Battle at the bar in Logan, Ohio!
After leaving Tennessee, Mike, his family and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio. We carried the cross through the surrounding towns South of Columbus. In one town, Logan, 3 teens had come with us. Wade, Lisa and Uteva, all from one family. Uteva pointed out to Mike that the bar we were approaching, Sams Bar, was where her father used to take the children while he drank himself into drunkenness. So Mike, who was on the other side of the street, stopped. I was now standing right in front of the bar and I too stopped. Uteva asked “What are you doing?' Mike said “Sometimes if we stop, someone might come out.” She said “Someone just came out.” The owner came out and cursed at me with every foul word you can imagine. Mike cried out with a loud voice “Watch your mouth, young man, my Father is listening.” Obviously this only made his mouth the more foul. He went back inside.
A few minutes later he came back out. I never looked at him but rather stood my ground, worshipping the Lord. He threatened me saying “Do you want me to put this up your @~#.“ Only later did I find out he had a baseball bat and was coming at me to do me harm but Mike, seeing my danger, began crying out the word of God against the wicked. As he spoke the word of God, a woman in the bar came out and held the door open so everyone could hear. The owner stopped dead in his tracts, and with a look of fear ran back into the bar, slamming the door shut. A few minutes later a police car pulled over. I said “Officer, all I did was to stop here to wait for my friend across the street, and this man (Sam) never said ONE nice word to me.” At this, Sam began to curse in front of the officer, who then rebuked him. The Officer asked me to move next door, and I did. Everyone went back inside, the officer stayed outside until Mike and I left. Before we left, Mike and I preached the gospel by asking each other questions across the street so all had to hear. Then we moved down the street. The officer then came over and said “I'm your brother in Christ, and I love what you are doing.”
We parked at an “Ace hardware store” in Circleville and I was truly blessed that this store was totally given over to the “Glory of God.” The owners do not run it for profit, but rather to bless. Employees are permitted to preach while on the job. It was the biggest hardware store I have ever been in, and I know God blesses them because of their faithfulness. Pray for George, who has maintained the Godly standard of this store without compromise. Pray also for J.B. & Carol who are starting a church in Circleville.
After leaving Ohio, we traveled to Canada. At about midnight, we made it to the border. We were instructed to talk to customs by the passing guard. “What will you be doing in Canada?” I replied “Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” “Where will you go?” I replied, “Through the cities carrying a wooden cross.” “What is your occupation?” I replied, “I live by faith.” She said “How do you make your money?” I replied, “God provides.” By now she was irritated by my answers and went into the back room. Mike and his family then walked in and said much the same and the woman who questioned him said “OUT!” You're not coming into Canada to preach Jesus!” Mike said “Do you not love Jesus?” Now she was really angry, “OUT! Go back to the States and preach there!” My Customs officer then came out and said the same. They both seemed to hate God. We stepped outside and prayed. Michael's children cried as we crossed the bridge back to Detroit. We stopped in a parking lot to determine what to do. An officer pulled in and said he was a brother in Christ. He said “Go back tomorrow to another border and try again.” So the next day we crossed at Port Huron and had NO TROUBLE at all. Satan tried to stop us, but God gave us victory. We all rejoiced!
We traveled to London. The first day we walked in London, the police came and tried to shut us down. “You cannot approach people, you cannot speak to anyone unless they first speak to you, you cannot open air preach...” But after he left, we continued as normal, the only thing we held back from doing was open air preaching. But God gave us a wonderful harvest of souls. We ministered to Muslims, Hindu, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, atheists, antichrist, and more. Many stopped to listen as we shared the gospel. Others would shout obscenities and hate towards us. One man spit at Mike (but he was not close enough to get him) and said “If your still here in 5 minutes, I will kill you.” He never came back.
A church in London had graciously given us permission to park in their parking lot. The neighbors in the apartments quickly knew that we were the guys carrying the cross in their town and began complaining, almost daily, of Michael's dog. Of course he barks at night when people walk by the bus, and so did the other neighbors dog. But, of course, we were the problem so they threatened to call the police. Then one day, Maria picked us up at the end of the day of carrying the cross and she was angry and trembling. “Someone from the apartments next door was downtown today and either you or Brian told her that `Unless you are born again, you will go to hell!' and she called the church and they have now asked us to leave by 11:00 tonight.” So Michael and I returned to the church and prepared to leave. We did not know where to go so Michael and I, fully aware that the entire apartment complex was watching us, got on our faces on the cement before the Lord and prayed for His forgiveness to these people who are blind to His love and asked for God's mercy on us to help us find a place to stay for the night. At this same moment, a sister in Christ pulled into the parking lot saying, “The Lord gave me a vision that you were being forced to leave here so I came right away.” Hallelujah! She took us to another church (now it is 9 PM) and the pastor was just pulling out of the parking lot. Elaine jumped out of her car and stopped him to ask if we could stay in his parking lot. He said “Yes!” God is faithful!
Yesterday, Mike and I finished walking the city of London. Satan sent his last effort to make a fool of us. One of the men who ran for mayor of London (but lost to a Christian woman) dressed in a tuxedo and very pomp, approached Mike and with not a small commotion, tried to belittle the Bible. He tried to prove that the Bible was contradictory and challenged Mike. It worked to the devils disadvantage because this allowed Mike to speak loudly and a large gathering stopped to listen, as we were right in the center of the city. In the midst were Muslims and Hindus and as Mike spoke boldly against these other religions, they began to ask questions. God sent other Christians to pull this man away from Mike. At one point the man grabbed Mike and a brother in Christ said “Sir, you have just assaulted this man, you had better release him!” A police officer had just walked by so he let go of Mikes arm. The Lord made a total fool of this man in front of “His city.” Mike and I finished our walk and at the end of the city we raised our voices. Mike preached, I sang a song with all my might and then prayed for the city with boldness. “God has given us this city.”
A number of closet Christians have come out to be bold for Christ, one is building himself a cross. London officials had formerly brought much fear to the Christians and shut them down in the past. There are No Christian TV programs or radio stations here and attacks against Christians in Canada are much worse than the USA. The body of Christ here has been walking in fear of governmental repression but the message of the cross has sparked a new fire and zeal in the church. A Christian had given a Jewish boy a tract and said “Jesus is the Messiah!” The parents took the Christian to court and sued him. The Mayor of London, who took a stand of faith against the homosexuals effort to have a gay parade has cost the city $15,000 after settling the suit. As you can see from my letter, even the Churches are afraid to suffer persecution when threatened and asked us to leave. And this was even a Pentecostal Church who claims to have the power of the Holy Spirit. But another church, Lucan Christian Revival Center, has chosen to suffer persecution for the Gospel's sake. London Gospel Temple also blessed us mightily and gave us much support. Please pray for the church here in Canada. And especially for Paul & Marylin, Rick & Heather, Bob & Joyce, Elain and Jim. They all came to our side and served the Lord faithfully with boldness.