Saturday, 26 April 2008

The Altar

I am not sure where to start this - to me this will be my most exciting blog yet! I have saved this one for awhile. Now for a little background. While in Florida Mama and I worked as volunteers for a shelter (most are aware of those details) we picked up residents on Friday mornings and for almost 4 hours we would take them job hunting. One Friday we picked up two new men, James and Bob, James was about 25 and Bob 19. James had a real attitude issue about life and was angry, cocky and quite blatant about his use of drugs. Bob was scared, nervous but polite. I prayed out loud(mama was not there this Friday - she was on a mission trip, she usually prayed) as we headed down the road. James was talking about church, he had never been to church before and was not excited about being required to attend each Sunday.

Sunday came and James and Bob, and another Bob were there at church - sitting on the very front pew! Sunday evening they were there and again on the front pew. I went down said Hi and they invited mama and I to sit with them - I also shared this earlier. So there we sat! Right up front! I sat between James and Bob, mama between bob & Bob! Now for the rest of story!!

Sunday the 20th of April was our last Sunday. Monday the 21st we were heading back to Michigan. Sunday morning mama and I sat in the middle of the church the three guys went right up to the front pew, I could barely see them about 15 pews in front of us. At prayer time the pastor always invites anyone that wants to pray to feel open to coming to the altar up front if you have any prayer concerns. As we started to pray, I noticed I could not see the 19 year old Bob. I stepped out of my pew and went forward, there was Bob kneeling at the altar - several were already praying with him and I crowded in and put my hand on his shoulder, knelt and prayed with him. We both hugged and sobbed after prayer time. God is so good. I smiled at James as I walked past him to go sit with mama. He gave a half hearted smile.

Sunday night came. Mama and I went to the front row and sat with the "boys" as was our usual routine for Sunday evening. The pastor preached a great message about giving our all to Christ.
At the end of the service as we stood by the front pew, everyone was leaving. We started hugging the guys farewell for most likely the last time. Tears were flowing - we gave them each a self-addressed envelope, already stamped, telling them to write us. Suddenly James, who is about 250 pounds, 6' 4" - looks at me and with a very somber look says; "I need to pray - I want to give my life to Jesus." Mama and I knelt with James and I led in prayer. We all sobbed openly at God's faithfulness and tenderness. Others who were leaving saw us praying and also came and prayed with us all.

Pray for James and Bob. God has answered prayers, James found a job the last Friday we were there and Bob has place to go stay now. Bob is looking at going into the military. The other Bob found a job as a diesel mechanic! James also needs serious prayer - he has some legal charges to over come in the next couple of weeks. He is also taking classes for anger management. He has really done well!

I have a serious question for you. How big is your God ??? Mine is even bigger than the story above!!

21 comments:

CrossView said...

Beautiful!
We have an amazing God that changes lives...
... and forgives.
=D

Indian Lake Papa said...

Crossview - It was so special! The love of God is so powerful1! I was actually shocked at how tender their hearts were - they were eager!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Praise the Lord!! I wish I would have still been there. I can see those guys sitting up there on the front row. What an encouragement for the Path Center too!! God is so good!

Janis

Indian Lake Papa said...

Janis - isn't that exciting??!! If you had neen there it would have been just a few pews away! we miss you1

Carol - CDCversion said...

You just don't get to hear those kind of stories very often anymore. Wow. James and Bob are new creatures in Christ. I pray there will be someone to walk beside them while you and Mama are back north for the summer. What a blessing for you two to have your months of service culminate in such a way on your last Sunday there. You talked about your tire almost bursting....sounds like your heart might have been also!! I can hear your Father saying, "Keep up the good work! We need more workers in the field like you two!"

How big is my God? To use a song of several years ago..."He's big enough to rule the mighty universe...yet small enough to live within my heart!"

Indian Lake Papa said...

CDC - On our last Friday taking the guys looking for jobs we took another couple with us that were taking our place. A Christian couple. The church will take good care of the guys!

Tam said...

Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is impossible FOR God!

I'm so glad to know the church will continue to look after those men. But I have no doubt they will all miss you and Mama terribly!!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Tam - we miss them so much! but we are confident Jesus cares! We pray for them many times throughout the day!

mandy said...

wow. yes a great story.
:)
and thank you for sharing papa!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Mandy - it was a super day! A miracle happened that day!

Brandy said...

awwww I have tears in my eyes! What a wondeful story! :D There are just no words, only a rush of feelings. Love you two! Love love love!!!!

Darla said...

My GOD is so big HE can not be measured..HE is capable of anything, and is more powerful than anything, HE is more than enough for me. Thanks for sharing Papa...I feel sort of connected to that story, as I prayed for those men and for you and mama through that time...Isn't God awesome?? I just love how HE moves...totally captivating!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Brandy - Hi Little One! I still get tears in my eyes about that Sunday night.

Darla - it was an awesome night! Our God is an awesome God - He never stops surprising me!

Ed said...

That is a beautiful and inspiring story. One moment can change our lives.

I hope the faith that James and Bob have found will help them overcome the challenges their future brings.

Lori said...

WOW! God is so good!

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me - I once was lost, but now I'm Found, t'was blind, but now I see.

Indian Lake Papa said...

Ed - we hope to hear from them again. Sunday morning they asked for our address so that night we gave them the envelopes. We will be sure to pass on any new information. james story was quite different - we saw a remarkable change in this young man over a three week period.

Indian Lake Papa said...

Lori - I am not usually surprised by God's almighty hand, but He sure blessed this old man last Sunday night - wow is right!!

1godsgal said...

Wow Papa...I could hardly get through this without bawling like a baby....this is what it is about...the going out and shining His light. Thank you both for your faithfulness to Him. You are a true inspiration to me. :)

Indian Lake Papa said...

Deb - It was one of God's miracles of Grace! A "come as you are" party!

Robin said...

How wonderful!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Robin - My God is so faithful!