The steel industry in Pittsburgh is all but gone however there is wood; 6th & Wood that is. This is the prominent corner we evangelized on throughout my time here in Pittsburgh. I preached as Bob, Eric, and Jill Baxter handed out tracts and talked to people. The Baxter’s joined me here flying in from Oakland. There was an overwhelming amount of people on the streets and the laborers got into more conversations than can be counted. Bob Loeffert, our leader, took notes on 15-20 people each day that we encountered, however, not including all of them. Many of the “Grace Laborers” joined us during the week too. God was good and made this a trip to remember. Thanks for the prayers! Pictures Below
Every morning Bob had us on a schedule to read and discuss the Bible, pray, and then eat and go. This was fun and it was like being at summer camp. Also our evenings were filled with Bible study, prayer meetings, or outreach depending on the day. I was able to take off one night as the others went to the care facility to minister.
Bob is a former Catholic and calls himself the chief of sinners and a hypocrite while in the Catholic religious system. His personality and experience makes him a great evangelist to all walks of life. I suppose if he had a specialty it would be witnessing grace to the works based people, especially Catholics. Pittsburgh is known for its Catholicism. His wife Linda not only supports Bob in many ways but does a woman’s Bible study at a local care facility.
I want to mention three people that stood out during my time here. Roxanne, a gal that lives in a halfway house a few blocks down from Bob talked with us at the bus stop. Bob had talked to her before. He started the conversation but turned it over to me and I witnessed to her and shared some of my past. Roxanne said she believed, but when it came to following the Lord, she made excuses and had arguments. One was the trustworthiness of the Bible. In love I told her that she was using a “smoke screen” and she was appreciative of my candor. Frank, whom Bob knew as well, came up to ask me a question while preaching. I talked with him twice that day. Frank had doubts so I told him to read the Bible and cry out to God for understanding and salvation. The first day out Mandy came running across the street and asked Bob for prayer. He asked her if she was willing to leave her boyfriend and she said no. She had heroin and drug problems and her boyfriend was in the hospital with seizures. I shared and prayed for her – very receptive. Bob told the others that we had a “Mandy Siting” she is another one Bob has ministered to in the past.
Road Trip to Cleveland
On Wednesday we took a two-hour trip to Cleveland, Ohio. On the edge of Lake Erie it was windy and rather cool, but no rain. I preached on two different corners and was somewhat discouraged due to my back pain and problems with the batteries in the amp. The rest of the crew thought it was great getting into many fruitful conversations. The highlight for me was while preaching, an orthodox Jewish man came by and I preached for his benefit mentioning that salvation was of the Jews. He smiled and waved.
University of Pittsburgh
After praying over the city from Mt Washington (see pictures) we went to the University of Pittsburgh. We went there a total of three times evangelizing the students. As everywhere else we had favor with the police and I had no trouble using my small orange amp. Bob had commented that my preaching cleared the air for the distribution of many tracts and conversations. Bob who regularly goes to “Pitt” said he had not seen any open-air preaching there in a number of years.
Preaching in Pittsburgh PA
I preached around 15 hours during our eight-day evangelism blitz with no problems from authorities using the amp. Because of rain there were several days I preached without the amp. Many people stopped and listened as I preached at 6th & Wood. I had four guys standing against wall listening so at one point I addressed the whole message just for them. Among them was Andy who seemed to have demonic issues. The other corner which we frequented was 5th & Smithfield where there was a busy bus stop across from me. So much happened on this trip it is impossible to share every story and include every picture. It was an awesome trip! I will remember it for a lifetime.