As our entire team of 39 Jews For Jesus team approached Washington Square I had great reluctance. I knew that this would be the last time this year to be together to share the good news that Jesus Christ is the only Savior for mankind. Friday was our last coffee handout and today we were going to have our prayer board. Before the board was put in place we all circled around in prayer. Several of us prayed that God would make this a special day for the sharing of His love for the people of NY.
In the middle of our prayer a Jewish lady with her daughter approached and asked what what we were doing. Deb, on the right, broke away to speak with her for the next 25 minutes. An answer to our prayer had been answered while we were still praying.
We placed our blackboard up and armed with sticky pads we all spread out an asked most passing by if they had anything that they would like for us to pray about for them. Almost all asked the question “why would you want to pray for me, you don’t even know me”? We respond that we know the God of Heaven through His Son, Jesus Christ, and He hears our prayers, do you know Him? Many times this opens a dialogue that allows us to share the entire Gospel with them.
I had a very special young man walk up to me named Bucky. I asked him if he had a prayer request. Instead of the normal response I mentioned above, he said “I pray all the time”. I asked him who he prayed to and he responded that he was a believer in Jesus Christ. I asked him how long he had been a believer and he began to share his testimony with me.
He pointed with his left hand and said he had been a gang leader for years just a few blocks away. He was serving a 30 year sentence in prison when he received a visit from a person working with Prison Fellowship. He listened as the Gospel was presented to him but he didn’t make a decision. Bucky said he went to his cell and for the next 2 days did nothing but cry out to God for mercy but he didn’t believe he could be forgiven for all the things he had done. After 2 days of no sleep he passed out with exhaustion and when he awoke he said he felt different. The same day he received another visit from the Prison Fellowship worker and he explained to Bucky the grace of God. At that point he knew he had been forgiven and was a new creature in a Christ and that salvation was not something he had to work for because he was forgiven by the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
Bucky was visited very often over the next years and since he couldn’t even read his mentor read to him the entire Bible. Bucky learned how to read and he began to share his faith immediately with his inmates. After a few years he had a parole hearing and went before the board. The board asked Bucky why he should be released early. Bucky told them that he didn’t deserve to be released early but that he was a new man. Jesus had saved him and wherever he was is where God wanted him to be and that he was content.
The parole board decided to give an early release to Bucky. Immediately after release he met the pastor of a church in his area from Dallas Seminary who is originally from Tulsa. He took a great interest in Bucky and began to tutor him and to teach him the Bible one on one. Bucky told me that he couldn’t believe that he was preparing to be a preacher. I told him that he was one already even though he may not know it. What a powerful testimony he has and I’ve given you a lite version of it. I had prayer with him and he asked if someone would take our picture together and email it to him. Here is the picture.
There were many great conversations yesterday and within a couple of hours we had hundreds of prayer requests.
I have to admit to you that the last 15-20 minutes I walked around with tears in my eyes. I have done many great and wonderful things in my life. I was a missionary in the largest city in the world at the time, in Mexico City, but I have never been as touched as I am with the people of NYC. This is a truly the most wonderful place I have ever experienced in sharing the Gospel. I only wish I were 30-40 years old again. The opportunities are endless. This is all for today because my eyes are full of tears, AGAIN!!
Until next time, Lord willing,