Stories from all over our city & beyond

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Conversation

From: Paul N.
Date: May 21, 2023

A co-worker […] who I’ve been trying to minister to shared with me that he has been reading Genesis and praying daily.

Conversation

From: Nancy R.
Date: April 21, 2023

The cheerful lady at the return counter of the giant box store patiently tried to help me out with my mixed up order. When she finished, I gratefully handed her a DVD of The Jesus Film. “It’s a gift for you”,  I said. “It’s the story of the life of Jesus Christ”. “Oh,” she said as she grabbed it and held it close to her heart. “This is perfect, perfect timing. I have just finished watching lots of documentaries on TV, and made the decision to watch something about God or religion now. This is perfect, wonderful!”  She said delightedly. 

I handed her a basic gospel tract to go with it, as I left to go to the garden dept. Five minutes later, she came running up to me  breathless with tears in her eyes saying that her Mother would also love to see the DVD with her. She kept thanking me over and over.

When I finished my purchase in the garden dept., I handed the tired cashier a copy of The Jesus Film. She grabbed it, perked up and said, “My Family did not get to go to church on Easter, but we can all look at this together tonight. Thank you so much. You are always so kind when you come here.” 

As I left the store, I was aware that someone was following me into the parking lot. I turned and saw a clean cut young man who demanded, “What did you give that cashier? I was watching you.” I told him, then I asked if he would like a DVD too. “NO,” he said,

He was a Christian and didn’t need one.. He said he was impressed with the way I witnessed to total strangers. He had not seen it before. I asked him how he shared the gospel with others. He said he liked to sit down with a cup of coffee to talk to people and answer any deep questions they might have.

“I applaud your method of sharing the gospel,” I said. “God uses us all differently to reach all types of people, and we never run out of them. Carry on with what you are doing and so will I.” He waved a friendly goodbye. I was thinking that I would enjoy meeting him in heaven again some day with those that he led to Christ over a cup of coffee.

Conversation

From: Kara R.
Date: April 2, 2023

My husband joined a work volleyball league two years ago. I would pack up the kids and we’d go watch him play. I struck up a friendship with the wife of one of my husband’s coworkers. She is Muslim and had just recently moved to Texas to marry her husband. Shortly after that time she discovered she had a brain tumor and underwent a horrible year of surgery and rehabilitation. I got to follow along her journey and pray for her often through text messages where she could read them over and over which she said she did and was a huge encouragement to her. Last week I invited her to join us for Easter Sunday and she is so excited to come and learn more about “my religion.” Please be praying her and her husband would come and I’d have more opportunities to have conversations about Jesus with her.

Conversation

From: Bob F.
Date: March 27, 2023

Yesterday, Pastor Neil spoke about the first miracle in Acts 3 by Peter. A homeless man outside of Jason‘s Deli asked me for money, I said, can I pray for you, and bless you with the Holy Spirit. The man was confused at first, then surprised, then he became approachable. After our conversation, I came inside Jason‘s Deli, and a mother of four asked if it would be appropriate for her to buy the man lunch. The elderly man was grateful.

So obvious, the Lord needs us to be humble, share the gospel with kindness & love, respect and dignity to all.

Conversation

From: Judy S.
Date: March 21, 2023

Today after shopping at the grocery store …. I had the bag boy take my groceries out to the car. I reached into my chain pocket to give him a tip. I mentioned that I hope the store pays him a good wage. He assured me that they do. I mentioned to [him] that I was not use to having a bag boy take my groceries out to my car and that I was new in the area.  

[He] asked where I had moved from. I said “Guatemala.” He had a confused look on his face and asked where that was? I said below Mexico.

I then asked if he was named after anybody? He said “my mom got it from a Bible verse.” I asked which one and he stumbled over the words of “I know I have a plan for you.”

I asked, do you go to church much and he said, not really, but I go to an awesome church camp each year.

I encouraged [him] to look to Jesus.

Conversation

From: Remington D.
Date: March 21, 2023

Alright – here’s the story.  It’s so cool what God can do.

(For Context) – This year, I’ve had car troubles.  My catalytic converter was stolen; also had to replace some parts.  It’s been a tough year for my trusty steed.  Also, I love having surprisingly easy-to-start conversations about Jesus or just talking about things that matter with people, but I haven’t been able to have many conversations for a bit.

