Richard Pope, a great friend of this ministry and of Jesus’ precious preborn children, was knocked out while preaching the Gospel of Christ on a public sidewalk next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.  We were bringing the Word of God to those lost in the bondage of Islam.

This past Wednesday morning, August 31, 2011, we attended the celebration of Eid UL Fitr (the end of Ramadan fast) held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte.  Thousands of Muslims gathered at this convention center in Uptown to honor their false god allah.  We gathered to honor the only true God Jesus.  We carried signs and brochures into the battle.  One sign read “Jesus Is the Truth,” the other, “Islam is a Lie.”  As we began to preach about the God (Jesus) who made this nation great and free the rage and hatred in the hearts of these “peaceful” Muslims began to manifest. 

From out of the abundance of their hearts their mouths began to speak.  “You are a Jew!  You are gay!  You are stupid!  You are a homeless person!  You are a clown!”  I must say that I was astonished at their blatant anti-Semitism and ad hominem (name-calling) attacks.  They pushed, jostled, and bullied, trying to make the meanest “Arab street face” possible, but the preaching of the Gospel continued.  Richard was on the other side of the building from me given ‘em heaven. 

After the event was over and most of the Muslims had left, a Charlotte Policeman came up to me and informed me that Richard had been knocked out and was in an ambulance.  Isaac Yoder and I immediately made our way around the huge NASCAR building to the ambulance.  They would not allow us to see or talk with Richard until they were relatively sure he was OK.  When he finally got out of the ambulance he was still a bit woozy but he recounted his story to us.

“I was preaching and the next thing I remember, I was on the ground in front of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  I wondered why I was there.  I called my daughter on my cell phone and asked her why I was at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and she said, ‘Daddy, you are there for the end of Ramadan fast.  Don’t you remember?  Are you all right.?’  It was then that I got my bearings and realized that something happened to me.  I was told by witnesses that a man stopped his car, got out and came up on my blind side and punched me for all he was worth.  I never saw a thing.  He then ran back to his car and took off.  The police got his license plate number.”

“I feel so honored to be walking in the same steps as the apostles, disciples, and those in the great cloud of witnesses, who ran the race of faith before me.” 

Richard got sick to his stomach later that evening – more than likely a concussion.  He went to his doctor today and I have not heard back from him yet.  Please keep him in your prayers.   ~ Flip