As promised, here is the second installment of our on-going adventure here...
Tuesday, June 21
Today in the Walsall town centre we decided that it would be nice to hand out flowers to people as they suffered through another typical English day - cloudy with sporadic periods of drizzle. It went over fantastically and many people stopped to talk. About an hour into the afternoon we were out of flowers and I was elected as the one to restock our little operation. As we were figuring out how much I should spend, I said, "I know, I'll just tell the guy we're doing this because Jesus wants to show people that they are special!" Everyone laughed at me (Thank you, Ned Flanders, and that sort of thing ). So I started laughing, too. Then everyone was laughing with me. Another excellent cover on my part. Anyway, I went and bought the flowers. And we didn't get them for free. But we gave them out for free and people were really touched.
Cool story 1: While handing out flowers, I met this wonderful little 70-something lady named Judy in the town centre who loved the little bouquet she was given. She said she had been here the day before and saw us doing drama and after some one had shared about Jesus. Judy also said that she was a Christian and that Jesus had been the only one who got her through the deaths of her husband and her daughter. There were times when she felt God was so far away, but later, in looking back, realized how close he was and how he had carried her through. Seeing the drama and hearing about Jesus the day before had reminded her of this.
While she was thinking about this, the women sitting on the bench next to her was also watching what the church group was doing and remarked about how she had believed in Jesus but felt so far from God right now as she grieved the death of some one she loved. Well, Judy picked up her cue and told her all about how she'd gone through it, too, and how God helped her. She revived this woman's faith and encouraged her to hang in there, keep believing, and keep praying!
And that woman was...(drum roll)...
Okay, I don't know who she was. But talk about a divine appointment! It reminded me how important it is not just to pray for myself that God will help me tell people about how much he loves them, but also to pray for His others who are out there too!
Later in the afternoon, oops sorry I forgot...
Cool Story 2: We met a 16 year old girl named Sara who is addicted to smack (heroine). At one point last year, she was staying with her older sister in an abandon car. The car caught fire after they had forgotten to blow out a candle before falling asleep. Sara and her sister both escaped, but Sara has some serious scars on her left arm and a nasty one in her throat where paramedics inserted a tube into her esophagus so she could breath. Her sister said that it must have been God that saved them. Ever since then she's been trying to clean up her life. Sara couldn't understand why God would save her though.Why is it that sometimes the simplest answers to givee are the hardest answers to understand? So we tried to tell her in the best way that we ourselves understand it - God loves you! That evening we got together again, and she let us pray that God would help her break free from smack. I was thinking praying for some one to be healed of an addiction to heroine seems a lot more difficult than praying for some one with hay fever, or at least to me. But then that quiet voice from Heaven seemed to drop a thought into my thick head,"you praying for this may seem for difficult, but Me answering it is not." Oh yeeeaaaahhh. Duh. Anyway, there were no flashes of light or the echos of breaking the chains of addiction at that moment, but Sara and her younger sister came to church on Friday night and Sunday. And are planning to continue. Sara found out how to get connected with a Christian agency that helps teens quit drugs and has asked for help from the people she's met, and more importantly, from God.
Cool Story 3: At the end of the afternoon, the guy who sold us flowers in the market came by and gave us a bucket of beautiful blue flowers for free. (I should have joked about a million dollars. )
Today's Lesson: Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen"
And that is the DeLong Report: UK for Tuesday, June 21, 2005. Until next time, take care and God bless!