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Journey 4 Justice: Team Mississippi – 1 ROCKS the WBC…AGAIN [VIDEO]

Here is yet another great installment of stories from Journey 4 Justice teams from all over the country.  This is the latest account from TL {team leader} Tommy Watson from Team Mississippi -1.  It’s a great read and I especially enjoyed his closing quote so enjoy and don’t forget to give us a “like” on Facebook and if your interested in forming your own team you can contact us through the FB page.

Photo of Team Mississippi - 1 by Tommy Watson

Many thanks to all who made this weekend possible. Team MS– Tommy, Jessie, Kim, and Roy—finally made it to Topeka around 3 Sat aft. Richard and Sonya were great hosts. Shared their home and time generously. Set up camp, cooled off for a bit, and then…wait for it….went to WBC. Even tho I’ve seen it in pictures for five years, those signs and banners hanging on a ‘church’ building were surreal.

We made a slow walk around the block, and were standing around discussing plans when a neighbor came out. Jessie’s never met a stranger, and since they had identical haircuts, he walked over, jammed a hand out and introduced himself. We now have a new ally and sanctuary on the street—this time directly across from the gate. As we wrapped up that visit, the local black and white welcoming committee came up. They’d gotten a report of an illegal picket. The officer needed to see identification so we began pulling out retired military id cards. O-5, O-4, E-8—you get the picture and she did too. Very cordial, and soon the shift Lt. rolled up. He must have heard of our celebrity because the stern face lasted only a few seconds. The Sgt didn’t want to be left out, so he rolled up to join in the fun. Don’t think that’s what the folks in the zoo cage had in mind when they made the call. Oh, I guess I made an assumption there; maybe someone else made the call.

Sunday morning, the day we’d been waiting for. Arrived on Churchill at around 0730. All was quiet, no activity. Assembled flags, had prayer, sang the National Anthem, and deployed on the sidewalk. The pictures are posted. I came planning to attend service, so I put on my coat and tie. When Sonya or Nancy pointed out Fred Jr to me, I went over and asked to attend. He informed me that he didn’t allow rebels to attend. I didn’t know how to take that—I was confused, set aback. My B.S degree is from Mississippi State University—the Bulldogs. Could he have known this and was now trying to insult me by calling me a Rebel—the name chosen by that ‘other’ Mississippi university called Ole Miss? Or had he heard Team Mississippi was coming and was reaching into the history books to assign a term many think of when anything Southern comes to mind? That would have been much more acceptable. But probably he used the term in a manner that simply defined his point of mind. Rebel—one who takes action contrary to the norm.

As we stood in Topeka on Sunday, hundreds blew horns and raised hands in encouragement. On this relatively new FB page many more hundreds have indicated their approval, and on the Patriot Guard website, roughly a quarter million have voiced opposition to WBC activity. The numbers accounted to his organization according to an article in an Omaha paper are around 75. So as I heard him call me a rebel, I heard a voice of ignorance.

I took a position nearest the gate with my back to him. He began a theological lecture to someone, and I wanted to hear. Unfortunately, he spoke at a low enough volume that I had difficulty getting most of his words. I did get enough to grasp that he was presenting an esoteric exposition on the name Smyrna. I think he got sexually graphic, but I’m not certain. They also did a review of world news expressing joy each time fatalities occurred. Since it was just past nine, and we certainly didn’t want to interfere with church service, we loaded up and moved on to the park.

We set our flags up to the honks, waves, and thumbs up from dozens of Topekans. Almost immediately we got a report of a picket at the video store. I’ll try to post the video of what happened there. Actually, I have two: I had the camera going as I approached the street. Once I got there I turned it off , but immediately I heard Fredjr shout, and everyone took off for the vehicles. I turned it back on in time to catch the exodus. We had another report so just a couple more blocks up they were on a corner across from the Faith Lutheran Church and another church I didn’t identify. Jessie and Ray took up opposite corners with their flags, and I waded into the midst of ‘em with my camera and Mississippi flag. I walked up and down the sidewalk taking pictures and singing hymns. And then I noticed fred was spouting forth another exposition. I decided to turn it into a dialogue. I’ll put together another discussion paper on the theology of our exchange, but for this report I’ll simply say that Jessie and Roy said it looked intense. I wonder if he’s been challenged much, because it wasn’t long ’til some of the younger ones (teen girls) began gathering around shouting slogans. Desperate actions from small minds it appeared.

As you look at the videos and pictures on our FB page and other sites, consider the ages of some of those kids. Of the whole weekend, that’s the one thing that bothers me most. These kids are being raised in an atmosphere of hate. So terribly sad.

Recommendations:

As Charley has said before, document everything. Video and audio are better than still shots. I made sure I had pictures of all their cars. I had already done that at their compound as I walked around the street. Let’s document all their public activity.

Kids: Consider making them our mission. If we show up to each of their pickets with kids activities, we’ll draw their attention. Balls, skateboards, jumpropes, juice boxes and cookies, catchy kids songs from Bible school, anything to catch their attention. Has to be something quick. Phred will probably pull them off the pickets rather than expose them to goodness, but at least that’s something. Engaging him in debate may extend the time we can minister to the kids. This is where locals can really help out, especially if they have kids they could bring along.

Don’t be afraid of engaging them in debate, especially if you have a stable Christian background. Only do so if you’re certain you can stand there without anger regardless of the insults. You also won’t get a rational discussion, He’s not well spoken, he begins big words but forgets them or puts the wrong ending on them. Speak while he’s speaking. Have prepared remarks and present them without pause. The kids are listening. Every situation of judgement in the Bible presents an opportunity for repentance and redemption. As I’d ask fredlost for his path to redemption he wasn’t able to share it.

I’m sure some of phredlum’s folks read everything we post, so just for them:

WBC isn’t a cancer, a boil, or a pimple, just a tiny blackhead on the face of God’s creation. J4J is the ointment to remove that blackhead.

Here is some great video footage from Team Mississippi – 1

The first clip is their encounter with the cult at a family video store and running them off.

This clip is of Team Mississippi -1 running them off the sidewalks at Faith Lutheran the same day.

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