I arrived at my title from the parable that Jesus gave concerning the sower and the seed. (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8) This is my 7th year of preaching here and I have notice quite a change, and not for the better. Like the proverbial frog slowly boiling in water I notice a subtle, but significant, change in the spiritual climate here. People are becoming more indifferent and hardened to the Gospel. For example: One day my long-time friend Greg came out with me to hand out tracts while I preached. We were on 5th & Pine, a great place with lots of people, mostly middle to upper middle class from what I can tell. Greg told me how he was astonished reporting that he was only able to hand out about one tract per 200 people. We Also had Gospels and dvd’s which no one took.
I preached for many hours over the span of several days while here. I went to a variety of corners including 4th & Pike, one of the busiest in the city. I had much favor with the police. I went off topic on two occasions; mentioning God’s and my support of the police. (Rom 13) I did this because they had been protesting the police across the nation as you may have heard. I also did a long discourse on homosexuality on my last day of preaching.
During my time here I did meet several people. I met a young man who had some questions but viewed Islam and Christianity as having the same God. Michael another man I met was also there listening. I visited with Michael and then prayed for him before leaving. He has a one-on-one ministry with some of the street people and also does a prayer walk around the downtown area. I saw Michael one other day as well when he stood by me the whole time I preached. Another woman Greg and I met. Her name was Jo who had a son Justin. Justin is now a Christian and a former heroin addict. Jo stopped when she heard part of my testimony. We talked some and prayed for her.
Also on my last day a lady came by who was hunched over and said she believed in Jesus. I saw her a year ago and she remembered me. I chatted briefly and then after I was done I prayed for her. I left discouraged as the unbelief seemed so prevailing. As I left I had the thought of perhaps this is the last time coming to Seattle. They have had a witness and maybe I should shake the dust off my feet. If this occurs it is a shame because Seattle has all the criteria of being a great city to preach in; lots of people, many corners to preach on, the amp seems to be legal for the time being, and it has easy access by bus. Time will tell.
Aroma of Tacoma
When I was a kid I did some of my growing up in Tacoma. Back then there were many pulp mills in operation and it would smell up the area thus the name; “The Aroma of Tacoma”. Today it was the aroma of death leading to death and life leading to life. (2 Cor 2:14-16)
After prayer time and reading the Word I left Auburn and drove the twenty-minute drive to downtown Tacoma. As I passed the Tacoma Dome I noticed the JW convention going on. Jeff Baran has several friends doing this outreach. I drove in circles a few times before parking looking for a good corner. I have never preached here before. I walked up a few blocks and noticed that it was a ghost town. I went a few more blocks and found the transit center which also was very slim with people. I no more than got started and was told I couldn’t be there by a security officer. I was polite and explained things to no avail. I asked if he were a Christian, in which he responded with a nervous laugh and said he couldn’t comment. I didn’t give him a hard time but left and went back the way I came. I perched myself on 11th & Pacific (which is a main drag) By this time there were a few more people on the street. I preached for another hour or so. I had many honks and thumbs up from cars going by and a few people who walked by. I did not hand out any Gospels however. I talked to Trey and James both who I felt initially came to distract me. I gave them a good witness besides what they heard from the microphone.
Coming from Eastern Washington I arrived in Bellevue around 10:45 a.m. I had a very difficult time trying to find a place to park. There was a lot of construction and in general not a lot of parking on the street. Praise God however I finally got a spot that was only about a block-and-a-half from where I set up to preach. It was on a hundred and 8th Street and 4th Street NE. I was here two years ago. Once again the corner was filled with people. I even started early about 20 minutes before noon. There was constant traffic and I finished up about 1:15 I gave out only one gospel and one DVD and most of the crowd were “Techies” and totally indifferent. I was a block down from Expedia which is one of many companies doing business in here Bellevue including Microsoft. Bellevue is indeed computer land.
Strange Ones In Spokane
Before arriving in the Seattle area I preached for 5 days in Spokane, including one night on the streets of Spokane with two brothers in the Lord; Bob and Mike. I have found that there are a lot of people here that claim to be Christian, however after further inquiry they do not really know the Lord and are not born again. There’s also a number of strange characters. It seems so many are oppressed by the devil which makes an interesting outing. One day a man who look like a gypsy, with his girlfriend, came up, set his belongings on the ground, gave me a hug, and then kissed me on the forehead. He wouldn’t let go of me until I kind of pushed him back a little. He was very friendly and seem to be excited I was preaching the gospel but as he left he said, “may the sun god Leo be with you”. Later he came down the middle of the street hollering at the top of his lungs as if a demon were crying out of him as the gospel was being preached.
In contrast there are also many people who name the name of Christ. They have shown support of the preaching out on the streets. I have found that using the amplifier is allowed with seemingly no restrictions on where, or how, loud. I also was able to give away many gospels of John. The new born again tracts that First Love printed are fabulous and I’m able to give away a few stacks to some other believers that are faithful to hand them out here.
Thanks to everyone for the all the prayers and support for the sake of the Gospel!