September was a month of firsts. I preached at a rescue mission on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, participated in a street-preaching venture in Las Vegas, and preached in a Bible college chapel service, all for the first time. Three precious souls were saved this month; a couple of them were saved in some very down-and-out places. Four churches pledged their support this month; meanwhile, two churches from former meetings have begun supporting our ministry. We’ve also seen a couple of new donors who are not yet confirmed as supporters yet. To say the least, things are getting exciting and moving along very well, and we rejoice in the Lord for this.
We began our Sunday meetings in Los Angeles at Iglesia Bautista la Voluntad de Dios with Pastor Rodriguez and in Anaheim at Iglesia Bautista de Anaheim with Pastor Ayala. The fellowship was sweet in both churches. Next up, we had a missions conference at Victory Baptist Church in Chino, California, with Pastor Pattison. A lot of great things happened that week, including new relationships being built and great preaching by Brother Heidenreich, but what I want to point out is our trip to Downtown Los Angeles to preach and minister at a rescue mission. I have never seen despondency like we did on Skid Row. There were literal homeless villages everywhere, consisting of tents, tarps, chairs, tables, and even a full-sized bed! I preached that night in the rescue mission, and one man named Rod got saved! My wife and the other ladies were able to serve a nice hot meal to the men after the message was over. We left there with an overwhelming sense of the spiritual depravity there. However, through Christ, the worst of sinners can be transformed. I received a bit of a surprise when we moved on to Long Beach, California, to stay in Pacific Baptist Church’s prophet’s chamber: I was asked to preach in their Bible college chapel service. This was a great honor that I’ve never had before. I challenged the students to be great workers for the Lord in their respective fields. I was again surprised with the blessing of presenting and preaching at Pacific Baptist Church the following service.
Another first occurred during our next meeting in Las Vegas. We went soul winning with Pastor Ron Henderson on Saturday morning, and both of us got to lead a soul to Christ. My convert’s name was Malachi Espiritu. That evening Liz and I joined the street-preaching team of True Light Baptist Church in Downtown Las Vegas. There again we saw depravity, but it was a different kind. There we saw a dazed sort of existence from people who were supposed to be happy, yet their faces betrayed them with somber, zombie-like expressions. The strangest of all to me was giving a Gospel tract to a woman pushing her child in a stroller while having both cup holders filled with alcohol!
Pastor Henderson did the preaching while we did the witnessing, and many tracts were given out. Surely, many of them were tossed aside or thrown away, but we prayed that some would find these tracts in their pockets the next day, get convicted of their sin, and cry out to Jesus for salvation. Do you believe it can happen? I do!
Our last meeting was back in Southern California at Harbor Light Baptist Church in Wilmington, California. Pastor Les Smaltz leads an exciting ministry there in Wilmington. He has such a soul-winner’s zeal. I got to experience it firsthand, as we went out soul winning three times in two days. One night Pastor Smaltz and I went out soul winning in local, low-income hotels. Many wicked things occur in these places, including drug dealing and other vile practices, but as Pastor Smaltz said, they need Jesus too. We knocked doors and stopped people in the hallways, trying to give them the Gospel but had little success until we went to the second hotel. There we met Marcos, a man using the hotel as his halfway house. He told me he had lost everything because of his choices in life and that he wanted to turn things around. I listened to his story, knowing he needed to get it out, and then I gave him the Gospel. I told him he had slim chances of turning his life around without first getting saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, He’s the One Who can turn ashes into beauty, isn’t He? Marcos trusted Jesus that very night!
We were in so many exciting places last month that I had to finally break down and write two pages. I’ll try not to do this very often, but I can’t help but to tell you of God’s great blessings and the opportunities He gave us. These things were so unique and powerful this month that I couldn’t just give them a passing glance in this letter. I hope you will forgive the length. Please pray for these 3 souls who were saved. Pray that they will get discipled and plugged into their local church. Please pray for these lost souls, both in the homeless villages of Los Angeles and the glitzy glamour of Las Vegas. God’s grace is not too short for them, so please pray that the Gospel would also touch their hearts. We’ve been to the bottom this month and found that, even in those places in which the darkness is the greatest, God’s grace can reach and cleanse sin-sick souls. Praise God for new pledges of support! If all goes as planned and all promises come in, we are over 60% in our support. We can be in Toronto, preaching the glorious Gospel of Christ, if we get as few as 20 more donors, giving $100 a month, or as many as 40 more donors, giving $50 a month. Please pray about this. God be with you, my friends.
Thanks to Calvary,