UC Berkeley ~ Sproul Plaza ~ Sather Gate ~ Dwinelle Hall Plaza ~ Telegraph Avenue ~ Free Speech Circle
Berkeley Blitz March – 2014
The Berkeley Blitz ran from March 5th through March 22nd, and actually continued until finals week in May. It was very exciting and more fruitful than expected. The campaign was spearheaded by Roy Spears (pun intended) from Arizona. Roy was down at the UC Berkeley campus every day, even on Sunday as He attended “For Christ Alone Church”, a campus group where Vineg Wong is the pastor. Roy was joined by myself and others during the week. At midpoint we had four preaching stations throughout the campus. Pictured from left to right: Don Harmon of Jeremiah Cry Ministries, Zach Linton, Larry DuBois, Abraham, Roy Spears, Andy Conway, Gerard Limtiago, Vineg Wong, Brother from Philadelphia, & Arnold Tang. Not pictured are Jinn Kang, Kevin Kim, Matthew Tfe, Dave St Marie, Ken Onaga, & Tek Pe. There were many unknown soldiers as well.
There were so many great things that God did there and is still doing. I can only mention some of the highlights below. Your prayers were heard; thank you for the much needed “air cover”. Preaching with and without amplification was done throughout our time here. Frequently we had group discussions and one-on-one conversations. I gave away about a dozen Gospel’s of John to very interested students. I hope you enjoy the stories below. For the continued campus ministry at UC Berkeley please click the link above. I have a short video I will post later.
Jesus Ate Fish
What does Jesus eating fish have to do with our outreach to UC Berkeley? The second day of the blitz we encountered some heated debates over the abortion issue. This is a common topic among the evangelists and the students around the nation’s colleges. I had never been involved this closely with this important issue. Roy talking to Sapphire, a student who notice our scripture signboards, about her world view. This brought up abortion which Roy has had much experience talking about. With her permission, Roy showed Sapphire a picture of an aborted baby. This drew some other people and erupted into a very emotional argument. I came over and a young lady started yelling at me asking me if I ate meat. I replied, “that yes, but not human”. I confessed to her that due to my current diet my primary meat of choice was tuna fish. She then begin to tell me that by my eating tuna (killing animals) was equivalent to killing a baby, or fetus tissue, as she labeled it. At that point I thought my head skyrocketed off my body as many rebukes left my mouth. Wow! Did I lose my composure, yes sad to say I got somewhat angry. Although Roy agreed we have to present the evidence calmly like an attorney, he also pointed out that I was not passionate enough. There were also organized groups that promote abortion and handing out flyers “abortion on demand” no apologizes and no guilt. These wicked antichrists showed up the first day but after prayer we never saw them again during the blitz. So I conclude it is ok to eat fish but not kill a baby. But why listen to me.
I Know You By Name
I approached Nicole as she sat at one of the student group tables. The sign said, “Women’s Heart Health”. It was the first day of the blitz and I was wearing a heart monitor my Cardiologist ordered. Nicole smiled when I asked if she only cared about women’s heart health and not men’s. I showed her my heart monitor that was hanging from my belt. I then began to share with her the uncertainties of life and how short it is. I used this to share some more on eternal life and left her with a Gospel of John.
Roy and I (mostly Roy) were talking to three people; Daniel, Silvia, and Niko. Niko was a local admitted pagan who argued that Jesus never existed. Daniel from Sweden, was an agnostic, and Silvia was from Spain professing Christianity. Daniel & Silvia were travel companions on vacation. At one point I interjected the Gospel with perfect timing and accuracy feeling it was very anointed. At this point Silvia said she didn’t believe that but thought of God as only love. All of them kept insisting that the Bible cannot be trusted for it’s translation and accuracy of events. I thought they would leave at this point but they stayed while Roy through the Holy Spirit confronted Silvia about her hypocrisy. Although it was shocking Roy did it in love and they received it without anger. We all took pictures together and parted ways in friendliness.
I talked to Calvin, a young man who said he was concerned about his soul and he wanted to hear the case for Christ since he said that all the religions claimed they were right but not all could be. I talked with him for about 45 minutes. He was very humble and I gave him a Gospel of John. Immediately after he left I prayed for him.
