Posted tagged ‘outreach’

Drug Addict With Many Face Piercings Ran Up For Prayer

February 9, 2017

man with multiple face piercingsWe were on the street doing outreach when a guy with lots of face piercings came up and said: “I need prayer!!”. He explained he was a drug addict, had enough of the life of addiction and wanted free.

He was severely agitated and, despite what he said, would then keep drawing away, changing his mind and saying “no”.

He had about 10 or 12 piercings on his face, lips, chin and ears. But there was nothing menacing about him, only sadness. The fact he was a drug addict tied in with his repeated pulling of his arms close to his chest and scratching his arms.

I asked him: “do you want to be free?” He said he did, then he would pull away, being constantly in two minds. I said: “Jesus can set you free – do you want him to do it?” He said he did so I led him in a prayer of deliverance. After this I asked him: “do you want your sins to be forgiven?” He said he did, so I then led him in a prayer of repentance. He then seemed to change, having lost his agitation and acting like a different person. He suddenly put his arms round me, hugged me and said “I love you!” I reminded him Jesus was the one who sets people free. He didn’t have a bible, but we gave him the “Why Jesus?” and I also gave him a tract about salvation. Exciting stuff!

He said he had come with a friend who was still being prayed for by others in our team. Afterwards they left together. It transpired that they had some local church connection through a drop in free lunch outreach.

The Question Is Not “Do You Believe In God?” But “What Kind of God Do You Believe In?”

October 21, 2016

I said to him: “I’m guessing you may be a Christian” He replied: “Well I believe in God, but wouldn’t call myself a Christian”.  I said that many profess a belief in God, but the issue was which God did they believe in, since we can all make Gods in our own heads that don’t truly exist. I may sincerely believe in a four-headed God living on the Moon, but if it’s not true it’s a waste of belief on my part. The Christian believes in God as revealed in Jesus Christ of the Bible. If you make up a belief in a God of your own making, from within your own mind, you’re on dangerous ground.christian cross in gold colour

He pointed out to me how all the different religions claim to be the way to God. I replied that they believe different things, so can’t all be right, which he agreed with. I highlighted to him a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions: all other religious leaders said to their followers, in effect: “I am showing you the path to the God/Gods/Nirvana (or whatever)”. Uniquely, Jesus Christ in the Bible said it otherwise: “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life”. He declared He alone was the Way to God, and also, exclusively, that “no-one comes to the Father except by Me”.

I said to the guy: “Suppose you were on a journey, came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. There were two men by the roadside; one was dead, the other was alive. Which one would you ask for directions?” Obviously you’d choose the man who was alive. “This”, I explained, “illustrates another difference between Christianity and all other religions. The founders of all other religions are in their graves, as conceded by their followers. No-one disagrees that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius are all dead in their graves. Jesus is the only religious founder who rose from the dead and is alive today, as claimed by his followers”.

He thought he might go to Heaven when he died, but when I asked him what the pass mark was for entry into Heaven he said he had no idea. I said to him that surely God would let us know how to get to Heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very kind God? I explained how Jesus was our substitute, who died on a cross in our place and took the punishment our sins deserve. We receive our pass mark from Jesus who got 100% due to his sinless life. When we become Christians his 100% is conferred on us as “born-again” believers. Theologians call this “imputed righteousness”.

We discussed repentance, which he seemed to understand, but by the end of our conversation I concluded that he was happy to sit on the fence and take his chance on Heaven. He agreed that was pretty accurate.

We shook hands, I wished him well and said I hoped we might meet up again in another environment.

 

People Are Hungry For God But Don’t Know Where He Is

September 23, 2016

Today I went in for volunteer duty with a local agency and took with me four books written from a Christian perspective. We have a box marked  “free books – help yourself” and clients can take and keep anything they want while waiting their turn to be seen.

At the end of my 3 hour shift three of the four books had been taken away.   pile of books

I had a long conversation with one woman client who was going through life’s trials and had recently split up with her lesbian partner. She showed me two severe injuries her partner had inflicted and for which she had needed lots of stitches. She was very open to talking with me and admitted she found there was a spiritual dimension to our conversation that she really appreciated. In fact she said she sensed that God was in our encounter in a very real way. I was surprised to hear this, as I hadn’t said anything particularly spiritual up until this point.

She then picked up a little booklet “Finding Hope” and put it in her bag, saying that was exactly what she needed. She had experienced quite a bit of rejection in life, so I told her that Jesus was the man and woman huggingonly one who truly loved her and that he would never reject her. I also told her about an encounter I had where Jesus had appeared  to me when I was distressed many years ago. She seemed quite touched by this. I asked her: “would it be OK if I gave you a hug?” She said that would be good, so I did and she also hugged me tightly back for a few moments. Before she left she saw the book box, picked up the one at the front with the title “Finding God” and said with a laugh: “this has all been planned!” I agreed that it had, so she left with the book on a high, and a big smile on her face.

