This is the first of a couple of parts to a recent street fishing outing.
If you are like me, you look at some of the blogs and videos of people like Tony Miano, or Steve Sanchez and think, “Man, they sure are blessed to be in such a populated area with beaches, piers and all sorts of tourist filled attractions, they’ve got it so good.” The truth is, we can’t all be in one place and really, no matter where you live, there’s plenty of work to do in getting the Gospel out. We can be just as obedient in a small town as we can at Huntington Beach or Hollywood Blvd.
On a sunny Monday morning, I had planned on going to Chandler/Gilbert Community College here in Gilbert, but I hadn’t gotten my monthly request in on time and they turned me away. Clarke and his wife were already on their way and I was scrambling for a “Plan B.” “Where in Chandler, Arizona on a Monday morning at 10AM can we get some fishing done?” was my thought. I scouted a shopping center near the college. With a Wal-Mart, Staples and Home Depot there, surely there must be some fish—Nothing really.
That’s when my least favorite option came to mind. The Chandler Mall. Not only is security highly motivated to keep us out of there, but it was even further for Clarke to drive and I felt as though I hadn’t planned this out well. I was sure there weren’t many more fish there this time of day. There weren’t.
We hung out in a breezeway area I like because there’s a timed fountain there, and at least we’d have something to look at every fifteen minutes or so. Businesses were open but few people were around. It’s then when I got the idea to actually go into the various stores and engage the clerks.
The first man I talked to was Tony at the Stone Cold Creamery. He said he was a Christian and attended “that church near the 101 and Ray Road.” He couldn’t remember the name. I was a bit nervous, Tony was about four inches taller than me and probably outweighed me by a fair amount. He was a big guy. This qualified him for the two types of people who I’m scared of: People bigger than me (I’m 6’2” and around 300lbs) and, anyone I perceive as being 50 and above in age. Yes I’m 40.
I gave Tony a Million Dollar Bill tract and proceeded to tell him what I was out doing, all along giving him the Gospel. Tony admitted to having broken many of God’s commands and heard the bad news of God’s coming judgement for sinners. Then we got to the Cross. I was reminding Tony of things he probably already knew, but perhaps in a way he hadn’t heard before. As I thanked him and left the store, he called out “Hey thanks, good luck spreading the word.” Tony was a nice guy. Please pray that if he is saved, that God is renewing his heart, and if he isn’t, God is working there too.