“You don’t have to leave we took care of him, besides I like the preaching”, the young man with tattoos responded. He looked just like any other guy you would see on the streets. I have seen a lot of undercover police officers in my day, but with this guy I would have never guessed he was working undercover. Here’s what happened: When preaching on Thursday in Salt Lake City I had encountered a very difficult person. He was somewhat crazy or perhaps demon possessed as he approached me and crying out at the top of his lungs, yelling blasphemies against God. As he left my presence and crossed the street a hurried young man came and stood in front of me and asked, “ what is with him?” I said, “I think he is demon possessed.” He responded by saying, “we will take care of it”. I just thought he was a passerby. He was texting and within about two minutes, another older man, showed up who was obviously a police detective. He conferred with the younger guy and that is when I realized he was an undercover officer. Right then a patrol car pulled up to the curb and he got out and was talking to the detective while the undercover officer stayed back on the sidewalk. They asked me what happened and I told them. They went across the street to talk to the guy who seemed to calm down when he saw them.
If that wasn’t enough it turns out that the detective knows the police chief of Juneau, Alaska where my son is a police detective. The chief’s name is Bryce Johnson who was an officer in the Salt Lake City Police Department before becoming the chief of police in Juneau several years ago now.
It was when I was gathering up my gear the undercover officer said I didn’t have to go. I said that I was leaving anyway, that I had been out there for sometime already. As we parted ways the undercover officer said, “We’ve got your back”
Tornado in Iowa
This had been an exciting trip to say the least. There has been much inclement weather as I reported earlier. After the cold I experienced heat and humidity as I passed through Indiana. When I got to Davenport I stayed with Tony Miano, a fellow street preacher. It was a great time with him and his family. We preached together in Peoria, Illinois and in Iowa City. My first day in Davenport without Tony was a bust; it was like a ghost town. While at their home we experienced thunder, lightning and high winds. They already posted a tornado alert for the area. It was dark out as we left church that night and I was not sure if it would come our way, but praise the Lord it didn’t. The next day as I left town I saw the damage nearby. There was a metal roof to a large building on the ground in a heap and a few semi trucks were overturned on the freeway. Close call!
I preached in several cities on my way here to Salt Lake City where I am writing this from. Indianapolis, a large city, but seemingly very cold to the Gospel. Des Moines was a highlight for sure. I had preached here before in 2013. At that time it was a quick road trip and in order to hit a lot of cities we had to preach in Des Moines at 9am. Not many people at all, however this time to my surprise where some of the most populated streets so far outside of Chicago. It was on a Friday which helped since many people were going out to lunch. The break in the weather was another plus. I gave away many Gospels and talked to several. A man named Mike who at first I thought was there to hinder me, really turned out to be a fruitful encounter. He had a belief in God and was reading the Bible. I prayed he would be saved and delivered from his alcohol. He really seemed genuine. It was a precious time. After that a new city I included was Lincoln, Nebraska. Although college is out, there were still a lot of people on the streets even though it was a cold and windy day with the threat of rain. Not one person acknowledged God here in Lincoln that I could tell.
Rocky Mountain Memories
I was in Colorado for a good share of a week. I arrived on a Saturday to Colorado Springs. I visited Mike & Agnes, a couple that had moved there from Alameda a few years back. Mike is doing well after his cancer treatments and we had a good visit. I also saw my other friends, Pete & Margaret Salas. I stayed with the Salas’ and we also had good fellowship. I preached in Colorado Springs on the following Monday and then left for Denver. I have preached in Denver many times now and this is a good city; lots of people. I went to a new corner and besides preaching was able to talk and pray with several about the Gospel. I gave away much literature too. Next stop was Fort Collins and Cheyenne, Wyoming. I preached in both of these cities the same day before heading here to Utah.
As this trip comes to a close I praise the Lord for His faithfulness and protection. I almost got into an accident driving and it would have been my fault. He has supremely provided for me and the van is still running great. I really was able to draw close to the Lord and the experience inexpressible. I do thank everyone who prayed for me and provided things along the way. This will abound to your account no doubt. Once back at homebase I will get all my pictures together and give a trip summary. It is impossible to include all my adventures in a news blog but if you see me you can ask some details. God Bless!