Almost my whole life as a Christian has been centered on coming to New York for Summer Witnessing Campaigns. It’s one of the things I love doing most. I don’t think I would be so strong in my walk today if it were not for Campaign. Even though last summer was my sixth time on Campaign, it was my first time as a campaigner instead of chef or steward. I was amazed at the huge difference between being a campaigner and being Campaign chef or chief steward. Being chief steward was physically demanding, but being a campaigner and going out on the streets was much harder spiritually. I have experienced both, and I have become strengthened in all situations.
One thing that I kept seeing as a campaigner was how the Holy Spirit had set up so many divine appointments.
The first happened in a subway. We were switching trains to go out to Brighton Beach. As we were waiting, a man came over to me and said, Hey, I gave someone my name last week, and I haven’t received any materials yet. When will they come?” I told him that it could take a few weeks and he should be patient. He started to walk away but came back and said, “Look, I’m struggling and I can’t take all the sin in my life anymore. I need help.” I asked him if he was on drugs. He told me that he had been on and off drugs for years and that the problem was ruining his marriage. I told him that Jesus had come to help him and that he needed to get rid of the sin, but he couldn’t do it himself. He needed Yeshua to do it for him. He said, “I have tried it all myself, and I know I can’t do it. Please tell me what I must do.” I prayed with him on the subway platform to give his life to Yeshua, and I told him to go to an outreach in Times Square that helps drug addicts. His name was Israel. He was really hurting, and I was at the right stop at the right time. I don’t know if Israel’s decision was real, but I do know that when it came time for him to look into his own heart, he realized how weak he was and that he couldn’t stand before God by himself.
I remember another divine appointment with a Jewish woman in Washington Square Park. I had been witnessing in the park on a Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t all that good, so I decided to move over to the West Village. I had been at the Village for half an hour, when something inside me nudged me to go back into the park. I felt that maybe God had some ministry there for me if I went back in.
As I walked around the benches, I stopped and asked two elderly women if they knew who Jesus was. One lady, a Gentile, told me that she had been witnessing to the other woman, Ilaina, all morning. Ilaina knew that she didn’t have peace. I knew that this was my invitation to sit down, and I did. I explained the gospel to Ilaina. She knew that it was what she needed in her life, but she wasn’t sure she was ready. I asked her if she would ever be more ready than now. She conceded that she probably would not.
“Well, why not trust God and see what He can do to give you peace?” I asked. We prayed together for Yeshua to wash away her sin and to come into her life. After praying, she started to cry because she knew that this was what she had always needed to do. I said, “Now that you have found the true peace, try praising God and make Him the Lord of your life.” Ilaina said she was looking forward to meeting with one of our missionaries to study the Bible.
With a glad heart I tell these two stories. Having made myself available to share the good news with others, I feel that God preordained that I would be in those two places specifically for those two people to hear the gospel. I still find it amazing that God wants people to come to Him and that in a few cases, He chooses me to be the vehicle that draws them to Him forever. I love watching the evidence of the Holy Spirit entering a person’s heart. I don’t think anything in the whole world is as beautiful as seeing someone open his or her heart to Yeshua and pass from death to life. It will be great to see all those we have touched through the years when we all worship our Lord together one day in heaven.