Another student who used the exact same phrase, “concerned about his soul” we also talked to. This happened when Teddy a Christian student who Roy met the last time he was here, came with us for coffee outside the Golden Bear cafeteria. Cadin saw our signs and sat down to discuss spiritual matters. He was very open to the Gospel and the Word of God. As I shared some scriptures his eyes lit up and he was amazed at the profoundness of the words. We talked with him for about an hour. He gratefully took a Gospel of John as we parted ways.
Derrick, a student who was coming out of Dwinelle Hall, stopped as I was preaching and sharing a bit of my past. He stood there for quite a while. As he walked away I motioned to Roy to try to talk to him. Roy then talked to him for another half hour or so. I came over at that point and introduced myself. Derrick had his own philosophy but admitted he could be wrong. He seemed humble and took a Gospel of John. For you older folks, yes that is purple hair Derrick has.
One morning Roy and I witnessed to three Muslim students at their display table. I gave Fay, a student born in Iran, a video “I found life” a testimonial of Amanda Moghadas also from Iran. One of the young men asked me to show him in the Bible where Jesus said that he was God. I started in John chapter five and continued in many scriptures. They objected at that point attacking the Bible’s validity. We left there and went to preach. There were many other great conversations.
Open Air Street Preachers – The Next Generation
There is a surprisingly number of Christian students that attend UC Berkeley. Most of these are Asian, some from abroad. Arnold who is in his final year is from Hong Kong. Like many of the students we met, he is a firebrand for Jesus. Arnold desires to serve the Lord and is currently involved in questionnaire evangelism on campus. Arnold took the mic on the last day of the Berkeley Blitz during an SOS ministry outreach on Telegraph Avenue.
Daniel Kim is another young and upcoming preacher. He preached open air twice on the campus with us the last week. Kevin, another young man who desires to preach, attends Living Water with Daniel. Living Water is a church with locations in Berkeley and Alameda. Much of the time was spent encouraging these Christian students to be bold in their faith. Roy has the vision for this being himself a pastor. We also saw other students sharing their faith one-on-one in between classes. I met and visited with Molly a brand new believer of four months who shares her faith regularly with others. Jinn Kang a sophomore who attends Living Water has begun to preach on the campus as well. One particular day Roy and I had lunch with Matthew, Todd, and Arnold. Matthew and Todd both go to church at Gracepoint in Alameda. Matthew joined us on many occasions during the week wanting to be involved in ministry.
Is Berkeley Really That Strange?
There were many strange things we encountered here during our outreach. I’m not talking about the normal strange things like the Hari Krishna people. Jacob was one of them who I befriended. Nor is it that weird dancing done in the plaza. I’m not talking about Terry, a preacher of nonsense and an accomplished Gospel heckler. No, these are the things one would expect here. People don’t call it “Berserk-ly” for nothing. We experienced some strange things and spiritual warfare although the Lord gave us tremendous favor.
One day, a policeman told me that we could use an amp during the hours between noon and 1:00pm without a permit. I never heard that before and not sure why he told me that. The next day I came to the same spot with an amp and preached for the hour. The same officer came by in his little go cart and stopped a few minutes by me before continuing on his way saying, “have a nice day”. Right after I quit two homosexuals came over to me livid that I was preaching and using an amp to boot. This conflict continued until I lost my cool and went over to the bench and let Roy and Vineg handle the situation. After that another student came and told the first two that someone told him that we had a permit. This was not the case and we don’t know who told him this. It was not one of us. Nevertheless it shut up the other two.
It was uncanny the amount of people these past couple weeks have asked me the question: “Is street preaching Biblical?” I put together a short article on the subject giving four examples from Scripture. Here is one example: Acts 8:5-6. In verse 5 it says that Philip went down to a city in Samaria and preached Christ to them. The word for preached here is Kēryssō – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald and to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed. Before the days of media and even print, a herald was used to go out and announce to the people the message or news from the King. It tells us in verse 6 that Philip’s audience was the multitudes. Knowing the times and culture it is reasonable to conclude that this was outside and not in a building, and definitely not a church building. There is nothing wrong with inviting people to church, in fact I would encourage you to do so, however; preaching openly in a public place to multitudes of people I see as a Biblical method and pattern. Continue Reading…
Michael Starr a Christian minister from Richmond was a faithful brother during our encounters with the abortionists. He was mainly on campus working for a youth movement called, Reverberate. They held an event here where hundreds of Christian students and others gathered to worship and pray. It turns out Michael grew up with another fellow who comes out with me preaching in Oakland – Darren Seelye. It is a small world as they say.