As we’ve been working through the Gospel According to Mark, we’ve discussed the power that a single encounter with another person can have in our lives. We asked some of our members to share what this has practically looked like in their own lives.
I grew up in a very non-Christian home. I believed there was a God but I had no idea who He was and honestly couldn't have cared less at that point in my life. At age 16 I got in trouble while passing through Denver, CO. It was my first time I had ever been to Denver and the only thing I knew about it was that my “crazy” Christian uncle lived there. Within 48 hours of me getting placed in juvenile detention he was right there to visit me. Keep in mind that I hadn’t seen or talked to my uncle in probably 8 years at this point.
For the next 2 years my uncle visited me every month, even when I didn’t really him want to. Every time he met with me he would ask how I was doing, if he could help me with anything and he would share the gospel with me. I got so sick and tired of him showing up that I would try to get out of my visits by working in the kitchen or doing other tasks that the staff would let me do. Once I got out and was on my own, I purposely avoided my uncle because I knew the life that he wanted for me wasn’t the life I wanted. I was under the impression that life was pretty much all about seeking “the American dream”. Come to find out I actually was pretty good at it too! By the time I hit 20 I had my nice truck, a nice apartment, a girlfriend, 2 jobs, and I was happy. Or I thought so anyways.
During this time my uncle tried to reach out to me, tried to tell me that I was building my foundation on sand and that I would never truly find happiness without Jesus Christ. I of course thought he was just a crazy old man that drank the Kool-Aid and had no idea what he was talking about. Shortly after I turned 21 I got in trouble, again, and through that ended up losing everything that I thought was important. A few weeks later my uncle asked me if I would meet him for lunch. During that 30 minute talk he shared the gospel. The same thing he had been sharing for 4 years!
Finally, I was at a humble enough state that I heard him and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My uncle is now my best friend, biggest mentor and the closest thing I have had to a dad on this earth. It may have taken 4 years of trying to get me to listen but he never gave up on me. This has been a lesson to me, that I should be patient and committed to the relationships and ministries that God puts in front of me. I pray that it will do the same for whoever else reads this as well.