MIKE WITNESSES AT UN PLAZA.
CAL SINGS AT 16TH AND VALENCIA.
JACOB WITNESSES AT UNION SQUARE.
MIKE WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
DE ANNA WITNESSES AT 16TH AND MISSION.
JACOB WITNESSES TO HOMOSEXUAL YOUTH IN BERKELEY ON "GAY PRIDE" WEEKEND.
MIKE WITNESSES AT 16TH AND MISSION.
JESSE PRAYS WITH MAN IN BERKELEY.
- MIKE WITNESSES AT UN PLAZA.
- CAL SINGS AT 16TH AND VALENCIA.
- JACOB WITNESSES AT UNION SQUARE.
- MIKE WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
- DE ANNA WITNESSES AT 16TH AND MISSION.
- JACOB WITNESSES TO HOMOSEXUAL YOUTH IN BERKELEY ON "GAY PRIDE" WEEKEND.
- MIKE WITNESSES AT 16TH AND MISSION.
- JESSE PRAYS WITH MAN IN BERKELEY.
Friday August 11 and 18 5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. August 12 Union Square (Powell and Geary) SF 12 – 2 PM Shiloh Church, Oakland, choir 5th and Market St. 3 – 5 PM
Sat. August 19 UN Plaza (7th St. and Market) SF 12 – 5 PM Embrace Worship Band
Child of the 60’s
(Continued from last month)
I was raised in a reformed (liberal) Jewish home. Like most reformed Jews, we normally attended synagogue only twice a year, on the “high holidays.” We attended synagogue (which we called “The Temple”) and sometimes fasted on Yom Kippur in an attempt to receive forgiveness for our sins. At the synagogue, we would together recite our sins and ask God for forgiveness. “Our father, our king, we have sinned against you.” I attended Jewish religious training on Sunday morning for 10 years. I learned the Bible stories, but it seemed that my teachers viewed them as myths.
At synagogue, the favorite scripture was Deut. 6:4-9, which we recited at every service. It begins with the “shema,” the statement that God is one. This statement was often used against Christians, who in the opinion of many Jews believe in “three gods.” The passage goes on to say that we “shall talk of them [God’s commandments] when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” We clearly did not obey this scripture. We almost never spoke about God or His commandments.
On the surface, it might appear that American life in the 1950s was nearly perfect. This was a time of high moral standards. Divorce was extremely rare. I knew only a few children whose parents had been divorced. Premarital sex was far less common than today and almost everyone disapproved of it. Compared to today, pornography was virtually nonexistent. It wasn’t easy for a teenager to even get hold of a Playboy magazine, which limited itself to photos of topless women. Profanity was never used in my home.
There was little homelessness and most men could support their families with one income. I never even heard of marijuana until I was 20. Very few people used illegal drugs such as marijuana. Still, there were seeds of an eventual moral breakdown. Adultery was common in America, though generally hidden. Child molestation, especially by priests and family members, was also common – a fact that did not get exposed for several decades.
My family placed a strong value on education. I studied hard and got good grades In high school, I read books by atheists like Nietzsche, Sartre and Bertrand Russell. Like my father and older brother, I went to Yale. I continued my study of philosophy, along with science and social science. I viewed myself as an existentialist, either atheist or agnostic. Still, I was troubled by the implications of my beliefs. I realized that if God does not exist, life really is meaningless. And my moral standards were really no more valid than the very different standards of people in other cultures.
My senior year in college was 1967 – the year everything changed. Like millions of young people, I first started smoking marijuana, then taking a lot of LSD and other hallucinogens. My mind opened up to a spiritual realm that I had never before experienced. Following Timothy Leary’s advice, I “turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.” I somehow managed to finish college at Yale, and attended two and a half years of graduate school, getting an M.A. in Psychology from Brandeis. However, my real passion was exploring the “psychedelic experience.”