So, on 2/20, I prayed that I could have a divine appointment.  Just have one conversation or talk with someone that God wanted me to talk with or serve or love, etc.  I was looking forward to catching up with a friend for lunch (he had President’s Day off, and I could meet him during my lunch break).  So, the time came, and I left work.  As I was driving […], I passed through an intersection.  There was a car turning left, but I passed in the straight lane.  Then as I was going through the intersection, I felt a loud bump.  The car that had wanted to turn left had decided not to turn left but try to go into the lane over and go straight.  Unfortunately, my car was occupying that space.

I stopped (cause that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?), and got out of my car to stand on the median and see who was this person.  I will admit – I was pretty upset and mad.  Especially with my car trouble.  Then, I found out I hadn’t been hit by just anyone.  I had been hit by a French man! Like from France, who was in a rental car and didn’t know about insurance or anything and didn’t really think he was at fault.  We had a very tense conversation.  I tried to explain that insurance would pay, but he didn’t know what insurance was.  I said it’s like health insurance, only to realize that was a terrible analogy because France has socialized medicine.  He was also really young (23) and explained he had just moved to Dallas and America for a job.  He tried calling his parents in France, but wasn’t able to reach them.  I was thinking – do I call the police to get an incident report?  He thought the police would arrest him.  Like, I said – tensions were high and were not communicating well.

[The man] asked if we could get out of the street, and go to a parking lot.  I agreed.  As I was driving, I had a thought – would Jesus really be haggling over fault?  No – He would probably just love [him], see him as just a young kid who had his first accident, and as an alien in a new country.  And, I was now 20 minutes late for lunch.  I told [him] if he could just let me have pictures of his license and insurance, I would think about whether I would contact his insurance.  We traded phone numbers just in case.   I felt decent about myself – I had been mad, but had cooled down, and had wished him well.

Well, let’s just say you don’t easily forget when a red Chevy equinox driven by a bona fide Frenchman hits your car – it’s just so unusual.  I kept thinking, “That was weird.” What are the odds.  And, then God reminded me that I had prayed for a divine appointment (evidently, I hadn’t prayed for protection for my car – so be careful what you pray for).

I reached out to a friend at Northwest.  “I think I was meant to meet [him] for a reason, but what do I say?” – I asked.  [My friend] said, well, if it’s a divine appointment, just offer to meet and invite him to church.  If he takes it, then it was a divine appointment.  If not, then it wasn’t.

So, I did.  I texted [him] that I had thought about it and I wasn’t going to contact his insurance or ask him to fix (I had to wrestle with forgiveness on that).  Then I said that I imagine it must be pretty lonely to be in a foreign country, and that if he was open to it, he was welcome to come and visit church – it is a great way to meet nice people.  Almost immediately, I got a text back.  He thanked me for forgiving him and said that he would love to come to church, that he had been to one in France and that it was lonely in the US.

That Sunday, true to his word, [he] did come to Northwest.  He really enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing so many people worship at church (his main takeaway is that he had never seen a church so full).  I introduced him to young adults in our body (we all sit together in the back left).  And, credit is due – [lots of my friends] all took great interest in him.  I had mentioned to all my friends the story of what had happened, and people were asking me (whispering) “Is this the Frenchman”.  And, I would say, “Yes!” 

[This new friend] has come back to Northwest several times and has joined us for lunch (we go out for lunch every 2nd and 4th Sunday).  I’m not sure where things are going or even his story yet (just know he has a background in church in France and has been around evangelical worship music based off some comments on our worship songs).  But, he is so excited when he comes and is getting to know people.  And folks here are doing a great job on welcoming him to the community.  This is not just my story, it’s a story that involves God orchestrating so much and using many good friends at Northwest to love and welcome a stranger into our midst.

That said, God will do things if you pray that He won’t if you don’t.  I’m glad I prayed for a divine appointment, and that He gave me one.  Might have been nice if it hadn’t involved hitting my car though, but I’m not fixing it right now.  Now, I can see the red scratch on my car and have an Ebenezer.  

Thanks for reading my story.

Conversation

From: Allison M.
Date: February 16, 2023

A couple weeks ago (I’ll have to check my prayer journal for exactly when), something made me think to pray over my gym as a place for Gospel conversations. The front desk workers are always engaging in their greetings and farewells, and I wondered if my baking ministry could extend to them, or how God might use me there.

This morning, I was writing in my prayer journal at one of the lounge’s tables there, per my usual routine post-workout, and someone else sat in that area.

