Currently I am at homebase awaiting a big trip across the country to the East Coast in September. I have returned from my summer trip to the Pacific Northwest. After leaving Seattle I traveled down to Vancouver, Washington and the greater Portland area. I have lots of friends here and had many visits and times of fellowship. I saw Richard Latimer and John Payne both of which I stayed with in Vancouver. I attended church with long-time friends of Glencullen Baptist in Portland. I preached in downtown Portland several times before heading to the Pacific Coast. The heatwave which was to send temperatures in the Portland area to triple digits forced me to the coast about 5 days earlier than anticipated. This allowed me to get some rest and also to preach in a few places I would not have preached in had I continued with my original schedule. I got lots walks on the beach too!
My travels also included stays at other churches. a new church and Pastor I met along the way was found in Tillamook Oregon. it was called Life Changes Christian Church. I rolled in there on a Wednesday just in time to go to the beach and have a barbecue with the workers that were there for Vacation Bible School. I met pastor Brad and he allowed me to park overnight at the church and then I attended a pastor’s prayer meeting in the morning. I also met a couple who knew my cousin, a longtime resident of Tillamook.
Heading south I stayed in Lincoln City at the Foursquare Church where I was able to stay for two nights. I had come through here last year and stayed. This time I was able to attend Sunday services as Pastor Darrell Rice gave a great teaching on the churches in Revelation focusing in on the doctrine of Balaam. Driving south I went through Newport but aborted my preaching there. I saw an old friend and fellow traveling minister, Larry Stevens. Larry travels the country singing and sharing Jesus at nursing homes. We spent the day together in Coos Bay, Oregon.
In Portland (Pot land) I was hit with the usual bombardment of unusual characters and crazy behavior; and that’s just the Christians. (just kidding, I think) I preached here for several days and gave away the remaining large-print Bibles I had brought. Even though Portland is liberal it is not uncommon to gain several people who will stop and listen. This one particular day was no different when about ten people had gathered to my left along a wall of a building formerly occupied by Macy’s. I was excited that many people responded to the Gospel. Other days I shared the preaching with some guys I have known for many years now; Ron Rohman, and Marty the sandwich sign guy. I also met a new preacher who just moved there from Minneapolis. His name is Tom Hacker.
Although I’ve been to Seaside Oregon a couple of different times in my life, this was the first time I preached here. It is set up really good for street preaching. Although the corners were very tight, there was lots of people walking down the street. I was on Columbia & Broadway. Broadway is perpendicular to the Promenade that goes across the beach and provides the main entrance for folks to go down to the beach. In this area there are many shops and places of interest. No shortage of people on this hot summer day. After preaching for about an hour and a half I did have an officer come and tell me I could not use the amp without a permit. I was about done anyway. I met a man here in Seaside named Timothy who was in a wheelchair suffering from the effects of diabetes. He asked for prayer and when I obliged him I realized it was the same man I prayed for last spring in Billings, Montana. I was able to talk and pray with others as well.
After spending the night in Crescent City I drove to Eureka. Eureka one of the larger cities on the Northern California coast, initially lacked a place where I could preach. I then located a place down in Old Town where many local people and tourists come. I situated on the corner of 2nd and Fir Street. I had a little bit of opposition from a New-Ager. He ended up calling the police and complaining about the amp. Once the officer arrived he said he had listened to me for a few minutes before he approached me. I was allowed to continue after our discussion (with amp). I preached there for about an hour as many people passed. I was able to talk and minister to several homeless people who come through there as modern day hippies we might call them drifters. Most of these have dogs as companions / protection. I guess I will have to start carrying dog food to hand out.
Willits & Vicinity
I hooked up with my friend “Stormin” Norman James, a fellow street preacher. He lives on the high top of a mountain out in the middle of nowhere in Willits, California. I stayed there for three nights and was right at home. I am used to no electricity and other modern conveniences. While with Norman we preached several different days. The first day we went to Fort Bragg this is a town on the far coast of California on Highway 1. It’s about a 30-mile drive from Norm’s place in Willits. When we got there a parking meter lady told us we couldn’t use the amp. I assured her it was okay unless we got a complaint. I asked if she would write us a citation. She said no so I preached with the amp for about an hour. Norm who likes to preach without an amp also preached here.
The next day we preached in a very small town called Laytonville, California with a population of around 1,200. Norman and his normal crew specialize in preaching in small towns around Northern California. This is fairly new to me so it was good to have this experience with Norman. Laytonville turned out to be good, as our main audience was a group of young people who were drifters. About a half dozen of them heard my testimony and the gospel. A big part of our outreach in these small towns are gospel signs for the congestive traffic on the coast.
On Saturday (my last day there) I followed Norm down as we drove separately to Santa Rosa. This is a fairly decent sized city and it had a small downtown area that people frequent on Saturday. We had opposition from the get-go from several people who worked in the area. We used the amp until the police arrived and we’re told that someone complained. Norm then began to preach open-air without a mic. Brandon Matz joined as this day. He never got to preach because the police came back and said that they still got complaints and asked if we would move down the street. They said we could use the amp if we did. so just to accommodate them since they didn’t have to come back on all these calls. We talked to the police officer for quite a while but ended up just leaving and going over to another nearby town called Sebastopol. This turned out to be a much better place with many people on the street and those going by in cars. We had a good outreach here that ended our day and time together. All three of us took turns preaching the Gospel. We said our goodbyes after prayer and I headed back to the home of the Eric & Jill Baxter in El Sobrante.