Timothy Wu was a young and very evangelistic student at the seminary. Since we both were intent on direct personal evangelism, we became friends. He readily agreed to come with me to a Bible study at the Hindu temple.
As was my agreement with the temple officiates, we had to sit through the Kirtan before we could file down into the basement with David. After a prayer, I introduced Timothy and asked him to give the teaching. He started with how he had become a Christian and moved right into a very fine account of the Gospel message. He was speaking rapidly and passionately.
After the meeting broke up I headed upstairs, and after talking to some of the devotees for a while, I looked around for Timothy but didn’t find him. I went back down the steps to the basement and saw Timothy and David engaged in animated conversation. They were both yelling, and it looked like it might be the prelude to a fist fight. Seeing me watching them, they calmed and backed away from each other. Timothy walked toward me, and we both turned and walked up the stairs and out of the temple.
On the ride home we did not talk about what happened back in the basement. It was almost three weeks before I found out what transpired between David and Timothy.
Much later there was another ride home, and this time it was David and I on our way back to the seminary. David was silent for most of the ride, but as we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge he told me what had happened between him and Timothy that night after the Bible study. Timothy had given him a prophecy, a word of revelation, that within three weeks God would take David out of the temple.
All I did was listen. David said that night he had a dream. He saw himself in a very large open space and peoples of the world were all around him. All of a sudden he heard a trumpet blast, and looking up he saw Jesus in the clouds with a host of angels. People all around him were lifting up their arms to receive Jesus, and as they did they floated up and joined Jesus in the air. David said that he looked at his own feet and they were planted on the ground. A fear rushed through him and he woke up to find that his makeshift basement altar was on fire. He tried to put it out but it was already too large to extinguish. He grabbed what he could and raced up the stairs. He ran down again, picked up some paint cans and a brush – supplies he had used to paint out the basement for his use – and began writing in large letters those Christian slogans I saw on the walls of the temple. As the fire trucks started to arrive, he found a phone and called me.
Now his life was going to be very different.
As a kind of endnote: Timothy Wu and I remained friends. He was the youth pastor at a Chinese Church in San Francisco, and he invited me to preach to their rather large assembly from time to time – and this while he was at the seminary. I remember now the last time that we did evangelism together. Dr. Francis DuBose, professor of missions and evangelism at Golden Gate Seminary, had become a friend and mentor to me. Sometime in 1968 I asked him and Martin (Moishe) Rosen, who later founded Jews for Jesus, to be on the board of directors of Evangelical Concerns. This was a vital group made up mostly of American Baptist pastors. It was about at that time that Dr. DuBose asked me to conduct a tour and evangelist foray in the Haight-Ashbury. I did this several times, and on the first of these Timothy Wu came along.
Timothy and I met the students on the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets, divided up into teams of two, and agreed to return in two hours bringing any converts with us. At the appointed hour the students began to arrive. I had two with me, none of the students had any, but Timothy came walking down the street with a whole group of hippie kids, twelve being the number I recall. We held a prayer and discipleship meeting right there on the street. Timothy preached and taught and so did I. A larger crowd gathered and more professed faith in Jesus.
This was the Jesus People Movement. And this was not the last time I would see something similar happen on that very street. But the description of some of those events will come along when I talk about Lonnie Frisbee.