The Day of Silence (April 16th) was a planned event that turned into the Day of Proclamation on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Our college ministry, Change Collegian Network drove up to the University of Minnesota to preach the glorious Gospel to those who would be silent!
We did not find much resistance at the campus, as expected. We were able to preach the Gospel in the open air as well as share in one to one conversations with several students who came around as we were preaching.
The excitement really began when we traveled down to the new Twins Stadium in Minneapolis. I was preaching on a very busy corner where we have preached before for the Timberwolves games. On this day, however, a public sidewalk became no longer a public sidewalk. I was reading from John 3 and beginning to preach when an officer approached me and said that I was not able to preach on the sidewalk because of blocking the sidewalk. I was nowhere near blocking anybody, but the seargent was insistent. I asked what law I was breaking, and he said he would figure one out. He came back and told me if I would not move, I would be cited for public nuscience. I told him that I would not move unless I could mover where there was a crowd. He did not give me that option, either move now, get a ticket, or go to jail. I told him that I insisted on a ticket. The reason I did that was to fight for the freedom of speech, I must have a ticket to prove I was prevented from exercising that right while others were given the freedom to do theirs. There were MULTIPLE people on that corner using different kinds of speech and solicitations.
What the devil would try to use for Bad, God used for Good. we were sent to a busier corner with a more static crowd. This was in front of a bar, a wicked restaurant (Hooters, what a great preaching platform!!) and where all the scalpers were. We preached there for a good two hours in front of bar patrons and people buying tickets numbered in the thousands. The scripture was read and the good news was proclaimed.
Following the game, we moved up to the bar district, where we continued to preach and read the scripture to thousands of people going back to their car or going to these bars and strip clubs. After Mark read Romans 1, I began to preach on suppression of truth and the results. Out of nowhere, a young man socked me in the jaw, knocking me off my milk crate. I told him ‘God Bless You’ as he walked away. a person who witnessed the incident came up and shook my hand. Another young man, dressed like a pimp, spoke to John about this and listened with a clear conviction as I preached. Glory to God! This was all good until an officer approached me after both John and I had preached and I was getting back up to preach and said that we could not preach on the milk crate any more. He stated we were blocking the sidewalk (we were not) and that we had to keep moving. It was then that the Gospel went mobile!
What you must understand, dear reader, is that we are not allowed to preach in front of some of these places because of ‘harassment laws’ regarding homosexuals. But the police officer gave me a great idea. If all we have to do is keep moving, we can walk back and forth in front of these places preaching the Gospel, and the bouncers and door men could do nothing about it. It was disgusting how many people were waiting in line in front of the strip clubs and smoking outside the gay bars. But, Glory to God, these lost people got to hear the mobile Gospel! We preached the good news that God saves sinners! That there is no sin so big God cannot save you from, and no sin so small it will not be judged by a holy God! It was wonderful, reading the Word and preaching. It saved our voices, the crowds were static, and we saw some conviction as one ‘christian’ going into a strip club said it was all good, he would go in the strip club and God would forgive him. That was a powerful witnessing platform for John. he used it to preach the law and the Gospel to the whole line of people outside the strip club.
Glory to God, though we were to be hindered by the police, instead, they were used by God to spread the Gospel even more effectively. Though a young man wanted to bring harm to me, by the grace of God, it impacted at least two souls who witnessed the incident.