Some circumstances in life get your complete and full attention. When you rise up to meet the need of the moment and determine to walk by faith, there is no telling what the Lord will do.
Joseph sent this email recounting his interesting cross-country trip to see his mom who was in failing health. They never expected the trip to turn out like it did. God did an amazing work in two peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives!
I thought I might let you know how the Lord led us through using your book,Ã‚Â Paradise.Ã‚Â Back in November of 2014, I received a phone call from my sister in NY about my motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s deteriorating health. My mom had just turned 95 at the time in October. My sisterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statement was urgent, stating, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to come, you better come now.Ã¢â‚¬Â My wife and I, and the rest of our big clan, live in Oregon. So, we purchased our plane tickets and planned the trek.
We had been praying for my momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s salvation for years, and though she had softened quite a bit, she was still unsaved. We had ardently prayed for someone in her assisted living situation to talk to her about her need for Jesus and to trust Him solely for salvation. (Our family grew up in the Catholic Church.)Ã‚Â
When we decided to go and be an answer to our own prayer, my wife and daughter were trying to decide which of your books would be good to give to someone on the plane. When we take trips like this, we try to engage those seated next to us in conversation about the gospel. They decided that Paradise would be a good choice. My wife and daughter had been to a Berean Call conference in Bend that summer and bought a bunch of your books. Little did we know how the Lord was in control of the whole thing.
We boarded our plane in Portland and looked for the one who would be the recipient ofÃ‚Â Paradise.Ã‚Â My wife was on the aisle, myself in the middle, and a guy who had put on ear muffs was seated next to the window. When we landed in Chicago, the guy took off his muffs, and I commented to him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nice talking to you.Ã¢â‚¬Â We both laughed, and we were on to our next leg to NY.
Mind you, we had prayed earnestly for the whole trip, as my wife and I were going to preach the gospel to my mom no matter what. On our next leg, I was on the aisle, my wife in the middle, and a younger man from the Middle East by the window. My wife struck up a conversation with him. His name was Ali, and he and his family were granted asylum in the U.S. because he helped our military during the Gulf War. He was heading to New Jersey for business.
My wife brought up the subject of the gospel, and he was interested in conversing. He ended up telling us that he was a Muslim, but, apparently, a moderate, because he held to the belief that all religions lead to the same place. He spoke of his family and especially endearingly about his mother who had died 2 years prior. He missed her greatly. There was a lull in the conversation, and he was reading a book. My wife pulled out your bookÃ‚Â ParadiseÃ‚Â after I asked for it, and I breezed over it. We both looked at each other and came to the conclusion that Ali would be the recipient of your book.
My wife said that we had a book we would like to give him because we had prayed about it, and we sensed that the Lord wanted him to have it. He took the book and seemed to be enamored with it, especially the title. I remember him touching each letter of the title,Ã‚Â Paradise.Ã‚Â He looked at us and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name was Paradise.Ã¢â‚¬Â IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that just like the Lord?! He was trying to reach this guy who had traveled thousands of miles with his family for asylum and now was on a plane for a business trip and seated next to this couple he had just met who were talking to him about the Lord and handing him a book with his motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name on it. What are the chances of that happening?
We placed our names and my email address inside the cover for him. We said our goodbyes and said we would pray for him. The Lord was also confirming to us that He was in this trip and had heard our prayers to use us, especially with my mom, since this would probably be the last time I would see her.
We spent several days visiting with my mom. On one of our last visits with her before returning to Oregon, I was sitting holding my momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hand, and I explained the gospel to her. I explained what Jesus had done for her on the cross and what she needed to do was to accept that as fact, and that, if she sincerely wanted to accept the Lord Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness, He would forgive her and come and reside in her. Then, no matter what happened, she would be in good hands. She nodded that she wanted to do this, so my wife and I led her in a prayer of repentance and acceptance.
A few days later, we left for home, and ten days later, my mom went home to be with the Lord. We only had to be willing to go see her, and the Lord showed Himself mighty to save again. Ã¢â‚¬Å“PARADISEÃ¢â‚¬Â!!!
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.Ã‚Â
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
All it takes is stepping out of our comfort zone and into the amazing things God has prepared for us to do, if we will just walk by faith. Is there someone seated near you who needs to hear the gospel? Do you need to reach out to that family member one more time?
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S.Ã‚Â These folks are doing the LordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work in Canada! They have already gone through a couple of cases of booklets, and now, they are running out of tracts! They are telling many about Paradise. How about you?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazing how God works in the lives of His people! Some heard that we were leaving tracts on door steps and wanted to get involved, so now, we have more helpers, which means we need more tracts, and that means more people are getting the GOSPEL! I am sure it will slow down at some point, but until it does, we plan to just keep on sowing!