“As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him” (Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 4:18-22, Luke 5:2-11, John 1:40-42)
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation… they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover..” (Mk. 16:15-18)
It was evening about 7:30 pm and I made a stop at Red Barn right across from Mac Convenience store where I live in James Bay. I saw a man with all his gear sitting down outside the Mac Store. As I approached him he looked up at me and smiled and asked, “How’s it going?” “Good,” I replied, “How are you?” He replied, “Much better than yesterday. It was pouring rain last night and I got soaked.” “Oh yes, it was quite a down pour wasn’t it.” He went on telling me about the rough night he had. He was homeless, and quite friendly, smiling and laughing as he spoke. He looked like he had been through a lot and he spoke with an accent so it was hard for me to understand him. “Where are you from?” I asked. “I’m from Labrador,” he replied, “but originally I was born in Louisiana.” “Oh, you’ve come a long way from home.” “Yes, I’ve traveled for most of my life,” he said, “but I think I’m doing good for 65.” I introduced myself to him, and he told me his name was Michele with one “l” not two.
I was going into Macs, so I asked him if he wanted anything. “Yes please, can you bring my some coke?” he asked. “Sure I can. Is that all you would like?” “Yes, that is all!” he said. I went into the store and brought him out a bottle of coke. He thanked me. I stood with him as he put away the bottle. Then he told me about how the doctor said he needed a knee replacement for all the wear and tear of the joint.
“Michele I think I can help you,” I said. Do you believe in God and in miracles? He said, “Yes, I do.” “So do I,” I told him. I’m a Christian and so happens I’ve prayed for people for healing and many have been healed. “Would you like me to pray with you for a healing miracle?” He looked me in the eye and said, “Yes, I would.”
“Do you know what Salvation is?” I asked him, “…about forgiveness of sin and accepting Jesus Christ into your heart?” “Yes, he remarked, “I pray for Salvation all the time.” I’m not sure about the other prayers you might have had, but I assured him that today was his Day of Salvation, and if he believed in his heart that Jesus died for his sins, then he would be saved and have eternal life.
We need only to pray once for our salvation, but we can continually pray and ask God to forgive us for our sins daily, especially if we want answer to our prayers, we don’t want any sin to stand in the way. God hates sin and when we ask for forgiveness, we remove any sin from our lives and allow for God to work. I went on explaining to him that when we are saved, we are part of God’s family and our names are written in the book of heaven.
We prayed together and as I spoke out, he repeated the Sinner’s prayer – he was forgiven for his sin and was saved. “This is your first miracle” I told him, “to receive forgiveness of sin and to receive the promise of everlasting life through God’s only son, Jesus Christ. Let’s pray in faith for your second miracle – healing of your knee!
Let’s pray according to the scripture. I spoke out: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover..” (Mark 16:17-18). Do you believe that God can heal you? “Yes, I do believe,” he replied.
I laid hands on his knee and asked Jesus to heal it, and to renew it entirely so he wouldn’t need to have a knee replacement. Tears came to his eyes as I prayed asking Jesus to heal him. He wiped away his tears, and spoke out in agreement with me in prayer.
I noticed that he didn’t have a very good sleeping bag, and I had one that was given to me for my Cycling4Jesus trip across the US several years back. I wasn’t using it, and had recently prayed Jesus would reveal who he wanted me to give it to. “Would you like a really warm sleeping bag for this evening since you said you were really cold the night before?” “Yes, that would be great!” he replied. “If you can wait for me here, it will only take me about 15 minutes, and I can get it for you. I have my scooter and I don’t live too far away.” “Okay, I can wait here,” he said.
I rode home and got the sleeping bag and brought a bible along too. I came back to the same place and there he was waiting for me. He was very grateful for the sleeping bag and I assured him it would keep him nice and warm. Turns out he couldn’t read the bible ’cause he was blind in one eye and the text was too small. He told me he would be hanging around Victoria for the next few days but wouldn’t be staying too long ’cause it was too expensive for him to live here. I sympathized with him and prayed again asking Jesus to provide all his needs according to his riches and glory. He was grateful and thanked me for my prayers and help.
I shared with him about my online ministry, those following the Cycling4Jesus website, and all the GWEA house churches in Ontario that would be very happy to pray for him. I asked him if I could take a picture of him and post it on online for many other believers to pray. “Yes, I would really appreciate all the prayers,” he replied. I took out my phone and snapped a few photos.
With that, I said so long, and that I will look for him next time I come back to this part of town. He stood up and reached out his arms, and gave me a big hug in thanks. Praise the Lord! I was blessed and I’m always amazed that God uses me when I least expect it.
Ministry is everywhere – the labourers are few but the harvest is great. Thank you Jesus for you alone are the bread of life – when we are faithful to proclaim the Good News and help provide or feed the needy and poor; and pray with others for Salvation and their needs, then we too are fed and our needs are met. Amen!
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty… For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:35-40).