We first met Joe while doing a Solarium Outreach Table on campus about a month ago. He was more than willing to participate in sharing about his life and beliefs. To be honest, I don't remember if it was me or my fellow campus missionary intern, Patrick, who led him through the survey, but I do remember he heard the Gospel that day. About a week ago, I ran into Joe again while I was playing pool in the University Center. I said "hello" to him and he seemed surprised that I even remembered his name. He played a game or two with me, and we talked a little bit about life and other things. We both went on our way.
Then this week, I saw Joe again. This time, I was working a Multiple Choice table as a part of Engage 24. At this table, there were two questions, with three answer choices each. We gave each student who participated two pennies and they dropped a penny into the jar that corresponded with their beliefs. The first question was "Who is Jesus?" Joe was quick to choose the "Savior" option. The next question was "How many ways are there to Heaven?" He stood and stared at the question for a few seconds. I could tell he was a little perplexed as to whether there was one way to heaven or multiple ways. Instead of forcing him to choose one, I asked if he could simply talk through his thoughts with me.
It was then that he told me about his Catholic background and how he was taught to do good things, but if you messed up, you still had a chance to go to heaven after purgatory. I shared John 14:6 with him, where Jesus states, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." I presented the gospel to him through this verse and when I was done, we stood there in silence, and then he looked at me and said, "You know, I haven't ever thought about it like that before." Then he said "Do you know what I hate about you?" This really caught me off guard, and I wasn't sure I wanted to hear the answer, but I obliged anyways.
He said "Every time I talk to you, you make me think." I was honored and a little awed when he said this. Then he proceeded to say "Also, every time I talk to you , it makes me want to cry." I was absolutely speechless at this. As he stood there with tears rolling down his face, I then asked him if he had ever fully put his faith in Christ. He said "I think so," in an unconvincing way. I then talked to him about assurance of salvation and what it meant to live a life for Christ. I told him my testimony and how I came to know Jesus.
Joe listened attentively, but didn't make any decisions that day. Before he left, we exchanged numbers so we could get together and talk again sometime. But before he walked away, he took the penny that was in his hand and dropped it into the "one way to heaven" jar.
He walked away and I was kind of stunned by what just happened. I know it wasn't my words that made Joe emotional, but it was the Holy Spirit. That was the first time the true gospel had ever registered with Joe. I'm not sure if it was conviction, or just the revelation of who Jesus was that made Joe emotional, but I do know that it was the work of the Spirit. I'm looking forward to seeing him again to continue showing him in word and deed what the gospel really is. God is moving in Joe's life, and I know he's given me the honor of being a part of that story.Kyle Crim serves with Go Now Missions as a campus missionary intern at Angelo State University in San Angelo.
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