…Continued from ” Night of complete MAYHEM!”
It was well past 1am on Mill Avenue as our own UFC Walti jumped back on the mic to say what we thought was his goodbyes to the crowd/Mill Avenue. Little did we know there was a fire shut up in Walter’s bones that he could not contain. He didn’t waste any time …he began speaking about persecution and his willingness to die for Christ. “WHO’S PACKING?” He shouted! “SHOOT ME!” He enticed the crowd. He continued on to talk about Jesus, grace and judgment as two men walked up. Plausibly , the pair disliked the part about judgment as that’s what they began shouting about first. The guys were both military men who served in Afghanistan. They were banking on getting to Heaven based on the fact that they served this country. While it is certainly noble and admirable to fight for ones country that will certainly not get you to Heaven. JESUS is the one and only way to the only one and only true Heaven.
Walter hoped off the mic to talk to the two guys who were at this point beginning to show signs of anger and aggression. “Em, go sit on the side for your protection.” Ephrem advised me, as the two seemed to at this point want a fight. Walter, David, Ephrem, Phil, Jonathan, and Marcus all gathered to try and reason with the two men and try to share the gospel with them. During the course of this time Marcus had the video camera on and recording. A: he does this for some stellar footage. But even more importantly he does it for protection in case anything happens… and for evidence sake (Yes I am foreshadowing haha).
“Hey man you better get that camera out of my face!” He shouted at Marcus. His argument was that he was military and if he was seen on camera publicly intoxicated(which both men were) they would risk discharge from the military. Marcus respectfully took a step back but did not stop recording. As the guys tried reasoning with the man and attempted to calm him down he shouted something similar at Marcus again. Finally the man through a punch at Marcus’s camera, shutting the screen of it. At this Walter through up it arms “Woah,woah, woah,” shocked and trying to settle things quickly. Unfortunately this just put him in the man fighting path to Marcus, and Walter was TACKLED to the ground, ROLLING on his already torn ACL.
As Jonathan tried to reason and calm the fighter down, I went across the street and grabbed the cops to hopefully prevent and further madness. However, the offender boooooked it before we were able to explain what had happened to the cops or point out the man. Regardless, thanks to Marcus and the trusty camera the cops were able to review the footage on Marcus’ camera. The camera reveled enough of the man for the cops to be able to know if they saw him. I guess, the man ended up coming back to find his friends and the cops chased him down and cuffed him.
The cops proceeded to ask Walter if he wanted to press charges and initially he said yes. He felt perhaps it was good for a man like that to be caught. In a sense it may take something like that to bring him to repentance and realize himself. The evangie team discussed and we thought it might be cool if we dropped the charges to show mercy on the man. We spoke to the man earlier regarding the gospel and how Christ died in our place. While we deserved punishment we got off free thanks to the grace of God. We left it in Walter’s hands and he decided to drop the charges. Before we could tell the cops our decision the offenders friend approached us pleading for his friends freedom. “Please you don’t understand, if you follow through with the charges my friend WILL get discharged.” We told him our decision and he was really taken back and grateful. The guys prayed with him, as the cops told the offender the good news. None the less since the city of Tempe received evidence, the man would still be sighted as disorderly conduct. Furthermore he had to spend the night in jail; he was taken away in the detention vehicle. Regardless, things obviously would have been 100x worse, had Walter not had mercy on the man and continued with the assault charges.
The police report wrapped up well past 2am. Just as it was wrapping up an incredibly intoxicated man decided to rip off his shirt, run into the middle of the street dancing, and do the worm through the street! It was truly an incredible sight to see. ” GET OUT OF THE STREET NOW! RIGHT NOW!” The feisty woman cop yelled as she caught it from the corner of her eye. Then as we walked to the car we saw another fight. Three blond guys literally ripped their shirts off, and ran at each other with punches( Apparently men who fight or dance with their shirts off on Mill make them tougher/cooler? Not really sure haha). One guy even UFC flipped the tallest, biggest guy(no joke). More people ran to get involved in the corporate brawl but the horse cops quickly broke it up. Just them Ephrem texted us from the parking lot advising us not to come over there, as there was another fight by him! Mill was either in rare form or the madness just breaks out after midnight when we usually leave.
I hope that night we were able display a glimpse of what the gospel is in a practical way. I just pray that both the offender and the friend understand the meaning of what the gospel of grace means and that it would SAVE them!