Home > Ministry Stories > One Night in Hollywood – Some Prayer Requests

One Night in Hollywood – Some Prayer Requests

This last week on Santa Monica Blvd, our team met at our usual place at the usual time, a Del Taco parking lot at 11:00pm. While we were in the middle of praying as a team before going to the streets, four new friends from the street joined us. After prayer we discussed plans for the night and they said that they wanted to join us for the church service that would be starting at midnight. I was “paired” up with Kayla and Han and we decided that the three of us should walk the street with these four, getting to know them better, until the service started. During introductions, they all four gave us pseudonyms. I forgot one of them (because I forget everything plus they changed names during the night), but the other three were “Steve”, “T”, and “D”. Prior to our team closing our eyes for prayer, I had noticed these four men and a couple other guys whispering in each other’s ears and being shifty with their hands. After the seven of us had crossed the street together, two of the men, “D” and the one whose name I can’t recall, started making illegal business deals with others at the donut shop. To say that I became nervous was an understatement. I immediately turned to Han to ensure that he was praying and, when everyone else was distracted, I quickly sent the following text message to our remote prayer team: “Our group might be being used as a cover 4 something shady. Pls pray 4 safety and discernment.” My text reply was, “Got it.” After that, I focused primarily on talking with “Steve” while Kayla spoke with “T”, the two guys who were not performing transactions. More details about Steve and T are below suffice to say that these two were the only new friends to join us for the midnight church service.

“Steve” (aka “T-Gun”)
Steve told me that he works for a travel agency. He described the company as the type of agency you would contact if you wanted a “fantasy vacation” at a deep discount. He said he had had a meeting with some business associates earlier that day. Steve is over 40 years old and has spent a lot of time in church in the past. He has children and grandchildren that he sees on a regular basis. Steve stayed for the sermon, had his own points to add right in the middle of the sermon, and stuck around afterward to speak with Han and other members of the team. I don’t know exactly what brought Steve to the street on Thursday, but anyone who hangs out there long soon finds himself quickly sliding down a rocky slope (complete with cuts and bruises). Please pray that he finds a better place to spend his evenings.

I didn’t get to talk with T much but he was the other man who met us at Del Taco and came with us to the church service. He got impatient when Steve interrupted the sermon with his own points and actually got up to walk away… but the Spirit and I convinced him to come back and sit down. 🙂 He stayed afterward to chat with us and even told us his real name before he left. Again, I don’t know his story, so my prayer request for him is the same as it is for Steve, that God would show him a better place to spend his evenings.

Just as the sermon was coming to an end, a young good-looking man who I will call “James” walked up and sat down next to me. He missed the whole sermon but he got put in a discussion group with Holly and I. James is a “male escort”. Neither Holly nor I are sexually active, and James sat directly in the middle of us so we were set up for a potentially awkward conversation, but it wasn’t awkward at all. Other than the Spirit, we don’t know what led James to us and caused him to share (too) many of the graphic details of his work. I really appreciated Holly’s bluntness when she stated, “I just don’t understand how you can just sleep with random strangers!” When I asked him “Do you ever cry?”, he claimed that he didn’t. But later he revealed his secret to success, if you can call it that – secret to self-destruction is more like it. James told us that he never goes to work without first getting high on crack cocaine. He says it makes him feel good. I think I have said enough for you to know what to pray for. My heart breaks for him. Even now as I type this, my eyes are filled with tears.

Security Guards
I have been a part of our street team for over two years now and a private security team has been out there with us that entire time. Members of our team have reached out to several of their team members over the years, one in particular, but they have put a lot of effort into avoiding us and keeping us away from their office. Something is different now! During three out of the last four weeks they have come to us, in a group of four, to hang out with us! They know what we are up to and they won’t come for the church service (because they are working), but they have begun to encourage us. This last Thursday they even offered to escort us safely to our cars at the end of the night! Pray that God continues to develop this newly forming relationship.

There wasn’t much police activity this week (Thank you God!), but there is an ongoing struggle among the law enforcement teams, our team, and the people on the street. We like to hang out with the law-breakers but the police are required to arrest them when appropriate. Technically speaking, some of what we do is against the law- loitering for example. Last week and three weeks ago, a marked police car shined a light on us and used their loud speaker to ask us to disperse. Both times, I had the courage to walk right up to them and tell them what we were doing. Both times, they were shocked. Yup, jaws dropped and they shook their heads from side to side to make sure they had clearly understood what I had told them. Last week, one officer exclaimed “Jesus! You have got to be kidding me!” But on both occasions (and all previous occasions over the years), they let us be and left us with words of encouragement. Please pray that we can continue our meetings without police interruption. Also pray that our law-breaking friends respect our limited relationship with the police.

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