the letter e

I like the letter e. I use it a lot. Did I think it would completely change my perspective on how God works? Not. A. Chance.

Fast forward to training camp – individual lives were changed and our teams had been made. My team is awesome and soon I’ll fill you guys in on my team members. Friday rolled around and it was “Ministry Day”. This is the part where I’m thinking, “Don’t make me do this, don’t make me go talk to strangers on the street. I’m not good at this…” Every time I think this, I should just know that God is going to rock my world. Every time I feel incapable, He pulls through.

We learned that we were going to head into a part of town called Little Mexico on Friday afternoon to do ministry. What exactly were we going to do? God knew. We didn’t. So, we spent part of the morning praying as a team, asking God to show us where to go and who to talk to. Seemingly random images popped in our heads. We wrote them down. A man in a black hat. People with umbrellas walking down the street. A little girl. Flowers. A corner building by a dark alley. The letter e.

Hmmm, okay God, I don’t get it. But oh well, here we go. So we drove over to Little Mexico and started walking down the street. Almost right away, we notice a man in a black hat sitting at a taco stand.

Teammate: I want some tacos.
Other teammate: Good cover, let’s go over there.

So we walk over to the taco stand and strike up a conversation with this man. We asked which tacos were the best. We asked his name. We asked where he was from and what he was doing here. And come to find out, his mom lives here and she’s sick and he moved to take care of her. So we prayed for him and his mom and that he could soon go home.

Alright, God, that was pretty cool. I didn’t say much in the conversation; some of my teammates took the lead. But I still walked away trusting God a little more.

We kept walking. We walked past a guy who was on the phone and when we were five paces past him, we realized that his hat had the letter e on the front. So what did we do? Two of my teammates turned around and chased this guy down the street. They talked for a few minutes and asked what he was doing. Turns out, he was headed to the local tattoo parlor we had already passed. Cool, maybe we’ll stop in there later on our way back to the car. The guy seemed real nice. We walked some more, talked to a few more people, prayed together and decided to head back and stop in at the tattoo parlor.

We looked around, saw the guy from earlier and struck up a conversation with the tattoo artist sitting at the front desk. He was drawing a tattoo but continued talking to whoever walked up to the desk. I was talking to him when my teammate Christine walked up and started talking about a book she’d recently read about the connection between creativity and spirituality. And all of sudden, I could see this guy get real interested in what she was saying. So before we both knew it, this guy is telling us that he has a little faith but he’s questioning whether or not you can be sure about going to heaven. “OH MY GOODNESS!” I’m thinking. This is crazy. This is unexpected. And I have no clue how to say everything I want to say to this guy.

So God stepped in, plain and simple. He gave us the words. He led my team leader over to share the gospel story with us to this man and another teammate came over and shared some scripture with this guy. We prayed with him before we left and made sure to give him a phone number so that he could get in contact with someone who could continue to answer his questions.

I walked out of that tattoo parlor thinking in a completely different way. God can use whatever he wants to lead us to people who are searching. It can even be as simple as the letter e.

I always glanced over the letter e. I NEVER considered that it could change my perspective on how God works, much less maybe change someone’s life. But God is just that good, and just that big and just that incredible.

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