During summer and winter breaks in 1967, 1968 and 1969, I went to San Francisco’s Haight- Ashbury district, the center of all the action. After I finished school in 1970, I moved to Berkeley, where I lived for six months. Like most hippies, I studied and practiced Eastern mysticism, mainly Hindu, practiced “free love” (extreme sexual promiscuity), and lived in various hippie communes. (to be continued)
On the Streets
On Fri. May 26 we witnessed at 16th and Valencia. Jacob ministered to Bianca, 22, who grew up in a Pentecostal church and whose parents are pastors. She was confused about how to hear God’s voice. Dave witnessed to Joseph. His Dad had tried to teach him the Bible, but had also raped his two sisters. Dave and Bernie witnessed to Lee, who was in a wheelchair. He had attended seminary for three years but didn’t understand the gospel. They prayed with him.
The next day, we witnessed at Union Square and later at 5th and Market. Dave witnessed to Vincent, 24, an SF police officer, who was a Catholic, and quite open to the gospel. He also witnessed to Sheriqi, from India, and Suyar, from Nepal. Both were raised Hindu but were receptive to the gospel and took gospels of John.
On Sat. June 3 we again witnessed at Union Square and 5th and Market. Dave ministered to Beto, a Christian whose wife had left him that week. After he prayed with him for reconciliation in their marriage, his wife texted him. Jacob witnessed to Fernando. He said, “I’m a drunk and nothing in me is good.” Jacob shared his testimony and told him Jesus could deliver him from his addictions. He started calling on Jesus to help him. He took a gospel of John and said he would pray to get right with God.
On Fri. June 16 we witnessed at 5th and Market St. Jacob ministered to Alex, a young man who had just moved to San Francisco. He professed to be a Christian, but admitted he was doing drugs and partying, and not living for God. Mike witnessed to TJ and Mozi, both about 14. TJ had attended City Impact Christian School for a year but neither boy was saved. Dave witnessed to Jeremy, a tech worker who grew up in a Christian home but was leaning towards atheism.
The next day, we witnessed at UN Plaza. Two bands, Sonhouse and Crimson Bluesband, played music. Dave Angeles, the leader of Sonhouse, has worked with us since the early 1980’s. Jacob and Cal witnessed to Jersey. When they saw him a year ago, he was quite hostile and anti-Christian. This time, he was not angry and listened to the gospel. His mother was murdered when he was 6. Mike ministered to Karen, a Christian who was in a wheelchair. He invited her to City Impact and she came the next day.
On Friday June 23, we witnessed at 16th and Mission. Jacob witnessed to Mike, who said Jesus doesn’t love him because he’s “gay.” He walked away angry and crying. Jacob also witnessed to Will, who claimed to be a Christian and said he was heading to a Buddhist Temple to pray the Lord’s prayer with a Protestant ordained minister!
The next day, we witnessed in Berkeley. Dave witnessed to Maanek, who was raised Hindu in India but was studying Zoroastrianism. Dave spoke about Jesus being the only way to God. Maanek said, “This is the most enlightening spiritual conversation I’ve ever had.” Dave and Jacob witnessed to Arnestino, who said he quit the “gay” lifestyle and was studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was very angry and admitted that his life was a mess. Dave said, “God wants to free you from the burdens you are carrying.” As they shared the gospel with him, he began to cry and took a Bible. I ministered to Dylan, who said he was a Christian with a drug problem. He left a drug program and had committed armed robbery, and was running from the police.
On July 8, we witnessed at UN Plaza. Cal witnessed to Ed, who was homeless. He asked why God allows evil and homelessness. He also ministered to Demitri, a homeless Christian woman with a baby. Mike and Dave witnessed to “Pony Boy,” a skateboarder in his 30’s who couldn’t believe that Jesus was sinless. He grew up in foster care and knew a lot of scriptures. Dave also witnessed to Mohammed, from Yemen, who took a Muslim tract and a gospel of John. He also spoke with Jessica, who had amnesia for seven years after an accident. At the time, someone gave her a Bible. By reading the Bible, both her and her husband were saved and she recovered her memory!
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for the ministry. Our 38th annual SOS-San Francisco Outreach went very well. We received all the permits we requested, although two of them did not arrive until the last minute. Chuck Girard, Paul and Noreen Coca, and Tim Moon played music. I will include an outreach report with testimonies in next month’s newsletter.
We are still hoping to print 90,000 more tracts in color, which will cost us $2600 (about 3 cents each for printing, folding, and shipping). Please pray for those we have witnessed to recently. Also, please pray that God will send more laborers to help in the harvest field in San Francisco and Berkeley. “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
Yours in His love,