How two lives were saved in one day
Last year the FCM went on outreach to Capetown, South Africa. We’d like to share with you a story that we think is worth sharing. The setting where the story unfolds is one of draught and despair, not just in the physical but also in the spiritual. The slum where this story takes place was one on the outskirts of Capetown and it is a place where people are struggling in many ways. Choosing to stand above the hopelessness the FCM-team saw God move in many miraculous ways in this dry place. Read about how Mirjam, Sanal and Leander had the opportunity to pour into the life of a man who lost hope in every way possible.
Mirjam. While visiting the township one afternoon we met a guy who looked pretty rough; his name was John. We started talking with him and I asked him if there was anything we could maybe pray for. He said ‘no you can’t pray for me, I am a gangster’. Surprised by his response I told him that Jesus loved him anyways. He looked very confused at me and said ‘no really, I am a bad person you can’t pray for me’, confirming this with showing me his machete. I told him that I understood what he was trying to say but that I was sure that Jesus still loved him. At that moment the look in his eyes changed.. He started to look happier and I could see the hope in his eyes. All he said was; ‘really? Do you really think there is a way back for me to God?’ I told him; ‘YES, always! Let’s pray!’ I started to pray and John also prayed out some words with tears in his eyes.
Sanal. When I first met John I was absolutely freaked out and intimidated because he had all sort of satanic tattoos and feathers all over his body. The next thing I wanted to do is to run, but then I heard a gentle voice in my heart to go and hug him. So I walked towards him and held him tight and gave him a big hug; after a few seconds he gave me his first smile. My friends and I began to meet up with John week after week and he began to open up more. Once we were in his place for a regular visit. We were asking God to do something substantial in his life and that's what happened.
No really, I am a bad person you can’t pray for me
Leander. I remember that on this very afternoon I was not really feeling like going but I decided to go anyway and looking back I’m really happy I did. Together with Sanal we visited a house that we visited before and there we met John again laying on the couch. This time he was more approachable than last time I met him and we just simply asked how he was doing. Not expecting this type of open answer, I didn't really know what to say or do after John told us that he was planning to kill his neighbor so that he could go back to prison, because that's where his friends are.
Sanal John told us that he wants to go back to prison as he had already been in prison for 15 years of his life. He said he feels so lonely and terrible in this place and that he misses his friends there. He said; 'this is not my world but prison is and that’s where I belong'. So he was planning to commit a crime that week in order to go back to the prison. In fact he was planning to kill the guy in the neighbourhood whom he suspected from talking to the police on John for carrying illegal guns.
I want what you say, but I can't
Leander. Despite the fact that I didn't know what to do after John shared this with us, we experienced the love of Jesus for this man. I was happy that Sanal in all his directness tried to make clear to him that Jesus had something better for him. We both could testify about what God did in our lives and that there was hope for a better life for him.
'I want what you say, but I can’t', was John’s response. We where happy with this answer because a willing heart is all He wants. After seeing that he was touched by our testimonies and that he was willing to make a real change in his life we asked if he wanted to accept Jesus in his heart. We told him that he doesn't have to stand alone in this and that God will make a way out of this situation. After we prayed and John gave his life to Jesus his face was literally shining.
Sanal. As soon as John started confessing all these things the Holy Spirit started to minister to him through us and He just began to take control in his life. John began to weep like a baby while he was confessing all his sins and asked for forgiveness and most of all invited Jesus in his life! His life began to change over the time since we have been. Praise God for the transformations He brings to people who are so broken!
He had a smile from ear to ear and couldn't stop hugging my friends.
Mirjam. One afternoon two of my friends started a deep conversation with him. When I saw him afterwards he looked like a completely different person! He had a smile from ear to ear and couldn’t stop hugging my friends. When we came back a week later and talked to his sister, she told us that he had completely changed! He found a job and stopped doing drugs; his life was back on track.