During our local outreach in Sydney, Australia, our team prayed together to ask God what we should do with our day. We all sensed we should go to Blacktown train station, in Western Sydney. We boarded the train and set out, ready to see what God would do next. None of us had any idea what would happen, but we chose to simply walk by faith. When we arrived, we asked God what we were to do next. We felt like we were supposed to go to the square just outside the station.
As we approached the square, we noticed the sound of worship music being played over a loudspeaker, with someone singing along karaoke-style. We soon realized there was a street preacher sharing the gospel right outside the train station. I approached the man to encourage him and we began talking. He immediately asked if we were from YWAM and subsequently asked if any of us would like to share a testimony over the loudspeaker.
Before I knew it, I had the microphone in my hand preaching to the passers-by about God’s love and plan for redemption in each person’s life, relating it to my own story.
People began to turn around; they began to stop and listen. I felt as though I was connecting to each person listening on a heart level. The Holy Spirit was getting their attention as I spoke.
When I finished speaking, each member of our team went and spoke to a different person who had been listening. I introduced myself to a man sitting on a bench nearby. He told me that he was from the USA and is currently involved in the casino industry. When he asked me what I do, I told him that I travel around and tell people about Jesus.
In that moment a puzzled, yet curious look crossed his face, and he asked me, “Who is Jesus?”
I was taken aback for a second; I could hardly believe I had been asked that question in a Western context! After a few seconds, I regathered my thoughts and began to explain who Jesus is, how I know Him personally, and how He speaks to me. As soon as I said these things, Mark’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “Wait, Jesus is alive? Jesus speaks to you? How does this work? What is the last thing He spoke to you?” I told him the story of how Jesus had asked us to come to Blacktown station to speak to people like him.
He was completely blown away and requested we move to another bench where he could better hear what I was saying.
Mark began to ask more questions, and I ended up sharing the whole gospel with him. When I finished sharing, I asked if I could pray for him which, with a huge grin on his face, he immediately agreed to. I completed the prayer and asked him what he was feeling. He told me he could feel a warmth inside. “What you’re feeling is God’s Spirit touching your heart,” I explained.
Right away he enquired of me, “Jesus wants to give me joy, peace, hope, and a new life? He wants to be my comforter and my friend? He wants to talk with me? Sounds like a great deal! How do I receive this? Do you have his phone number and contact details?”
I chuckled and told him to simply speak to Jesus as He is right here with us. I lead Mark in a prayer and he accepted Jesus into his life right then and there. He thanked me, got up, and suddenly disappeared into the crowd.
I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Never before had I talked to someone who was so open to the gospel as Mark had been. During our conversation, he made it clear to me that his impression of organized religion was that it was simply a money making scheme. He obviously had heard a lot of negative things about monetary misuse in the church, which had formed his opinion on religion as a whole. When I told him that I don’t get paid, and I was simply there to bless him and share Jesus’ love with him, he was dumbfounded. He saw something simple, raw, and genuine in me; something completely different to anything he’d ever seen or heard of before.
He encountered the presence of a real, living, and relational God.
He was locked onto me, and wouldn’t let me go until he had all of his questions about Jesus answered.
My encounter with Mark showed me that people in this world are hungry for the Gospel. People are longing for a raw and powerful experience of a loving God. God is looking for individuals who are willing to follow His call and step out in obedience. Are you willing to lay down your life, so that others may know the hope that is available to them?
by Blair Coyle
YWAM Music & Arts DTS Staff
*Mark’s name has been changed for privacy.