By Mark Ellis
During an outreach at a train station in Sydney, Australia, a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) team member had a conversation with a man about Jesus that led to a very unexpected exchange.
After praying, the YWAM team felt led by the Sprit to the Blacktown train station, in western Sydney. “None of us had any idea what would happen, but we chose to simply walk by faith,” says Blair Coyle, part of YWAM’s Music & Arts Discipleship Training Staff.
“When we arrived, we asked God what we were to do next. We felt like we were supposed to go to the square just outside the station,” Blair recounts.
As they approached the square, they noticed the sound of worship music playing through a loudspeaker, and someone singing along karaoke-style.
They soon realized there was a street preacher sharing the Gospel outside the station. Blair approached the man to encourage him and they began talking. The man immediately asked if they were from YWAM and if any of them would like to share a testimony.
“Before I knew it, I had the microphone in my hand preaching to the passers-by about God’s love and plan for redemption in each person’s life, relating it to my own story,” Blair recounts.
People in the train station square began to turn around, stop, and listen. “I felt as though I was connecting to each person listening on a heart level. The Holy Spirit was getting their attention as I spoke,” Blair says.
After he finished speaking, Blair introduced himself to a man named Mark sitting on a bench nearby. Mark said he was from the U.S. and is currently involved in the casino industry.
“What do you do?” Mark asked.
“I travel around and tell people about Jesus,” Blair said.
A curious look appeared on the man’s face, and he asked, “Who is Jesus?”
Blair was taken aback for a moment. Then he began to explain who Jesus is, how he knows Him personally, and “how He speaks to me.”
Mark’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “Wait, Jesus is alive? Jesus speaks to you? How does this work? What is the last thing He spoke to you?”
Blair told him how Jesus sent them to Blacktown station to speak to people like him.
Mark was “completely blown away” and began asking more questions, which allowed Blair to share the whole Gospel with him.
When Blair finished sharing, he asked if he could pray with Mark.
Mark grinned broadly and immediately agreed.
After Blair finished praying he asked, “What are you feeling?”
“I feel a warmth inside,” Mark replied.
“What you’re feeling is God’s Spirit touching your heart,” Blair explained.
“Jesus wants to give me joy, peace, hope, and a new life?” Mark asked, somewhat incredulously. “He wants to be my comforter and my friend? He wants to talk with me?”
“Sounds like a great deal! How do I receive this? Do you have his phone number and contact details?”
Blair laughed and told him to simply speak to Jesus because “He is right here with us.”
Blair then led Mark in a prayer and he accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
Mark thanked him, got up, and suddenly disappeared into the crowd.
“I couldn’t believe what had just happened,” Blair recounts. “Never before had I talked to someone who was so open to the gospel as Mark had been. During our conversation, he made it clear to me that his impression of organized religion was that it was simply a money making scheme. He obviously had heard a lot of negative things about monetary misuse in the church, which had formed his opinion on religion as a whole.
“When I told him that I don’t get paid, and I was simply there to bless him and share Jesus’ love with him, he was dumbfounded.” Blair believes Mark saw something genuine in him, something different than what he had seen or heard about religion before.
“My encounter with Mark showed me that people in this world are hungry for the Gospel. People are longing for a raw and powerful experience of a loving God. God is looking for individuals who are willing to follow His call and step out in obedience.
“Are you willing to lay down your life, so that others may know the hope that is available to them?”
To know more about YWAM’s mission, go here