Rusty allowed us to be blessed with the wonderful gift God has placed in his wife Kendra. She is a great writer. Here is her final report of the incredible workings of God in Rochester, New York.

Enjoy!  ~ Flip


Operation Save America: Rochester Report

Rochester, New York—The conclusion of Operation Save America’s annual outreach is always bittersweet. We experienced the powerful presence of the Lord on the streets and during the evening rallies; yet now we must return home. We met new friends and experienced deep companionship with old ones; yet it’s time to say goodbye. As a body of believers we ministered to the lost and hurting and rescued those unjustly sentenced to death; yet many will return to their community to do so alone…

Alone? Perhaps. But “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The same God that visited Rochester wants to visit your city. May this report encourage you, as you return to your local ministry.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

During one of OSA’s evening rallies, Rev. Rusty preached on the “Cups of the Lord.” He mentioned the cup of blessing, the cup of sorrow, and the dreadful cup of God’s wrath. OSA saints drank deeply of the cup of blessing during the outreach. This cup of blessing, the gospel of Christ, poured out onto the streets of Rochester, with salvations and rescues throughout the weeklong event. In addition, just as the Scottish poem and song Auld Lang Syne implored, OSA drank “a cup o’ kindness yet.” The fellowship between saints and the favor from local churches was truly “a cup o’ kindness yet.” We believe the seeds which were planted will grow up into a mighty Tree of Life for the city of Rochester, with leaves for the healing of nations (Ezekiel 47:12; Revelations 22:2).

In the multitude of counselors there is wisdom and victory (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22). Rochester revealed to the national leadership of Operation Save America a more effective (as Pastor Dunfee preached on Monday evening) approach to mobilizing the local churches. OSA has traditionally used a prophetic approach in challenging the churches to take a courageous stand for Christ and His little ones. The biblical model was Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet (Jeremiah 7:1-11). Although a proper response in certain circumstances, it is not a fitting response in all situations, especially if the churches are seeking fealty to Christ. Instead of a prophetic admonishment, OSA gave a “Macedonian call: Come help us.”

On July 28th, OSA saints attended Sunday morning services at various local churches. After each service, Christians from Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Texas and other states made a personal appeal to mercy. They met privately with pastors and church leaders and presented a loving invitation to share the Gospel of Life on the streets of their city. One saint explained the divine encounter she had with a kindly pastor’s wife. At one church, a woman enquired about Wendee Brisart’s prolife tracts. They had a wonderful conversation before Wendee even realized that she was speaking to the pastor’s wife. The church wanted to get more involved in the battle, so both women saw this chance meeting as a divine appointment. Many pastors were encouraged to join the battle for life. We also had a local pastor, Pastor Kirk, join us on the streets of Rochester. He even carried a Malachi sign through an abortionist’s neighborhood. Praise God!

The ministry continued in the afternoon. Ilka Molnar from Connecticut shared a testimony that happened at the local Panera Bread. As she sat outside at the bakery-café, she observed a car pull into the parking lot, music blaring. The driver was a handsome African American man in his twenties. Ilka approached the driver and offered him a tract. As he sat in the car, he turned down the volume and allowed her to speak. She thanked him for turning down the volume and handed him a gospel tract. He said, “I’m okay.” To which Ilka replied, “I know you’re okay; you’re healthy but what about your spiritual health? Do you know Jesus?”

At that moment, a tall, muscular man approached. He stood near Ilka and reached his hand into his shirt, as though he carried a gun. The other man quickly placed his hand on top of whatever was beneath the muscular man’s shirt. The first man kept his friend from pulling out something and said, “She’s just telling me about Jesus.” After the danger passed, they spoke. Ilka learned the two were homosexuals. The first man, Kevin, and the second man, Peter, listened as Ilka shared the gospel. She began by telling them how God created Adam and Eve, not two men; how man was to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, not another man; how God created all men with a purpose. She challenged the men to be the men God has called them to be. After talking for some time, Ilka invited the men to pray with her. They replied they were not ready yet, but did request she pray for them. With Kevin and Peter, Ilka prayed God would reveal Himself to them. At the end of the prayer, Peter, the one who appeared to reach for a gun, reached for an embrace. He seemed especially moved by the encounter. Kevin thanked Ilka for sharing and shook her hand. Ilka asks that we would remember these men in our prayers.

