Paul Reed is Minister of Music and Senior Adults at Hopeful Baptist Church in Lake City, Florida. I want you to hear his story about "A Plane — A Bible — A Bathroom — A Believer!"
As I was flying back from leading music at a revival in Oklahoma, I sat next to a man who looked to be about sixty years old. I took the opportunity to talk with him about Jesus and found out he had no church experience at all. I asked him if he ever thought about heaven. "No," he answered. I went on to try and talk with him about heaven, but he said he wasn't interested in talking about it. So, I decided to leave it at that and just wait until later.
The flight took a little over two hours. In that time I was finishing a drama script for our youth choir musical. I had been using the FAITH outline card as a guide and had a small New Testament. About fifteen minutes before we landed I decided to give this man the New Testament along with the FAITH outline card and one of my business cards. I told him I would like to give it to him and asked if he might read it in his leisure time. I told him that he could follow the FAITH outline card and it would tell him more about heaven, and that if he had any questions to give me a call. He gladly took the Testament and seemed pleased to receive it. We landed and after I got off the plane I never saw him again.
The next week I came back to the office after lunch and a secretary gave me a phone message. She said a man had found my Bible and called to talk with me. He expressed a concern about me returning his call and she told him I would.
Immediately I thought, "Could this be the man on the plane?" I called! The man answered and I introduced myself — his name was Jerry. He was glad I had called him back but he was not the man on the plane. He had found my Bible sitting on a shelf in a bathroom in the airport. He told me after he had seen it he walked out and sat down to wait for his daughter to arrive. As he sat there he realized, "That was a Bible," and he went back in to get it. He said he began reading it, and the Word began to minister to him. Jerry told me how his wife had just left him, that she was involved with another man and wanted a divorce. He was about to give up — then he found the little testament in the bathroom.
Jerry told me that as he read he realized that he did not need to give up hope. Instead, he needed to trust in God and let Him take care of his life. "I saw your card in the Bible and decided to call you," he said. "I need somebody to talk to." We talked for forty-five minutes about dealing with his separation from his wife. I shared as much Scripture with him as possible to try and encourage him, but I also asked him FAITH's key question and he responded with a faith answer. Then he said, "Before we hang up, I want you to lead me in the sinner's prayer. I want to make sure I did everything right."
"No problem," I responded.
I went through the gospel with him to make sure he understood who Jesus is and what He had done. "I believe all of that," he responded. So I led him in the sinner's prayer over the phone. After we said, "amen," he told me he felt so much better. There were no doubts in his mind anymore!
Before we hung up I prayed with Jerry — for him and his wife. He expressed his thanks again for calling him back, and I thanked him for calling me. I then told him how God had worked it out for him to find that Bible. He knows that God did that for him. He also said he would like to visit our church. It turns out he lives about two and a half hours away. Maybe one day he will come and I will have a chance to meet him. But, if not, I will meet him in heaven all because I've been encouraged to witness and God is faithful to use me!
I praise God that even though the man to whom I had given that Bible left it in the bathroom — intentionally or unintentionally — God was still able to use it to touch a life. But someone had to put that Bible and outline into circulation, and I thank God for the privilege and joy of it being me!
Multiplied thousands of people are now enlisting in FAITH for this fall, praying to be used like Paul Reed. Join FAITH or get into something that will equip and encourage you for evangelism. Not everyone can be the first link in the chain or even the very last link. But none of us should be the missing link!
Paul's wonderful encounter with the power and grace of Almighty God just affirms again for us that we are to be faithful and then God will be successful to accomplish His work! "A Plane — A Bible — A Bathroom — A Believer!" Isn't that just like the Lord! I need to give Him more opportunities to use me. How about you?