I saw a man sitting by himself on a grassy hill near our picnic spot. I grabbed my friends Lindsey and Nathan and together we walked over to introduce ourselves.
“I’m Shane,” he said with a smile. And within moments we were deep in conversation.
Shane told us his journey to living on the streets. He’d struggled with alcohol for a long time. But there was a deep longing in his life. And we realized very quickly that He was really searching for God.
For a long time we listened to his stories of loss and pain. And then the conversation turned and he was asking us questions about Jesus.
“I just can’t do it anymore,” Shane cried. “I can’t do it alone. I need God! I want to find God. I want to find God.”
“Jesus would love to come and live in your heart,” Lindsey said. “Would you like to invite Him to be the Lord of your life?”
Shane’s eyes lit up. We bowed our heads as Shane gave his life to Jesus. Afterwards, Shane looked up.
“There’s something else,” he said. “For a long time, I’ve hated my ex-wife for what she did to me. But I don’t want to hate her anymore. I no longer want her to suffer. I really want her to know God too and be forgiven.” .
“It sounds like you’re ready to forgive your wife,” I said.
With tears in his eyes, Shane prayed forgiveness for his ex-wife. And then he gave us the biggest hugs!
We invited him to join our picnic. While we ate BLTs together, Shane told us that he had lost touch with his son and his sister (who was a believer living nearby). He also told us that he’d really been struggling to find work because he was losing his eyesight due to macular degeneration. Nathan, Lindsey and I wrote down Shane’s e-mail and promised to bring a large-print Bible that he could read.
Our school prayed for Shane regularly after that night. I brought a Bible to Peace Park many times, but didn’t see Shane for a long time.
A month later Lindsey and I were parking the van and began praying out loud for all the things we hoped for Shane’s life. And that’s when it happened. That very day, Lindsey found Shane!
When Lindsey told me, I was so excited, I threw all my homework papers in the air as I jumped up and down! I grabbed that large print Bible and rushed out the door.
Lindsey jogged up beside me reminding to contain my enthusiasm and be “cool.”
Shane grinned from ear to ear when we saw him! As we talked, I discovered that God had answered nearly every single prayer we’d prayed for Shane. He’d found a job. He now had an apartment with a roommate. He started talking to his son everyday on the phone. And he’d reconnected with his sister. The transformation was so radical that his physical appearance was even drastically different.
But then his shoulders slumped and he let out a huge sigh. “There’s something I have to tell you,” he said. “Today, I started drinking again. And I can’t go back to my apartment like this. And I’m afraid I’m gonna lose it all. All the good things God has been doing in my life.”
“Oh Shane,” Lindsey said. “God still loves you. His love never fails. He never gives up on you.”
It was then that I slid the Bible over to Shane.
“This is just weird!” he blurted out. “I was sitting here remembering the night I met you in the park and wondering if you would remember the Bible.”
Aren’t you glad when God shows up and things get weird?!
Shane allowed us to pray for him again. We parted ways that night in awe of a God who loves every single person so much that he would gladly leave the 99 to find that 1 lost sheep.
By Heather, DTS Student. Her DTS went to Peace Park in every week of DTS for their local outreach. They enjoyed live music and spread out a picnic to share with new people they met — friendship evangelism. Something very important to their school leader, Chelsea, was getting to know our city through meeting the people who lived there. This is a testimony of seeing their love for Madison grow because God moved in the life of an individual.Learn More About DTS!