Posts Tagged ‘evangelism’

Surprised by a Pirate (a true story)

Monday, January 28th, 2019

surprised-by-a-pirate

As I stooped over to open the pirate chest full of treasure, I sighed. Memories flooded my mind, from a treasure hunt in the backyard for a pirate party after reading Treasure Island, to painting the chest gold to transform it into King Tut’s treasure back when we studied ancient Egypt. We shoved that treasure chest into a closet under the stairs as a tomb for my toilet-paper-wrapped kid in a cardboard sarcophagus. Fun times.

My kids are now teens. Having outgrown the treasure box, I put it up for sale. A man claiming to be a pirate contacted me. He wanted to buy the treasure chest, and he needed me to deliver it because he had only one leg. My son Stephen drove me with the treasure chest over to his house, where he lifted the pirate treasure one last time. The man with the one leg not only gave me the $20 I was asking for the box, but he paid me another $20 for delivering it just ten minutes down the street from my house. Since I needed the money for groceries, I burst into tears and hugged this wild gray-haired man in his wheel chair.

There was something about his eyes that tugged on my heart. His appearance matched his description of himself as a pirate (he really did look like a retired pirate, with the personality to go with it). The surprised but happy look he gave me when I hugged him was priceless. As I drove away, I pondered how I could go back. I knew the compassion in my heart was from Jesus, and I wanted to make sure he knew that he was loved.

He was too interesting a person to just pass by and move on. I couldn’t let him sit there all day in his wheelchair, house-bound, just waiting to die. Yes. I said it. That’s what I saw in his eyes. I saw it because it was a mirror of my own soul, longing to be set free from the suffering, sorrow, and evil of this world.

I sat at the computer, pondering the meaning of life. Since I sold the treasure chest through Facebook, I clicked through to his profile. Without any thought, I pressed the button to add him as a friend. Within the hour, he mentioned that he needed a housekeeper. For some reason I sensed danger. Not knowing if the danger was real or imaginary, I asked my ministry friend if she would like to come with me to clean this man’s house. She said yes.

The fact that I hate cleaning became obvious when I wrestled with cleaning the walls of a shower that had a seat attached to the middle of the tub. There was no space. My ministry friend did not want to touch the bathroom with a ten foot pole, so she sang sweet songs about Jesus as she swept and mopped the living room. She asked him if it was okay for her to sing, and he seemed pleased with it. I prayed for his soul as I struggled to keep my balance.

Kicking at the grime, my back aching from the scrubbing, I sighed a bit too loud. My pirate friend laughed, shouting to my ministry partner that I was cussing in the bathroom. “No, I’m not. Are you trying to get me in trouble?” I responded, laughing.

We finished up, and the pirate paid us way more than seemed right, so I put some money back, returning it to him. He pressed me to take it and I said no.

I’m actually glad that I said no because after two times of cleaning his house, he said that he had run out of savings. This was after canceling the third time of cleaning due to going in and out of the hospital. I was sad for some reason, not just because I needed the money, but because there was something about the pirate’s eyes that was compelling. When I went to return his key, I told him that Jesus loved him, even though it seemed like He didn’t because of his amputated leg. I was sad that he had to suffer, and I told him that Jesus is with us in our pain. I didn’t know what else to say, so I hugged him one last time before I drove away.

Events Leading to the Missions Trip to Texas

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

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This is part 4, a continuation of the wonders of God in reaching the city of Spokane for Christ. God has been sending me all over the city to specific places to pray with people and to encourage them in their walk with Jesus. God does not only send us to people who need salvation, but to believers who need a word of encouragement or of exhortation. Or He gives them vital information that they need.

One evening God sent me into a grocery store. He told me which grocery store, and we had to drive across town to get to it. I had to go to the bathroom, so I went into the restroom. When I exited the restroom, I saw people sitting in the deli area of the grocery store, where there are tables and chairs. God amplified a couple of women sitting in one corner and prompted me to ask them if they went to my church. I did not recognize them whatsoever, but since God gave me those words, I said them.

The lady I was looking at said no, and the lady beside her looked white as a ghost. She said she had been wanting to go to this church I mentioned because a relative had recommended the in-depth women’s Bible studies. She was not a computer person, and when I asked this gray-haired lady that she could google the address of the church, she said she didn’t know how to do that. I left my phone in the car, so I asked the Holy Spirit for the address, and He gave it to me. I wrote it down on a piece of paper. God prompted me to add, “You are going to make it” on the scrap of paper. She asked how much the Bible study cost, and I told her the price, but that if she came, I would pay the price for her books.

Every expenditure I’ve made (including gas to drive around the city) has been exactly what God wanted me to do, out of obedience to God. Since we don’t have any savings and we have two kids in college, this ministry has been a financial strain on our family. Obviously this affects my husband more than anyone else, and his concern is legitimate.

I’ve always been extremely frugal, but one day when I picked up a woman who had been physically beaten by her husband, I took her stuff in my car to her mom’s storage unit so she could move in with her mom. God showed me a clothing store and amplified it to me, to get this trembling woman a new outfit. When she walked into the store, she saw a woman who had been involved with her abusive husband, and it was too much for her to bear. This is why God took us to this exact store.

