Robin Brooks, a missionary serving in New Zealand, sent me the following story:
Tracey is a university student in New Zealand. She claimed to be an atheist, but had some very unusual life goals. One of them was to attend a church sometime in her life. In February, a week before university started, Tracey advertised for a “flatmate” (someone to share the rented house with her).
Keren, a new student from Papua New Guinea/Australia, answered the ad. Keren is a Christian and invited Tracey to church. Since Tracey had this life goal of attending a church sometime, she went along with Keren a couple of times. This caused Tracey to reconsider her atheistic point of view and ask Keren more questions. Keren’s job hinders her from attending church every Sunday so Tracey didn’t go either. But the Lord kept working on her heart. One day Tracey went to a used book shop and bought a Bible and began to read it. But it didn’t make sense to her so she went to Christian used book shop.
Eleanor, a lady in our church, volunteers at this Christian bookshop once a month. Tracey came in and said, “I’m new to this Christian stuff and want to know more about God and need something that will explain what I’m reading.” So Eleanor directed her to some Biblically sound materials and invited her to our church. She also gave Tracey my contact information and gave me Tracey’s. I arranged to meet with Tracey and Keren.
Tracey was a very excited seeker and said that she now believed in God and Jesus and wanted a relationship with him. I was not sure if she had actually made a decision to receive Christ as her Savior, so I set up a time to do a personal Bible Study with her. Our first meeting, I shared the Gospel with her and asked if she had ever received Christ as her Savior. She said, “No, but I’m in the process.” When I asked what obstacles were hindering her, she said she just needed to think about it. I gave her the list of verses to read and also gave her a copy of Ray Pritchard’s book “An Anchor for the Soul.” She came to church that next Sunday and said she was reading the book and things were making sense. A couple days later I met with her again and asked where she was in the “process.” Tracey’s eyes lit up and she said, “I prayed that prayer at the back of Ray Pritchard’s book. I was afraid to pray with you because I thought I would ‘stuff it up’ and not really be a Christian, but it really was as easy as you said it would be and I’m so happy. God must love me a whole lot!” I said, “He sure does. He has written your name in the Lamb’s book of life!”
What an amazing God we have to seek out a lost soul! He used a flatmate from Papua New Guinea/Australia, a Bible from a used bookshop, a faithful bookshop volunteer, a missionary from America, a book from an American Preacher and the faithful prayers of hundreds of people around the world.
It is because of stories like this that we recently opened the Anchor Book Depot in Chicago. We’re asking God to use that little book (a “gospel book” in “Wal-Mart English” for people who don’t go to church and don’t know much about the Bible) to reach people around the world with the Good News of Jesus.