“Lord, please give me the opportunity to speak to people in French and Spanish.”
This was the simple prayer of a woman wanting to use her talents and gifts for God. Recently, God answered this small prayer through a random conversation on the streets of Byron Bay, NSW, Australia.
It was a Friday night and one of our January Discipleship Training School (DTS) teams had arrived in Byron Bay earlier in the week, ready to begin their outreach. That night the team decided to go into town to meet people and talk with them about God. Before hitting the streets, Erika, along with Anna and Nick, prayed to God, asking Him what they should do for the evening. They felt that they should walk the streets and try to talk to the people they met about Jesus and His Good News. It was a chance to share with others all the amazing things they have been learning about God, themselves and others, for the past three months on DTS.
Have you ever found yourself in a strange place, at the end of a long day, with not a lot of motivation? Though the team was willing, some were finding it difficult to do ministry. Erika particularly was feeling tired from the long day, and just ‘heavy’ due to things on her mind. Between chatting with people, Erika would find herself dosing off; wanting to simply sit down due to fatigue.
A sense of ‘failure’ came washing over her, and that was when she sought help from the Lord.
Determined to push through negative feelings and put the gospel first, she again prayed to God “Lord, I am so tired, but use me!” Erika felt the Lord speak the word ‘spontaneous’ to her. She felt a burst of energy, and so eagerly sought an opportunity to talk to others.
Not long after, while walking down main street, Erika heard a woman speaking with a French accent. She asked the team to stop, and to come with her as she went to talk to the woman. The woman was with two other men and Erika walked straight up to them, asking if they had time to chat. A little surprised at the interruption, they responded with a, ‘yes’. A conversation began and the team chatted about God, asking the friends questions about their knowledge of Jesus. Uncomfortable with the subject, the small group didn’t want to talk much so the team decided to try a different tack.
Erika began chatting to the woman with the accent. Speaking in French, she learned that the woman’s name was Margot and that she was really worried about a test she was taking the next morning. It wasn’t just any test either, Margot was applying for her Australian citizenship, a process which had taken many years. Erika asked Margot if she would like prayer. Though Margot hadn’t wanted to hear about the gospel earlier she did, however, happily accept prayer for her upcoming test.
Holding hands and standing together in a circle, Erika prayed for Margot in French.
As they prayed, Margot squeezed Erika’s hands tightly, agreeing out loud with the words Erika prayed. “Yes, yes, this is very good!” she exclaimed as Erika continued to pray. Smiling from ear to ear, the woman thanked Erika and the team for stopping before hugging her goodbye.
As they walked away, the team was encouraged by this positive experience as they learned to step out in faith for God. Despite the fact that the conversation was not exactly what they had imagined street evangelism to look like, they felt they were led by the prompting of Holy Spirit.
Erika, was overwhelmed with gratitude to have had the chance to use multiple languages during the conversation. With a deep sense of fondness, she thanked her Heavenly Father for paying such close attention to what she thought was just a ‘small prayer’.
It’s a beautiful thing to know that God hears our every prayer, and answers even the ones that seem small or insignificant. He loves us that much!
by Chad Desjardins
January DTS Student