As I was handing out food donations to the long line of needy people, I noticed that Jess had sat down to have a discussion with a man that I had never seen before. He looked weary, but seemed to be enjoying his cup of soup and his conversation with Jess. I was thinking, "Great, it looks like we're making new friends!" Some time later Jess asked me to talk to this man as he was interested in the men’s Bible study that we host. I said, “Absolutely!”
I hustled over to him and introduced myself, but, for the sake of privacy, let’s call him Eric.
Ryan: “So I heard you’re interested in attending our Bible study.”
Eric: “Yes. I consider myself to be a spiritual person, and I definitely believe in a creator, but I don’t know what to make of all the different world religions. Every time I read the Bible it just confuses me. I feel like I need someone to teach it to me so that I can understand.”
Ryan: “Well Eric, the whole purpose of our Bible study is to gather together and understand what God has clearly spoken, so it sounds like the perfect place for you.”
|Ryan talking with Eric|
He agreed and assured me that he would be there on Sunday. Eric began to share more of his story with me. I did not get all the details, but through his struggle with alcohol and recent marital issues, he ended up on the streets, hurt, bitter, lost, and lonely. I had the opportunity to share some of my own testimony with Him and the ways God has delivered me from sin and healed pain in my heart. He was very receptive and definitely acknowledged his need for guidance. Before Eric left, I told him I would give him a call in a few days to see how he was doing. I began praying regularly for Eric, pleading with God to intervene in his life.
Two days after meeting him, I decided to give him a call...
Ryan: "Hello, is this Eric?"...
Eric: "Yes, who's this?"
Ryan: "This is Ryan, the guy you met at the park a few days ago."
He cut me off and started shouting…
Eric: "Ryan! I'm so glad to hear from you! I was going to give you a call. I have to tell you what happened!"
Ryan: "Eric, tell me what happened!"
He went on to say that he went to his AA meeting that night after we met. He was asked by the group leader to share his story. Apparently this really touched one of the other men who was there. He came up to Eric after the meeting and said, "I own several apartments here in the city. Here, these are the keys to one of my apartments. You can stay there until you find a job." Go had provided a way for Eric to get off the streets immediately! Our conversation was short because he was actually in the process of walking around town and filling out job applications. He was filled with gratitude and joy, and assured me that he would definitely be at the Bible study and service on Sunday.
Eric showed up on Sunday, and has been regularly attending ever since! Praise God for His intervention in Eric’s life! We know that Eric is not in the Kingdom yet, but it's a step in the right direction. Please continue to pray for Eric; for his full surrender to the Lord, for the right job, and for total reconciliation in his family situation.