I’ve never experienced anything like what happened today.
Today, we went to a housing “flat” area in Dublin. Instead of distributing tracts, as we have done throughout the last week or so, today we decided to simply start worshipping in the central area of the apartments. We know that as followers of Jesus, we carry the presence of God – where we go, He goes. We invited Christ and the Holy Spirit into that place:
What happened next literally blew me away. As Katy, Bryan, and Liz led us in song, one by one, doors started to open and people started to look and see what was happening. Women came outside to fold clothes. A man brought his lunch on the porch. Boys who were bicycling by stopped to listen. I’m learning that music is truly a universal welcome to come.
Then, Stephen (our local contact) announced that we were followers of Jesus and that we were here because Jesus had changed our lives. We invited people to come down and talk to us and ask us questions about faith, God, or whatever.
As we continued to sing, one woman came over and I began to talk to her. Her name was Courtney – she was 14 but was in charge of taking care of her year-old cousin. She first asked me a question, then walked away. After a few minutes, she came back, asked another question, and walked away again. As this cycle repeated, I knew that God was working in her heart.
A few minutes later, Katy and I noticed that there was a group of the local residents sitting on the side, talking amongst themselves. We decided to go over there to just engage in conversation and hear their stories. Little did we know what would happen next…they began to open up, ask us questions about God, Jesus, life. Some questions were easy to answer “I don’t believe in God, but tell me why you do” and others were tough: “If God is love, then why do babies die?” We did our best to answer questions, but more than that, we wanted to show each person that we cared about them and loved them right where they were at.
After a few minutes, Ryan asked if anyone needed prayer. One woman said that she had back pain. Another admitted an abundance of stress. We gathered people around to pray:
After this time of prayer, the woman with back pain said that it was no longer there – praise God! Not only that, but Amie who had been struggling with stress said that she felt like a 1,000 pound weight had come off of her shoulders! Praise God for His faithfulness!
I then felt led to explain the gospel to the group – why Jesus came, and the life that He offers us. We asked if any of the women wanted to give their lives to following Jesus. I’ve offered this dozens of times, and rarely has anyone ever accepted. To my surprise, five women said that they wanted to! We prayed together…
Here is a picture of our team celebrating with our new sisters in Christ! We’re so excited for Amie (Red), Courtney (blue), and Rachael (black), and two other woman (not pictured) in their new life following Jesus.
When I look back, it was clear to me that God had prepared the way for our encounter today. It’s truly a God thing when you find a group of people that are earnestly seeking for truth. Although we exchanged contact information with each person, gave them a bible, and encouraged them to find a local church in Dublin, please pray that God will surround them with people to support them as they grow in their new relationship with Christ. Pray that they would connect with a healthy bible study such as with Stephen, our local ministry contact.
At the World Race launch, there was a speaker that said, “The nations don’t need you. They need the presence of God.” That concept was so evident here today – the presence of God is the only thing that truly changes people.
I got five new sisters today – just another day on the Race. What might tomorrow bring?