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SOS Monthly Newsletter - January 2002
Does God Judge Nations?
Dear Christian friends,
For the past two months, I have been writing about the current world crisis as it relates to Christians. Many have asked whether the terrorist attacks were the judgment of God on our nation. When Rev. Jerry Falwell suggested that this might be the case, he was condemned by many in the news media. He quickly apologized for his comments.
However, since the time of Charles Darwin, our nation has been in spiritual decline. This decline has intensified since the 1960's and 1970's, when millions of Americans rejected Christianity and turned to drugs, Eastern religions, New Age philosophy and sexual immorality.
During the U.S. Civil War, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling our nation to repentance. It suggested that the Civil War might be a "punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins." Such a concept is abhorrent to most Americans today. If President Bush were to issue such a proclamation, he would be condemned by the news media and his popularity would plummet.
Because our nation does not accept the idea of God's judgment, it hasn't repented in response to the September 11 attacks. Instead, Americans have given themselves increasingly to immorality. In New York, alcohol use has increased 30% since September 11. In San Francisco, huge billboards with pornographic images have recently appeared on many city streets. Another billboard announcing a new TV show proclaims that "Sin is In." The most common attitude I have found in the people I witness to is "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
If God has in fact taken His hand of protection off our nation because of our many sins, and we refuse to repent, we can expect more terrorist acts. Future attacks could result in millions of deaths. Hopefully, our nation will repent before it is totally destroyed. When Israel was in captivity in Babylon, Daniel repented and sought God for forgiveness both for his own sins, and the sins of his people. It is time that we do the same.
On the Streets
Although most people seem to be hardening their hearts against God, there are still people who are receptive to the Gospel. After our November 3 outreach at United Nations Plaza, Rone (a brother with the Brazilian mime team) ministered to a homeless man named Ricardo. He got him a hotel room and a job, and has been discipling him and bringing him to his church, El Cerrito Christian Center. Ricardo is doing well and growing spiritually.
On November 10, we witnessed in Berkeley. The Independent Community Church Choir from Richmond ministered. A large crowd gathered to listen to their beautiful music. After a few hours, it was raining pretty hard, but Paul and Noreen Coca continued to minister. We set up two canopies, which keeps most of the water off the musicians and sound system. Even in the rain, there are thousands of people on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley.
On December 1, we were unable to hold our outreaches at Powell and Market and UN Plaza because of the heavy rain. Instead, our outreach team witnessed under an awning at 6th St. and Market.
On Friday December 7, we witnessed at Union Square. The Neiman Marcus store closed early, so we witnessed in front of it. Inside the store is a beautiful Christmas tree about 50 feet tall that people can see through the window. Many people came to see the tree, saw our signs about Jesus, and heard our music and preaching.
For the past few months, Terry Lawrence has been witnessing with us every Friday night and Saturday afternoon. She has a real gift for one-on-one witnessing. One of those she ministered to last month is Louressa, a prostitute and drug addict with terminal lung cancer. She has a teenage daughter. She has tried several times to get right with God and get free from drugs in rehab houses, but she always relapses. Since Terry first spoke with her a month ago, she has stayed away from drugs and prostitution and attended a women's meeting Terry leads at Cityteam Ministries.
Craig is a homeless Vietnam vet with brain damage. Terry prayed for him, but he didn't make a decision for Christ. Mike Hodgdon gave him a ride to the shelter where he is staying. Allen is a former Jehovah's Witness (see photo). His brother committed suicide 3 years ago and he has been traveling ever since. He heard the gospel and received prayer, but did not make a decision for Christ.
Please pray for all these people, as well as for Danny, a Christian in the military who is going to Afghanistan, and Les, a Christian seeking to start a fellowship at San Francisco State University. Pray also for Mike, Shawn, Rick, Alan, Harry, and Jerry (all homeless), and Marcus (just out of prison), Lori (has bladder cancer), Nerino, Edward, Jeffrey, Jesse, Chris, Don, Matt, Ray, Lawrence, Mitch, Reuel and Brian. Please pray also for those who have responded to tracts this past month: Jacqueline and Pascual (SF, Christian (Sylmar, CA), Ray (Sacramento), Tiffanie (Concord), Diana (Huntsville, TX prison) and Thomas (Wasco, CA prison).
Note: All outreaches are subject to change. Call (510) 531
Sat. January 12 and January 26 San Francisco ?Church on the Street? worship rallies. 12-1 PM. Powell and Market St. 1:30-5 PM. United Nations Plaza (7th St. and Market)
Again, we want to thank you for your continued prayers and financial support for this ministry. We are printing 40,000 of our new "September 11" tract (in red, white and blue) as well as 100,000 other tracts. The cost is about $2000. We just received a gift of $500 towards this need.
We have scheduled our 23rd annual SOS-San Francisco outreach for June 21-29. Please set aside these dates. Ask your boss to give you the week off, or use some of your vacation time. Please pray for us as we prepare for this important outreach. Pray that God will provide our needs and guide us in planning the outreach.
Our Tape of the Month is Street Ministry through the Local Church by Mel Rolls. Mel was youth pastor of a large church for many years and now directs a street ministry called Rescue Atlanta. Our desire is to join together with local churches to evangelize our communities. I hope you can participate in one of our outreaches this next month.
Yours in His love,
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