by Paul Demitatis
Our drivers pulled down a dark urban street and stopped. We stepped out of the vans and followed Pastor Atoole, our main contact in the city. As we walked down winding alleys, a crowd of curious onlookers gathered, pressing in on us.
“Hello,” people said. “What is your name?” The friendly questions came at me from all sides.
We pushed our way through the growing crowd and finally arrived at the house where the church service would be held. But by then, the crowd had grown so large that we had to move to the nearest alley. People swarmed all around us while we set up for the drama and testimonies. About 100 people circled our small “stage.”
With a single light and speaker that night, we began our open-air church service with a skit called King of Hearts. Our “stage” was reduced to the size of a small hallway and seemed just as busy. Kids and adults ran and chattered in the background. Even a moped or two rode across our stage. I was getting frustrated. What kind of church service was this? I could also sense my teammates’ frustration and confusion and began to pray for them.
The skit finished to thunderous applause! And now it was time for me to share my testimony. There I was with no microphone, a feisty crowd, and a translator, sharing my testimony for the very first time. Ever.
“God, how are we gonna pull this one off?” I prayed. “No one’s going to hear me or listen to what I have to say.”
But as I prayed, I felt peace.
“I know this is what you want me to do so please use me,” I prayed. “Fill me with the Holy Spirit so that these people will know your true character. Give me the strength and confidence to push through.”
Taking a deep breath, I introduced myself and spoke a little Hindi to get the crowd laughing. I was rolling!
As I shared, I heard my voice get louder, stronger, more determined.
I told how God had brought me, a simple, lost man to peace and salvation. And how God led me, who is no different than them, to travel to the other side of the world, to a country I never thought I would visit, to speak of the great things God is doing in my life. I told them that dreams were becoming reality because of what Jesus Christ had done in my life.
It was in that moment that I think the Holy Spirit really moved. The crowd got so quiet. I scanned the crowd and saw faces that were yearning to hear more.
“Who wants to know about a man named Jesus?” I asked.
To my amazement, more than half the hands shot up around me. I couldn’t believe it. God had used me to share about Christ in a way that made people want to know more about Him.
I was humbled in that moment and so grateful for the way the Holy Spirit had moved that night. I now have the belief and confidence that God can and will use me to do great things for His kingdom. And that is something to be excited about!