My dear friend, Rebecca, recently had an encounter that deeply encouraged my heart. I’ve asked her to write it out so that I can share it here.
In Rebecca’s words:
My daughters and I visit a local park a few times a month. On one of these visits I noticed two Spanish gentleman sitting on the stairs by the park restroom. They both had backpacks next to them. I could tell by looking at them that they were men in need. I just wasn’t sure yet what that need was. While we were at the park I couldn’t help but glance over and wonder what was going on with them. Were they homeless? Were they in need of a job? Were they hungry? They stayed on my mind the entire time at the park. God was speaking, but I was trying to visit with my friend. Okay, God, I hear you, but I have important mommy stuff to talk about. We left the park that day, and I said a silent pray for those men and went about my life.
A week or so later my daughters and I were back at the same park, and this time only one of those men from our previous visit was there. Same spot, same sad look. Again the Lord put him on my heart. I couldn’t help but feel the conviction of my heart telling me I needed to help that man. Of course I had a handful of reasons why I couldn’t. I don’t speak Spanish. I don’t know him. What could I do to help? So my mind and my heart started to battle. That day my mind won, but Jesus had a plan.
A few weeks later my church had a local outreach. I was going with a team of volunteers to a couple of our local parks to serve in our community and share the love of Christ. The second park we went to was the same park where I had seen the man sitting on the stairs. When we got to the park, he was there sitting in the same spot as before. I thought: here I am living my life, always on the go, and here is this man just sitting there waiting. Waiting for something. Waiting for help? That day I had a friend with me who spoke Spanish, so now was my chance to listen to God and go speak to him.
My friend and I walked up and asked him his name. His name was Franco,* and he was indeed homeless. He was estranged from his family. Franco had been staying at the Salvation Army whenever he had the ten dollars a night to stay there. He was out of work and in need of a second chance. After getting to know Franco’s story, I told him I would see what I could do to help him out. I told him I needed a week….a week of prayer and to reach out to some of my friends who I though might be able to help him with a job. I asked Franco to meet me the next Saturday at the same time and place.
My group and I headed back to church to have lunch after our park day. At church I ran into my friend who owns a local plant nursery. I told her all about Franco and how the Lord had put him on my heart and in my path. She instantly wanted to help, and said she would talk to her husband and get back to me. A few days went by before she contacted me to say that her husband would be willing to give Franco a chance at his nursery. I called my Pastor at El Crucero where I teach in the children’s ministry and asked if he would meet me at the park on Saturday to talk with Franco.
Next Saturday came, and my girls and I headed to the park to meet Franco. He was there, sitting in the same spot as before with all of his belongings. A few minutes later, Pastor Andy showed up. Immediately, Pastor Andy recognized Franco. Franco was someone he had met in the neighborhood where El Crucero is. After a few minutes of talking, I realized I knew Franco’s children, and I had met his wife before. I knew where his house was! I knew at that moment this was a divine intervention! It’s truly amazing when you see how God works! Pastor Andy and I set up a plan to get Franco to his new job. My husband and I picked him up on Monday morning at the Salvation Army and drove him to work. Pastor Andy would take it from there. I spoke to my friend at the end of the week, and she said Franco was coming every day and doing well.
I am so thankful I obeyed God’s prompting on my heart and that Franco has a second chance. I’ve always been a firm believer God uses us to answer each others’ prayers.
Whose prayer is God asking you to answer?
*”Franco’s” name has been changed for privacy purposes.