I know you've all been waiting with baited breath for another update, so I'll use my regular format. First off, I start my emails with the usual: The Apology. I'm sorry that I haven't written for a while. Second of all: The Excuse. We've been very busy. Lame as usual. There, now with that out of the way, let's get into it.
Last week we did a mission with one of the Walsall churches. They did a week of all sorts of activities in the community and town centre to share Jesus with people. We did dramas, music, free food, free flowers, free balloon animals, free Jesus, and ended the week with a free buffet at the church on Friday night. Each day was incredible see how God will touch people's lives in such a special and personal way. Many times we didn't even use anything, we just went to the town centre and sat around. It was INEVITABLE that you would get into a conversation with some one and get to tell them about what Jesus has done in your life and for the world on the cross!
Now, this email is going to be long enough as it is, so I'm just going to send you Monday's cool story and I'll carrie on with the rest later. Oh hey, a little warning here. You may want to grab a snack or a drink or use the toilet before you continue reading because this is a doozey.
Here's my cool story now: So on Monday we went to the town centre for the first time and there were tons of people walking around, going to work, shopping - that sort of thing. This young guy came up to me (probably in his early to mid-twenties) and asked me if I had been in any accidents. He sold some sort of claim insurance just out in the street. I told him I hadn't had any accidents. But he said again, "What about your accident?" I was a bit confused but I restated a little slower, "I haven't had any accidents." He insisted again, "No what about your accident?" Now I was a bit nervous and quickly scanned my shirt and pants to see if there were any 'accidents' I was unaware of. But I could find none, so again I repeated myself slower and louder, "I haven't had any ACCIDENTS!" He looked me in the eyes and replied very slowly, "Your ACCENT, what about your ACCENT?" Then to my embarassment I realized he wasn't asking me about any accidents. "Blonde," I answered, "My accent is blonde."
Ha ha ha. But that isn't the cool part...
I told him I was from Canada. He asked why I was here. I explained that my husband and I (yes, I brought that up as quickly in the conversation as possible) had moved here to plant a new training centre for a Christian theatre company and a bit about why we are doing it. I was brief in my explanation (if you can imagine), but it was because I usually try to avoid conversations with young men I don't know. I mean, why should they get their hopes and dreams up only to find out I'm already married and older than them anyway? Right. Well, we got to talking about Christianity and the Bible and I was able to ask him what he thought about Jesus as a person, not just a church. He said he did believe in God and had believed in Jesus as a child, but was interested in learning about other religions right now and persueing other things. The entire time we talked he was always sneezing and blowing his nose as if he had a really bad cold. He apologized after a fit of about 4 sneezes in a row and revealed that it was hay fever. He'd never had it as bad as this before, apparantly. He took echinacea and a bunch of other herbal stuff, but so far he just had to suffer it out. At that moment, God really did something and before I realized what I was doing, I'd offered to pray for him right there and he'd accepted! I don't even remember what exactly was prayed, it was only a second or two.
When we had finished he looked up at me a bit confused and aked, "What was that?"
I thought, 'Look, I know I'm no Billy Graham of a prayer warrior, but I meant what I said.'
"That was a prayer?" I sheepishly responded.
"No," he said and he took a deep breath, "I feel different! I don't have a scratch in my nose or anything!" And he took another deep breath.
Well, I looked at him sideways thinking, 'Okay guy, what are you talking about?' Then it sunk in. He had stopped sneezing! In fact we continued talking for over 15 minutes and he never sneezed again. At this point the door was wide open to tell this guy about all the things Jesus could heal a person of and share about the things Jesus had healed me of. Every ten seconds or so he would interrupt me and say, "I'm sorry. I just feel so different! I feel so much better!" We talked about many scriptures in the Bible, we talked about Jesus, we talked about the cross. He went away thanking Jesus and rekindling an new relationship with Him!
Okay, I know maybe this isn't the biggest miracle - you know, not exactly some one jumping out of a wheel chair or anything. But isn't it so amazing that God, the creator of all things, the one who sees all the pain in the world, thinks that hay fever is worth helping some one with hay fever! Wow, God is good! I just don't know what more to say about it! I've never really seen anything like it before, and I don't know if I will again. Why not, though, I guess! It's really reminded me of how much God wants to use us to touch other people and bring them to himself! It also reminds me of how powerful the Holy Spirit is that he could totally take over the whole situation and move me around to pray for that guy!
Wow, if you are still reading - three cheers for you! Stay tuned for the next, soon to be released (hopefully), installment of "DeLong Reports: UK!"
You can't say I didn't try to warn you about taking a bathroom break before the story. Hate to say I told you so, but there it is.
Unitl next time, take care and God Bless!