The Evening Rally

During the evening rally, the saints were blessed to hear an ongoing message by Rev. Flip Benham, Operation Save America’s National Director. During the musters in the mornings and the rallies in the evening, Rev. Flip preached consecutive sermons from the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. He even incorporated Haggai and Zechariah, reminding OSA members that God used these prophets to challenge the Israelites to lay the foundation of truth, regardless of the personal cost. He reminded the saints that the altar and temple must be restored (reestablishing truth) before the walls and gates can be rebuilt (protecting our culture).

The main message was delivered by Coach Dave Daubenmire. As usual, Coach gave a rousing sermon that had saints ready to charge a football field or a cultural battlefield. It was entitled, “You Will Serve the God You See.” Coach described how Christ, the church, and culture has been feminized in the modern era. He explained how the American Church has deemphasized aspects of God’s nature and character, creating a false idol. This idol of Christ is emasculated, weakened, and impotent. His wrath and judgment is ignored. Since “We serve the God we see,” if we see a feminized misrepresentation of Christ, biblical manhood dies. Men are disengaged from the battle and the church cannot impact the world.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The following day, the saints went back to the area hospitals and the clinics. In addition, Tom Raddell set up his 200’ wide “Genocide Awareness Outreach” at the Federal Building, at the corners of Church and State streets. As Tom explains, “The large 8’ by 5’ panels pictorially depict historic acts of genocide and then visually link these atrocities to our current abortion holocaust.” OSA members passed out a great quantity of literature, as the anointed street preachers spoke the Word of God over the loudspeaker. Many who heard the Word surrendered their lives to the Lord and later attended the evening rally.

In the afternoon, a large group met at Cobbs Hill Park. From there we marched through another abortionist’s neighborhood. OSA members handed out flyers and carried aborted baby signs. Outside of the abortionist’s home, Rev. Flip preached while Rev. Rusty prayed for her darkened, deceived soul. One neighbor, a middle-aged woman, thanked the saints for coming out with the signs. She explained she was on the fence about abortion. After seeing the picture of Malachi, she came down firmly on the side of life.

From there, the saints continued the march through the streets of the abortionist’s neighborhood. The march culminated in an affluent and “artsy” village. The main street was lined with outdoor coffee shops and quaint gift shops. With signs in hand, OSA members slowly walked the length of the street. Realism in the arts is an attempt to represent subject matters truthfully. A realist work of art is one that may emphasize the grotesque or sordid. Despite being an art community, the well heeled residents, the hippie throwbacks, and the business minded merchants did not enjoy OSA’s realism—graphic visual displays of aborted babies. Apparently this was too much “realism” for an art community, for many artists, residents, and shoppers fled at the photographs.

Undeterred, Rev. Rusty preached over a handheld sound system as OSA members gave out flyers and engaged shoppers in conversations. Those sipping coffees at cafés with outside seating heard an earful. Rev. Rusty urged, “I’m aware many of you are eating lunch and these pictures are difficult to look at. But God has a charge against our nation.” He proceeded to compare abortion to the sin of slavery. “630,000 men died during the civil war because our nation refused God’s command to let our black brothers and sisters go free.” He explained the Civil War was the judgment of God for denying liberty to others. With abortion we are denying life to others. Rusty’s question to those present was, “How much wrath has our nation stored up by denying life to our sons and daughters?” He ended his preaching by challenging, “Do we want a future and a hope for ourselves and our children? Then we must stop killing our children, shedding innocent blood, and parading our sin like Sodom.”

As many escaped the realism by ducking into shops or hurrying down the street, one elderly gentleman observed the scene. Looking on with approval, he described how he was an animal rights activist. Although not specifically approving of the gospel message, he nonetheless approved of the demonstration, “At least someone is doing something. No one protests anymore.”

