For two weeks in summer, a team of Power to Change university students and missionaries lived in a St Kilda hostel. They engaged with residents and locals on the street and learnt to share their faith in real-life settings with a broad range of people from different life-stages and ethnic backgrounds, all while growing in their ability to listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Here is just one of their encounters!
While Fei, Tim, Jo and Ryan were prayer walking, Fei noticed two guys sitting by the gutter. We decided to speak to them and encouraged them with the Gospel. One guy, John, was really open as he had recently come out of prison and was looking for a change in life. He heard the Gospel before and was happy for us to pray for him. “We’re tired of the hard stuff in life,” he said. “Tired of all the battles, you know what I mean.”
‘Great! an opportunity,’ Ryan thought. He was wearing an old Student Life t-shirt with Matthew 11:28 (MSG) on the back and asked John to read it out loud. He read…
Are you tired? Worn out?
Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with Me. And you’ll recover your life. – Jesus
John reflected on what he just read, ‘Ah that’s something isn’t it? Worth reading. Good words, good words.’
Ryan observed that John was very impacted by the verse, so he offered to swap t-shirts with him, and he agreed! So next to the gutter, while the two men stripped off their tops, Ryan shared the Gospel with him.
‘Jesus had a clean shirt, ours are muddy with sin. Jesus takes on our sin and gives us His purity.’
We gave John ‘The Four’ Gospel wristband (an evangelistic tool we used) and Fei gave him a Bible the next day. He requested that we write the meaning of the Gospel wristband on the back of the Bible.
Epilogue: It was very strange (in a great way!) to see Ryan walk back into the hostel with a different t-shirt than the one he wore in the morning.