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Pastor sees end result of personal ministry

BREA, Calif. (BP)–Many sermons mention returning home to God. One California pastor found out one of his sermons inspired a couple of listeners to do just that — return home.
Randy Williams, pastor of Pacific Baptist Church, El Segundo, and a student at the Southern California (Brea) Campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, said a young woman “who looked like she had spent the night on the beach” approached him one August night as he was unlocking the church for the Sunday evening service, desiring to pray at the altar.
“I let her in and left to take care of some things while she was at the front of the church praying, and when I returned she was gone,” said Williams, pastor of the church since last spring. “My wife had come to the worship center and said when the young lady had finished praying, she just got up and left.”
Later that evening, the young woman and a friend of hers walked in after the service started. “Both were wearing backpacks and carrying a box of pizza,” he said. “After the service, they both came forward and kneeled to pray. I asked them if there was anything I could do, but both said no. As others came up to them, they shunned them also and wouldn’t even share with my wife who is a counselor.”
He said he and his wife both felt they may have been runaways. After they left, Williams called the police department from his office. “Having been a policeman, I knew they could get the answers from the girls that my wife and I could not,” he said. “I don’t know if the police ever found them, but I remember as we drove home that evening seeing them on the side of the road. I offered up prayers for them then and throughout that week whenever they came to mind.”
About a month later, he, his wife and a fellow seminary student had lunch at the nearby Brea Mall. “A lady came up to me and asked if I were a pastor,” he said. “She said about a month before, two young ladies had come to my church and listened to the message. I said something that spoke to them and caused them to come home. One of those girls was her daughter. I asked if she were kidding, and she pointed out her daughter across the room.”
Williams visited with them and said he found that both mother and daughter had worked out some communication issues, and it appeared that they were doing well. “I asked the daughter about her friend,” he said. “She had run away from Ohio, and she had gone back home as well.”
Randy said he was privileged to experience something few in the ministry actually see. “God allows us as pastors to help people randomly, and we never get to see or hear the end results,” he said. “In a crowded food court, God allowed me an opportunity to see ministry come full circle. When these things happen, it can only be from God. He knew I needed a blessing, and he blessed me more than I could ever have imagined. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful blessing to see a family reunited from a message that God had given me to deliver.”

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