We had a wonderfully healing conversation, and God caused a restoration to occur. God prompted me to ask her to pick out any outfit she wanted, and that Father God would pay for it. She couldn’t believe it. She got a pair of jeans that fit her and a beautiful blouse. Her abusive husband had led her to believe she had no value, but God said differently.

I called my husband and asked if we could take her out to dinner, and he said yes. I’ve noticed that my husband has the gift of giving; he’s helped people for years, including last year when took three beggars off the street in the middle of the night to get pancakes at a restaurant and filled their car with gas and talked to them about Jesus. In reality my husband and I have the same heart for missions and for being selflessly giving to the point that we are always broke.

The worst expenditure before the trip to Texas (which seems ludicrous based on the fact that we have no money!) was an overnight stay at a hotel for a prayer vigil in the heart of the city of Spokane. My ministry partners and I were specifically led to a hotel where we later found out a Christian women’s conference had just taken place. We prayed and sang praise songs and interceded for revival for the city of Spokane the whole night long. It was exhausting. I did not choose the hotel—God did. He said the name of the hotel loudly into my spirit, in the same way that He has been leading us to other divine appointments throughout the city to lead people to Christ or encourage them. We felt something break through spiritually over the city that night. Because of our obedience (and other people’s prayers), our city is beginning to experience revival.

The morning after the prayer vigil, we were prompted to go to Shari’s Restaurant for a divine appointment. While we were eating, one of my ministry partners pointed out the back of an oriental man, and told us that was the man we needed to speak to. I gathered my courage and asked the Lord what to say. When he returned to his table with two other men, I asked if anyone needed prayer. They said no. Then I asked if this oriental man would pray for us. He said yes and came over to our table. We told him about our upcoming road trip that God had put heavily on our hearts, and I gave testimony of all that God was doing through our ministry for the past month in Spokane.

Even though I didn’t recognize him, this oriental man was a missions leader at my church, he knew my parents who were missionaries, and he knew a board member from a Christian group where I was a board member for two years. He had so many connections in common with me! (This is why God commanded us to go to this specific restaurant, even though we had been fasting all night and normally don’t eat at restaurants and could have gone straight home.)

We asked this oriental man how to get our church to back our ministry financially. Even in the city of Spokane, it was costing my husband a lot of money in gasoline and other incidentals, money we didn’t have. And the cost of a road trip to Texas seemed prohibitive. But he told us we didn’t need money, and that we should just go and stay in people’s houses (and bless them), or shake the dust off our feet of those who reject us. He used lots of Scripture to back up what he was saying, and this random man confirmed what God had put in our hearts to do.

This was just one of many confirmations that led to our short-term missions trip to Texas. Because we needed to leave before the first snow (there was an urgency in my spirit that this was the time), there was not enough time to get people on board financially. The few people that gave financially were prompted by the Spirit and will be rewarded in heaven for the gasoline we needed to get to the cities where we prayed for revival. Thank you to all who prayed for us. I will be sharing more testimonies in future posts.

The Gift of Evangelism

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

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All believers are commanded to evangelize, or to lead other people to Christ, but there are some people with the gift of evangelism who seem to win souls wherever they are. They have a deep burden to fulfill the great commission to “make disciples.” Billy Graham, Chinese Brother Yun, Corrie Ten Boom, my own father, and a man from my church who recently went to be with the Lord are a few examples that come to mind.

My dad worked for Billy Graham before he became a missionary in Guatemala. Imagine the joy of easily leading people to Christ when they had already been convicted of their sin by Billy Graham. Droves of people would come down the aisle, ready to be saved, and my dad was one of the workers who prayed one-on-one with those people. He felt so much joy that he wanted to continue to do that for the rest of his life, he told me.

I recently read the sequel to The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, a survivor of the holocaust. God would call her to different cities where she didn’t even know a single person. She would walk out of the airport and look around, asking God who she was supposed to talk to. She ended up doing speaking engagements all over the world, leading people to Christ in the process. She confessed that it was wearisome to live life out of a suitcase, but she was scared of living outside the will of God because she needed to be connected to the Spirit of Christ. Being effective and useful for God’s kingdom gives so much joy that once you have experienced it, you never want to live without it.

Chinese Brother Yun (The Heavenly Man) was the same way. He was led all over China, spreading the gospel to anyone who would hear. He suffered great persecution as part of the underground church, and he was thrown into prison and beaten multiple times. But he had this huge desire to share the gospel with the lost, and he was a powerful modern-day evangelist. God has worked miracles around him, like setting him free from prison, blocking the guards from seeing him walk straight out of the prison. There is documentation to show that this happened. God is extraordinarily good to those who are wholeheartedly His.

Danny Acosta was a member of my church who recently went to be with the Lord. He was abruptly given three days to live. But he led ten prisoners to Christ during his life, as well as many other people. There is one woman from the street in particular that God has given me a deep love for, who was led to Christ by this man. She describes how he would boldly greet a hardened gang member as he walked down the street. She laughed at how much courage he had, because normal people thought his boldness was crazy. But the Spirit of the Lord rested upon this man, and the gang member awkwardly said thank you to this man’s greeting! My jaw dropped the first time I heard this man pray. He claimed promises from Scripture as he prayed, and his strong faith was not misplaced. Even though I never really knew him, I grieved when he passed away.

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