We accidentally made eye contact, he started a conversation, and before I knew it we were talking about Bible Translation, his church experience, and there were just several things about the conversation that were timely and ordained.

To top it all off, he used to work at the gym, so the staff that I was praying about how to engage, he knows them and also knows he’s going to have to explain himself to them when I left because all they saw was him having a 30min conversation with a regular who reads in the mornings. So… I don’t know what’s next, but by the end of the day the staff will have heard about my faith through this other man I met.

A very cool answer to prayer, and I pray it’s only the beginning at my Planet Fitness.

Conversation

From: Sue B.
Date: February 13, 2023

I have been praying for my neighbor, specifically for me to show her the unconditional love of Jesus especially when it might be inconvenient for me and my plans. 

God has given me 4 opportunities recently for this to happen. He has also redeemed my time twofold. 

Tonight she told me that my friendship and time has reconnected her to God. She also said she feels God had us move across the street from her for that very purpose. 

I am so grateful God has answered my prayers for my neighbor.

Conversation

From: Haley H.
Date: January 11, 2023

In 2013, Zach and I took a 2 week mission trip to Asian Christian Academy in India.  We flew into the city of Bangalore and stayed on campus near Hosur.  We went with Neil and Vela Tomba as well as a few others from Northwest.  

Fast forward to September, 2021.  I now have four children and we are all at [a] playground near their elementary school.  I strike up a conversation with […] another mom there with her pre-school age daughter.  By her accent and mannerisms I quickly can see she is from India.  When I asked her where she was from she told me she and her husband moved here two years ago from Bangalore, India.  When I tell her I visited Bangalore in 2013, her face lit up!  

**Need to note here, that about this time is when I started a Moms in Prayer group and we began meeting once a month after morning drop off to pray for the school, staff,  and our children. 

[This mom] and I became friends and she fit into our “playground gang” group of moms who frequent the park after school.  Around December 2021, [she] asked us moms as we stood around watching our children, “What is Christmas about?  This is all new to me.” 

Along with me, the other moms are Bible believing Christians.  We took turns sharing the story of Jesus’ birth.  [She] shared that like many children growing up in Bangalore, she attended Christian grade school and boarding school while her parents remained nominally Hindu.  

It was at this time I was inspired to host The Jesse Tree Project and invite [my new mom friend].  “Sometimes I leave the 99 to go after the one.” Is what I heard in my head.  Hosting this project was a leap of faith.  In a big way, it was all for [her], but I also had to convince 22 other moms to participate!  Not to mention, it wasn’t a given that [she] would want to do it at all.  But I kept hearing from the Lord, “I’ve got my heart set on her, I leave the 99 to go after the one.” 

The prayer and planning for this started in the summer of 2022.

Each step in planning the project and hosting the 2 gatherings at my house, God was so present and provided each detail.  I was not alone, I got exactly the number of women I needed to make the project a success.  Everyone contributed and did their part!

[The woman] was glowing at the first meeting.  She chose Jacob’s Ladder.  As the meeting was coming to an end, she thanked me and told me that I remind her of the nuns in the convent in India teaching at her school growing up.  I knew this was high praise, and I treasure this compliment today.  

The final gathering party in November was the exchange.  [She] was there and at the very end of the night, she thanked me again and then eagerly said, “Can we keep doing this??” 

I invited her to join our Moms in Prayer group.  Her daughter is now in kindergarten at our elementary school.  She enthusiastically said yes.  On January 11, she joined us for our first meeting of the year!  She mostly listened solemnly, and this meeting was a big one since I needed to go through the Statement of Faith to prepare to make our group official and register us on the Moms in Prayer International website.  

Her prayers for her daughter […] were full of thanksgiving and child-like wonder.  

I haven’t heard [my friend] make a personal declaration of faith yet, but she is with us I count her as “added to our numbers” !  And she has blessed me and encouraged me and I am so grateful she is praying for me and my kids! 

And I am amazed at how God had [this particular mom] in mind for all of this back in 2013 when I boarded that plane for Bangalore! 

Thank you, Church for your faithful prayers!

Conversation

From: Jane M.
Date: January 10, 2023

My co-worker in New Jersey has been curious about my faith for 20 years!  This year she opened the Adventure Bible I gave her children (now 20 years old) and has made her way to ACTS!! She read about Pentecost yesterday and asked me to help get her baptized! Baptized with the Holy Spirit she made clear!!!

Praise the sovereign Lord!!!!

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