some days I preached two sessions. I handed out around 20 Gospel of John’s on this trip. There was much indifference at the Waterfront area and at San Diego State University. Not too much to report on those locations. I preached at the University one day and the Waterfront area on Saturday & Sunday. Below are the highlights of the other areas.
THE SPIRIT OF “ROCKY” BALBOA
I went evangelizing at Balboa Park two different times while in San Diego. On Saturday we had an incident with the park ranger. A complaint was called into her by an atheist regarding the use of my amplifier. When she arrived I was not preaching, but Jerry and I were talking to a young Christian man about sharing his faith. The female ranger came with another man who was not in uniform and he had his small dog with him. When she started to talk to me she asked Jerry not to videotape her. Jerry’s intention was to video her conversation with me. Video is a great way to document what happens and can be used later if need be. At that point her friend bulldozed his way past me and started getting in Jerry’s face about the camera. The man was trying to block the lens. I heard him tell Jerry that if Jerry touched him again he was going to “take him down”. The only way Jerry could be touching him is that the man was so close he couldn’t help it. I asked the ranger if the man was her boyfriend. After a she gave me blank stare I then said, “well, is he an off duty officer?” She never really answered, but this guy was in body building shape and could have easily knocked mine and Jerry’s heads together. I eventually got the man (Anthony) to calm down and after that everything turned out ok. I told Jerry that we did the “good cop – bad cop” to them. Thank God there was no boxing match today.
After that I preached for a short time without an amp which to my surprise went very well. This may have been the best overall preaching I have ever done without an amp, a real highlight of the trip. During this time I had a grown man wearing a beanie with a propeller blade offer me a cookie from a platter he carried down from the atheist booth. That’s right, atheist booth. Besides the Christian booth with tracts there are the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims, and Atheists. The atheist group was very nice and when we were leaving Jerry told them that we would pray for them. They responded with,” We will be thinking for you”. I didn’t eat the cookie by the way. I am on a diet which is going quite well. We did pray for them right away as a Loma Point college student, Katelyn, joined us for prayer.
Jerry and I were at Balboa Park on a weekday as well. It was raining and we took opportunity by witnessing one-on-one. Jerry is a very good conversationalist as he shares the Gospel; very gentle and very kind. Balboa Park is a great place to witness; lots of people there. It is the nation’s largest urban cultural park and home to 15 museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. Neil Konitshek was able to join us on Saturday at the park. Doug, another brother couldn’t make it but as the Lord would have it, I saw him on the bus Sunday.
DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO
Wednesday was probably the best day out in downtown. Although there was some rain I perched myself under a tree on 2nd & “C” streets. A lot of people are around here at the lunch hour. A security guard from a hotel came out and told me to move. I started to explain about the sidewalk etc and then decided to just go across the street as he suggested. I pointed the amp down the other way so even more people heard. I was just praying it wouldn’t start raining again. I surmised the preaching was blessed and many people stopped and listened. I couldn’t set the Gospels down on the wet pavement so I held them in my hand. People came by and took them. After about a half hour of preaching the transit police and regular police started appearing. This is normal since I was near the light rail stop. A hostile man came up and got in my face and asked if I had a permit. I told him to go talk to the police. He did and they didn’t do anything. He walked off yelling mad.
On Thursday I preached twice downtown; once during the lunch hour at 2nd & Broadway, and then later in the afternoon during rush hour. Jerry and John met me at 3rd & Broadway. We stayed there and I preached while Jerry and John handed out tracts and talked to people. There was a major bus stop there and lots of people. A lady asked Jerry if I was there preaching all day. She saw me earlier on a different corner. A man who was really yelling loud and sounded violent came by and stopped a ways in front of me. I took the mic away from my mouth and prayed. He proceeded to walk by but there was no incident. I just kept preaching. He possibly was demonized.
I had several conversations with people individually. Alfie stands out as the one mentioning first. He was in front of the Horton Plaza mall with a clipboard soliciting people to support homosexuals and their rights. Normally I would have ignored someone like that and just kept going or said, “no thanks”. This day I stopped and talked to Alfie. I didn’t address anything but his need for Christ. I shared with him that all of us are separated from God through Adam and that even if he were not a homosexual, he would still need salvation. He shared his growing up as a Catholic and I felt it was a good witness overall. When I left he was not angry like so many homosexuals get after telling them about Jesus.
The first day in town, Loren, a homeless man who believed came and listened for awhile and then came back and took a Gospel of John. He said that he heard me preaching from down the street and recognized the scripture I was sharing so he came up to where I was at. I prayed for him before he left. Earl, another homeless man I met in Balboa Park on Wednesday shared with me about how God was so good to him. I listened to him for awhile and then I prayed for him. He took a Gospel of John.
Gloria, a woman who approached me during my preaching, asked what I meant about not to love the world. As I was explaining I realized she is not saved. She also had some questions concerning issues about ethnicity. I explained to her about creation and how all of us are from one blood as it states in the book of Acts, and we all need a savior. She was very receptive and took a Gospel of John. Another man listened to me for a long time that day. While I was talking to Gloria he left and I never got to talk to him. By his amen’s it was apparent that he was a Christian. Crazy enough, later I saw him again a few blocks away with a Bible and he was preaching. I didn’t interrupt him and I had to go to meet Jerry so once more I never got to talk to him. I am not sure if this is something he does regularly.
On the last day I was there I met Taylor, a young man, who stood a long while and listened to me preach. He was from San Jose and gave me great encouragement. After that Richard came by and took a Gospel of John and then I prayed for healing for his leg, and at his request, a better understanding of the book of John. He asked some questions that I was able to answer for him.
Upon leaving for the airport via the bus I met two young ladies. They were Jehovah Witnesses and were talking in Spanish to a woman on the bench next to me. I asked if they spoke English and they did and turned their focus on me. I asked them why do the JW believe that Jesus is Michael the archangel. I told her that Jesus had to be God in order for Him to pay for our sins. It was a good conversation but ended too soon as the bus came.