Evening Rally

During the Monday night evening rally, Pastor Bill Dunfee from New Beginnings Church of God in Ohio taught on effectiveness. Pastor Dunfee’s text was from 2 Kings 6:1-7, Elisha and the lost axe head. His question to all was, “Have you lost your prophetic edge?” He challenged the saints to examine their effectiveness in their family, their church, and ministry. It was an important time of reflection.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On Tuesday OSA set up in the same venues, with one significant addition. Chet Gallagher, retired Las Vegas police officer and OSA point man, organized a youth outreach at a local high school. The “God is Going Back to School” outreach was remarkable in that it was the young people of OSA that led the charge. Some OSA young people handed out gospel tracts and prolife literature to the students. Others held graphic signs or engaged their peers in conversation. Others had opportunities to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of particular note, one of the police officers stationed at the school was a brother in the Lord. The officer was grateful OSA was at the school reaching out to the students. As the young people ministered the gospel, the Lord used the officer to “protect and serve” in a very substantial way. A student observed the Malachi sign. Disgusted, he began to walk angrily away. The officer commanded, “Stop and listen.” Because the words were spoken with authority, the young man immediately stopped. Since the officer protected the young man’s soul and served the Lord Jesus, Rev. Rusty was able to share the love of Christ and the prolife message with the student.

Evening Rally

Cal Zastrow, a national OSA leader and co-founder of Personhood, USA, delivered the sermon Tuesday night. Cal preached on returning to your first love and first works, from Revelations 2:1-6:

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Cal’s stirring message consisted of four questions: What is our first love? How do we maintain our first love? How do we lose our first love? How do we recover our first love? His sermon was a perfect conclusion to a week of ministry.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hugs and laughter filled the lobby of Quality Inn, as OSA members packed their vehicles for the long trip home or waited for transportation to the nearby airport. For some, Wednesday morning was a time of warm goodbyes. For others though, it was a time of exciting adventure and exploration.

For the saints that elected to stay another day, Wednesday meant a day trip to Niagara Falls. OSA members from Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, and Texas met at America’s oldest state park for a time of fellowship and relaxation. Located between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario, the falls are a breathtaking witness to the majesty of God.

Allyse Villavaso, the Campana family, the Arant family, the Turner family, and the Thomas family traveled to Niagara Falls to enjoy North America’s largest waterfall. The saints mingled a bit then parted company to search out individual adventures. Some picnicked on a grassy area before the Pedestrian Bridge and the rapids. Others toured the Observation Tower, a 230’ overlook that provides the only American location to take pictures of both the American and Horseshoe falls. Others explored the visitor center.

The Campana and Thomas families decided on a wetter, more exhilarating adventure. The two families, consisting of four parents and fourteen children, strolled to Prospect Point to board the Maid of the Mist. The Maid of the Mist takes passengers thrillingly close to the cascading waters of the American and Horseshoe falls. So close, in fact, each person is handed a disposable blue rain poncho.

As the families stood in line for tickets, they realized that they were only two people short of a group rate. Frank and Rusty approached two tourists from Lithuania and convinced them to join their group. From there, the two families, with their new Lithuanian friends in tow, entered the Observation Tower and descended to its base via a high-speed elevator. Once on the boat, the children scuttled from railing to railing, looking for the best vantage point. Frank advised the children where to stand, while Rusty kept six year old Jubilee, the youngest of the Thomas family, near to him. Jubilee looked very much like a blue smurf, with her blue hooded poncho covering every inch of her tiny body.

The children were not disappointed. The boat ride began gently, sailing past the American Falls. Spray covered the children, as they marveled at the wonder of the rainbows seen in the mist. From there, the Maid of the Mist glided to the Horseshoe Falls. The power of the Horseshoe Falls overwhelmed the boat. The children were in awe. The deafening roar of the falls silenced them. Four million cubic feet of water every minute cascading down from hundreds of feet above drenched them. The same God that visited Rochester was the same God who made the Niagara Falls. This lesson wasn’t lost on the children. Between the memorable street preaching, salvations, worship, evening sermons, the outreach at the high school and the visit to Niagara Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the children left the annual Operation Save American event invigorated, excited, and in awe of God. They can’t wait for next year!

With the Operation Save America outreach behind us, it’s time to reflect on the work of the Lord. The Holy Spirit touched lives, saved souls, and delivered babies. More pastors agreed to be involved. More Christians agreed to be involved. Local leaders, Jerry Crawford and Mike Warren, increased their contact lists. God planted a powerful kingdom seed in the city of Rochester. It was not the work of men, but of God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). May He see fit to do it again, until the scourge of legalized abortion is put to death in our land.