The Two Sides of Life

August 27, 2016

For over 30 years I worked in Government service with Armed Forces personnel in a cosseted environment. It was an “Ivory Tower”, remote from real life suffering and tragedy.  armed forces logo

During the last 10 years however, moving in an environment where suffering and tragedy abound, I meet up with it all the time, albeit at arm’s length.

Today I met a guy who seemed drunk, as he found it difficult to walk in a straight line. He had a severe injury that made walking upright difficult. As we chatted he cursed the day he ever took heroin, “the worst mistake I ever made”. He is an ex-offender, struggling to cope with everyday life. He was sweating profusely, an indicator of drug withdrawal; he admitted he’s still a user.

lifebelt   Some time back he threw himself in the local canal; fortunately he was spotted and rescued by the Police.

I prayed briefly for the pain he was suffering. It improved very slightly, but he was still suffering. He wasn’t inclined to carry on with further prayer.

I told him to not give up; there is always hope if you believe in God. He said he did believe. I asked if could read and he said he could, so I showed him a small booklet called “Finding Hope”. It is an excellent little booklet produced by SGM Lifewords. They produce this booklet in several languages http://www.sgmlifewords.com/uk/resources?search=finding+hope

 

He Bought a Nylon Rope To Hang Himself

August 14, 2016

rope in a noose for hanging   He told me he is an ex-soldier and 3rd Dan martial arts practitioner. A very serious accident some years back had left him in constant pain, with little money and nothing to live for. I offered to pray “hands-on” for his healing from the pain but he wasn’t keen on this at all.

Life was so bad he decided one day to buy a length of nylon rope and set it up to hang himself, but his plan failed when the rope came loose.

He has an ability to see things that will happen to people and told me of many examples where prophecies he had given people had come true, exactly as he foretold. He didn’t like to use this gift unless he was pressurised to do so. I had no intention of asking him.

I told him I had something to tell to him about HIS future. The Bible says he will stand before God one day and be judged: “It is appointed for man once to die and after that the Judgment”. He wouldn’t accept this. He maintained he would be reincarnated and come back as a “helper” to assist others to find the way. He reckoned he seen seen a future for him surrounded by angels and meeting those he loved and having a happy time. One question I asked him he refused to answer, namely:”what is the pass mark for Heaven?”

He told me that he some debt counselling from a Christian man, who had then prayed for him.

Before he left he promised me that he would not try to end his life again. I told him God loved him, and that there is always hope in God. He needed to turn to God to mend his relationship with Him before it was too late. I gave him a card which quoted the words of Jesus:”wide is the road that leads to destruction and many travel on it. Narrow is the way that leads to life and there are few that find it”.

If You Interrupt Me I’ll Punch You In The Face!

May 22, 2016

image of a woman  Met a woman I knew some years back on the street as an addict.  She still had a can in her hand, but she certainly needed it. Several days previously both her parents were killed as a result of a car crash. Dad died first, them Mum 24 hours later. She wasn’t sure how they’d pay for the funeral, but an uncle could probably help. Poor woman, I really felt for her! We shared with each other news of some other street folk we both knew who had died from drink or drugs this year.

Next day I was in the town centre with our inter-church Healing Team. At one point this short stocky man of around 60 came up to us and started slagging off Christianity, Jesus and the Virgin Birth. We hadn’t even said anything to him!! He then, believe it or not, said: “If either of you interrupt me I’ll punch you in the face!” We let him rant on angry manabout how nonsensical the Christian faith was, then I finally said:”when do we get a chance to reply?” He then looked at my team leader and said:”you’re a disgrace; you’re unshaven and you have dandruff on your coat!” He turned to me and said:”you’re not too bad, but I’m older than both of you!” I replied: “I doubt it, I’m 71″ That surprised him, as he then said:”ok, I’m not older than you” He then ranted to us that there were Jehovah’s Witnesses along the road and we should be going to talk to them. In the end I simply walked away, annoyed he was wasting time we could be using productively to reach out to other people.

Used, Abused and Unloved By Those He Trusted

May 8, 2016

He’s now a grandfather, but his early days were horrendous. Abused physically and sexually by his father, he grew up confused, angry and feeling unloved.

No surprise therefore that he spent a total of 20 years in prison, five of them for armed robbery. He went down the drugs route, ending up on crack cocaine.  

man holding prison bars

man behind bars

Now he’s moved on and slowly getting a sense of perspective and that it wasn’t all his fault. Thankfully he treated his children and grandchildren in a more loving way.

I told him that I knew someone who loves him as he is, and has always loved him. I shared about God, Jesus, sin and repentance. He told me he recently went to church. I told him about the church I attended, and he said: “that’s near where I live”. He couldn’t come this week, but might be able to come next Sunday. He took away a gospel tract.