Scott Newton is taking over the International Bible Fellowship class at Vision and he had written about me in a “send-off” post on his blog. In the post he mentions the time I preached at a hindu temple when I was in my late teens. I remembered that I journaled about that experience after it happened and I found what I wrote on my computer…haha…I was zealous and wanting to be used of God. It is kind of long, and I found some pics of the temple on the web, which are at the bottom, so here it goes:
… I was sitting on the couch reading a book for school when I came across a section on Hindus. As I was reading it the Lord started working in my heart about the Hindu temple off of 275. I began to become consumed with taking them the gospel that I couldn’t read anymore. I could only concentrate on going and preaching the gospel. That is where the inward battle started. I was telling my self I couldn’t go because I had to finish reading this book for class tomorrow. I told myself that I would go tomorrow after school with some guys from school, but that wasn’t good enough. God said NOW! Wanting God to use me, I laid down my book, picked up my Bible, got in my truck and headed toward the temple. I was praying on the way there as the Lord was giving me what he wanted me to say.
When I arrived at the temple, I was able to enter with the authority that God had sent me here. There were only two vehicles in the parking lot and as I walked up to the door it was locked. I looked in the window and could see a priest. I knocked on the door and waited for him to come and open it. He opened the door and said, “Can I help you?” I replied as I was stepping inside, “Yes, I have a message from God to tell you.” I didn’t want to offend them right away, so I took off my shoes and place them in their proper spot in the basement.
When I came back up the stairs, shoeless, the priest was sitting in the room where they sell miniature idols. I waved to him to follow me as I passed him by. I walked up to the idols and the main one which is referred to as the unknown god. As I was standing in the holy place I asked the man if he referred to this statue as the unknown god. He agreed and I continue to tell him of the KNOWN GOD! The Lord allowed me to preach from Acts 17:23-32 and Exodus 20:1-7. The man beckoned me to come down from the holy place and from their idols, but I knew the Lord had sent me there to give the message and I wasn’t leaving until it was completed.
As I was preaching one man called the cops and then went outside to take down my license plate number. As the one man was outside, I made eye contact with the other man and told him directly of his need. I know he heard me.
When I was done preaching the officer walked into the temple and asked for me to come down. I was finished with the message so I did as I was told. The officer said, “Why are you here?” “God told me to come here,” I replied. After a little more discussion I was led downstairs to get my shoes. Here the officer let me know that their god is not the same as my God. I agreed and replied, “That’s why I am here to let them know of the one true God!” He replied with, “There are many Gods.” I replied again with “There is only one God.” From this point the office thought that I was off the wall and had mental problems. He started to ask if I ever had any mental care and different things. Then we proceeded out to his cop car where he told me to lay my Bible down on the roof off his car and put my hands behind my back. I did so and he checked me for anything illegal. Of course he found nothing and gave me another lecture of the same, to which my only reply was, “God sent me here to give them His message.” Still thinking I was a mental case he placed me in the back of the cop car.
He went inside for a minute and then came back out. He got in the cop car and started questioning me with age, address, phone number, basic questions. He also had the sheriff’s office call my parents to see if I had ever done anything like this before or had any mental treatment. He told them to tell my parents that, “Mark was standing in the holy place at the Hindu temple preaching the word of God.” (Finding out afterwards that when my dad received the phone call, he told them that I was a missionary and asked them if we still have religious freedom, to which they quietly hushed.) After he had taken all the info he needed, He let me out of the car and said, “No matter what God tells you, if you come back here, I will throw you in jail and tow your truck. I replied “OK, but that I ought to obey God rather than man.” He said, “OK then God can pay for you to get out of jail and to tow your truck.” I simply replied, “God’s not broke.”
It is amazing to see God work. I praise him for all that He is and all that He has done. What is our nation coming to when we claim, “Thus saith the Lord,” and people think we have mental problems. I am God’s son and will continue to obey my Father as He leads me, no matter what man may say or do unto me.