Welcome friends to Holy Hills, where I am meeting with my friend Pastor Francis at Panera Bread in Waynesboro, Virginia.
I first met Pastor Frances in 2019, when we were in the same pastor group touring the Holy lands together. He told everyone how Jesus loved them from the employee who was working at the airport checking our passports to various people walking beside us along the sidewalks in Jerusalem or Bethlehem. Pastor Francis has a heart for evangelism and I know you are going to enjoy his story of how he has matched mission with his church by telling someone how much Jesus loves them.
Hi my name is Francis. I used to live in India where I pastored a church. We just moved here to America in 2013. It has been a wonderful journey. I come from a church who was thrust into mission and evangelism, reaching out. We had great encounters in India preaching the gospel; some loved, some rebuked, some kicked us out. But God be the glory. God broke through many lives, touched and changed people lives.
Here in America, I see the same people everywhere that are broken, wonderable, hungry, and lost. There are so many God stories here touched by the love of God, encountering the story of Jesus.
I must tell you this one, her name is Al. We have this Harry Potter Festival that comes to West Beverley in Staunton, Virginia in the month of September. There are 20,000 people that come from different parts of America. A month prior to the Harry Potter Festival, I was shopping in Walmart and I come to this counter. I see this girl named Al and she has piercings in her chin, cheek, nose, and eyebrows.
I said to her, "Al, you look beautiful."
She looked at me and I said, "Do you go to any church?"
She said, "No."
I said, "Good, if I was you, I would not go to church either. Churches are boring here, but Al I would get to know Jesus. I would read my Bible. God has a plan for you Al. He wants you to fulfill it and he is with you."
And to my surprise, this is how she responded. She said, "Francis, you are the first person who has encouraged me. Christians ridicule me when they see my piercings."
I said, "Don't talk about this anymore. You get to know Jesus. You read your Bible, and I will be praying for you Al."
I said bye to her.
A month later, the Harry Potter Festival is on in Staunton, and our church has set up a place there [for evangelism] with eight tables and reaching out to this lost and broken people. The people come there for magic and mischief. We tell them that we wait on the spirit, let's see what the spirit is revealing. Something about your past, present, or future. But we are here to encourage you.
Who do you think was one of the first persons to walk through the door, Al walks in. The hostess brings Al straight to my table. There were eight tables there, and the hostess brought her straight to my table. She did not recognize me, but I recognized her because of her piercings. She sat down and we went through the whole process. Then I tell her, your name is Al. She gets struck [by surprise] and says, "How do you know that?"
I said, "Hold on. Do you work at Walmart?"
She jumped and said, "Oh gosh."
Then I said, "Al, this is Francis."
She recognized me.
Then he said, "Think about it Al. You could have gone to any of these tables but God brought you straight to my table. Do you think God has a plan for you?"
I was getting this word about depression, and I said that Al was struggling with depression and God wants to fill with you with joy. And to make a long story short, that evening, Al gave her life to Jesus. Oh, she was filled with joy, she was all smiles. Today, I am in touch with her. I send her scriptures. I encourage her.
She replies, "Thank you, sir. I am so grateful." And she loves Jesus now.
There are so many other stories. I reached out with another lady who came there. We were waiting upon the spirit as we sit. I said that I had pain in my chest and I turned to this girl and said, "Have you been heartbroken?"
She said, "Yeah, I just broke up with my boyfriend and it has been painful. But how do you know?"
I said, "Well, Jesus reveals. He just revealed it to me. I felt it in my heart. There is something about you that was hurtful, painful."
And to make that story short, both of those girls surrendered their lives to Jesus. We have such great stories from people who come from different nations. One lady brought her son, she got so touched. She went home and the next day she comes with her friend and the friend's children. They gave their life to Jesus.
When the joy of the Lord is there, people are open. They have been struggling, hopeless, depressed, caught in the hazards of life, but the power of God's love empowers them for the first time. A new joy enters their life, so we have people coming from different walks of life getting to know Jesus, getting to know the savior.
May God bless you.
May God fill you with his love.
May he touch you even as you watch this.
May He fire your life with zeal and passion for Jesus to go and share God's love with somebody.
God Bless You!
Find out more about Pastor Francis's heart for evangelism and mission online at Spread the Fire Ministries. He leads evangelism conferences right here in town and in other states. While attending a cooking class, Francis will share his testimony and will teach you how to make a delicious India dish.
If your heart is open, he may just lead you to India on next year's mission trip to spread the love of Jesus to the beautiful people there.
Take a simple step this weekend and tell someone that Jesus loves them. Take care and blessings to you this day.