Out of the blue, we received a phone call last week. It was from a gentleman named Manuel* who lives in the US. He said he was prompted by God to share his story with us.
Manuel related that he became a believer 30 years ago but his life took a dramatic turn when he attended one of our TERM Seminars in Idaho. He was brought through The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus and he said he really “bumped into the meaning of God.” He fell in love with the book and sought to use it to explain the gospel to others.
His first two students were his mum and dad. They were impacted by the message. His dad said the gospel “smashed into my heart” and made him realize how much of a sinner he was.
That first study made Manuel realize he could lead others through the gospel by using The Stranger. Over the years, he has shared it with many people and has even used the book for prison ministry. With the help of a friend, he made visual aids and those have been very effective in teaching.
Not too long ago, he met Arthur,* a gruff-looking prison inmate. Manuel recalled that Arthur looked angry at their first meeting but Manuel decided to be brave and gave Arthur a warm handshake. That melted the ice and Arthur opened up. Arthur said he was in his mid-forties and was serving a 50-year sentence. He was a believer and he knew he deserved to be in prison for the crime he had committed. He also knew his Bible well but had many questions. Manuel kept in touch with Arthur by mail correspondence and the two became friends. Arthur asked Manuel if there was something useful he could do while in prison. “I’ve got time!” quipped Arthur.
“Why don’t you teach?” challenged Manuel. He invited Arthur to teach in the same way he was doing—just sitting down in a small group and reading aloud from The Stranger and using visual aids. Arthur agreed. So when Manuel called our office to share his story and order books for Arthur, he was delighted to hear that we now have visual aid sets that Arthur could use.
When we hear stories like Manuel’s and Arthur’s, we’re humbled and excited to see the impact the books and visual aids can have. The Stranger helped Manuel to be an ambassador for Christ and now Arthur’s journey as an ambassador is about to begin as well.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)
Photo credit: Willem van Bergen on flickr