It’s always an interesting night on Mill Ave when the Art Festival is going on. This happens twice a year for three days. They shut it all down at night, but leave the tents up, so the roads are closed on Saturday night and we can do Open Air right in the middle of the intersection.
I brought out the celebrity board, Tom had his sign and Brandt brought his. Alan, Ronnie, Dan, Marcus, Sam, Jeremy, Tish and Joshua were also there. I talked with a guy named Adam, who came up to check out the celebrity board. We went through the Good Person Test (GPT), and I was able to give him a couple of tracts to take with him.
For some strange reason, he felt that Sam, who was standing nearby, was intimidating to him, so Sam graciously stepped away, even though the last thing I would say that Sam looks like is intimidating.
He said he needed a dollar to catch the tram back to Phoenix, so I gave him a tract, “A Gift For You”, which includes a space to hold a dollar bill, which I had already placed in it.
He was very happy with that and actually came back a little while later after having read it.
I was talking to him a bit more, when I heard Tom yell for the police and start walking towards a guy who was walking away from him. Apparently, this guy didn’t like what Tom was saying on the mic, had walked over and ripped it off of him, then tossed it over his shoulder as he walked away. Tom picked up his mic headset and I followed the guy over to the corner so that he wouldn’t get away while we called for the police. I feel that we are within our rights to press charges for destruction of property, and don’t want people to feel that they can just tear up other people’s property without consequences.
As I was standing nearby, this guy had his back to me and was talking to some other people. He turned around to say a few words to me, asking if I’d ever had a broken leg. I said, “No, have you?” as I watched warily for a kick to my knee that never came. Most people just like to talk tough, but normally don’t act on it. But this guy wasn’t normal.
He decided he didn’t want to hang around, so he got his bike and turned it towards me, lifted up the front and rammed the tire into my chest. I thought that would hurt, because he put some force behind it, but it really didn’t. I guess he noticed that it didn’t have the desired effect, so he threw a right fist to my mouth, which I didn’t see coming. This loosened a tooth and bloodied my lip a bit, as some of the others came over to assist. At this point we really weren’t going to let him get away. Marcus grabbed him from behind and put him onto the ground and I helped hold him there until the police showed up. As we were waiting, Joshua put his foot on the guys ankle and Jeremy came up and witnessed to him. Might as well, he wasn’t going anywhere.
The guy claimed he had some sort of diplomatic immunity, but apparently had just been watching too much TV. Jeremy said that he recognized him from somewhere else. The police showed up, so we let him go, and I felt someone grab the back of my shirt. I looked behind me and saw that it was a cop, who had me sit down on the curb to question me while the other guy got some shiny bracelets put on him. He was carted off to spend the night in jail and I was given a report number for the incident, and will be subpoenaed to be a witness when they prosecute. I looked around and all his friends had scattered, nowhere to be seen.
It turned out that Tom’s mic still worked, so we went back to preaching and handing out tracts. Tom got into a conversation with some people, so Brandt started doing some Open Air on the other side.
Three guys were heckling him a little, one of them claimed to be a Muslim, but through Brandt questioning him a little, it quickly became apparent that he was not. He admitted this and said that he was a Christian, but obviously he didn’t take God’s Word seriously, either. One of his friends was heckling Brandt and came over to talk to Dan and I.
His name was Connor and although he was drunk, he did get serious in our conversation to state that he went to a Catholic church and knew that it wasn’t right. He said he had a problem with drinking and women, and knew that saying a couple of “hail Mary’s” and confessing to a priest were doing nothing to get him on track and take care of the problem. I gave him the name and address of my church and an “Are You Good Enough To Get Into Heaven?” tract. We had a pretty decent conversation and I pray that he will get into a good church and leave the superstitious Catholic church behind, to truly repent of his sins and be born again to new life.
Crazy night on Mill – please pray for those we talked with and gave tracts to, especially the guy who ended up in jail. He needs the Gospel, to be convicted of his sin against God and to truly repent and trust the Savior for salvation.
Soli Deo Gloria