One night in the spring of 2005, with a team of Christians, we headed out to West Hollywood asking God to use us for His glory in the gay bar district of LA.
We met another Christian man, Andrew, who had been witnessing to this block of West Hollywood for over a year now. He explained, “…At first I was totally grossed out by this! I hated it. I only went with my friend, so he would not be doing the evangelism alone. Then one night, when I was off to myself praying, asking God why I was there, a little sixteen year old boy came up to me dressed like a girl. It was amazing in that I was standing there praying, disgusted about being there, and in that very moment, this boy approached me. I made conversation with him and was nice. Then the boy asked, ‘So, do you want to take me home? Would you like to buy me?’” Andrew continued, “I thought what kind of broken heart is this? And ever since then, I have had a heart for homosexuals to be set free and saved.”
We prayed as we were on our way to the gay bar area. We realized that many of these people were raised in Christian homes and have Christian parents praying for them. We found a table set up by teenagers. These little boys at thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen years old were there giving away condoms. They said, “We are not allowed to go into the gay bars yet, so we just come out here to give each other moral support.” My heart broke as I looked into their eyes. Where were their parents on a school night at 10:30 and all night long?
Then, we passed a table and the girl called out, “Free HIV Testing!” She looked at me and asked, “Have you been tested for HIV?”
We walked past the gay bars and the long lines of people entering, and we stopped to pray for God to show us how to reach them. We saw guys off to the side…I spoke with one, and another Christian on our team spoke to another. We gave out the tracts including You Are Truly Precious in God’s Eyes, which gives verses for salvation and explains how God is pure. One guy started laughing when I talked to him about Jesus. I said, “You laugh, because you think it is too good to be true, right? It just seems too good to be true that God could love you so much and that the blood of Jesus could cleanse you from all sin. But it is not too good to be true, if only you will believe.” We asked a few if they wanted prayer, and everyone without exception consented. We prayed for them and gave out some tracts of testimonies. My heart was just so broken looking at these people created in the image of God. I felt speechless at times. The saddest of all were the children.
On the way back to the car a little fourteen year old black boy asked, “Would you like a lubricant?” I said, “No, don’t want a lubricant.” I hugged the little guy.
As we walked back to the car somber and burdened, the Lord gave us an idea for evangelism! We could set up a Christian table there alongside the tables of condoms, HIV testing, and the leather.
How exciting and sweet for Jesus to come to such a dark neighborhood to shine His light of Love and Truth. The Lord gave us an idea for a sign for the table. For this gay bar district, the sign at our Christian booth could read over a sky background: A Heart for Him. The gays and lesbians will come over out of curiosity, and then when they look closer, they will see Psalm 37:4 at the bottom of the sign (which is “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”). Then, we will have another sign with the following message: We Are Sorry for the Way We Have Mistreated You. They will think, “Mistreated us? We don’t even know you.” Then, we can say, “Well, we are Christians, and we are sorry if any Christian has called you mean names or bullied you in any way, because the God of the Bible is love, and He is pure, and He is not like that…And we are sorry for your pain.” Then, we will have the following resources on our table:
Gospels of John (pocket size); individual sermons on “Loneliness” and “Our Unmet Needs” with devotions from He Intends Victory (H.I.V.), testimonies on CD and DVD and hand-size Bibles (New Testaments) on the table, as well as some paperback Bibles specifically for the youth. Mostly, these people will be passing by us on the way to and from a bar, so we want to keep the resources conducive for that environment. We will let the Lord bring the people over to us and not try to “push” anything over on anyone, but allow the Holy Spirit do the work for the glory of Jesus. We will only answer questions based on the Bible with permission from the person, so we can never be charged with a Hate Crime.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says…such were some of you, but you have been cleansed… This passage shows that people can be redeemed from homosexuality and have been being redeemed and set free from this since the church at Corinth. These first believers, according to this passage, were homosexuals at one time, but they were cleansed by the blood of Jesus to walk in newness of life.
The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Won’t it be fun to know and love these kids with the pure love of God? That will be something different for them.
We invite you to join us and labor with us through prayer for this ministry to West Hollywood. We will be easy to spot with the only Christian table between the AIDS testing and the condoms and lubricants.
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent you My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. – Rev. 22:14