“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:20)
Bro. Tony and I began to go and hand out Gospel tracts on a regular basis. As more tracts were distributed, the 24-hour prayer line was becoming more active.
God even opened doors for us to have a public service announcement about the prayer line to run on some local television and radio stations.
People were calling in not only to ask for prayer, but to share how they had prayed the sinner’s prayer on the back of the tract and had accepted Christ.
Bro. Tony would always instruct them about their need to begin reading the Bible, talking to their Heavenly Father, and to start attending a local Bible-believing Church of their choice.
The prayer line was becoming so busy, that oftentimes they would call-forward the line to ring at my house so that I could answer it when they needed to be away.
On one particular evening, Bro. Tony had call-forwarded the line to my house so that he could attend some other ministry requirements, and then he would transfer the line back to the Center when he returned.
I went to bed as usual, and awoke about 2:00 A.M. to go pick up my newspapers downtown, and run my route. As I went out and tried to leave, my brand new truck would not start.
I tried again, praying, “Lord, please help me. I’m already running late.” but the engine would not turn over. It was dead as the proverbial doornail.
It was then that I looked up and saw my porch light flashing off and on, off and on. As I stepped out of the truck, my wife stepped out on the porch and said, “There’s a man on the phone and he’s threatening to commit suicide!”
I ran back into the house, took the phone and said, “Jesus loves you. Can I help you?”
He answered, “ I have a gun in my hand and I was about to pull the trigger, when I looked down and saw this paper that someone had given me laying on my table.”
“I decided to give it one last chance and call this number on the back, but if you can’t give me a reason to live, then I’m going to take this gun and kill myself.”
Not knowing what to say, I started to open my mouth to say something, anything, when suddenly that same feeling of power, which I had felt at the motel fire, seemed to fill me, and I heard myself saying in a loud, firm voice “You’re a liar, and the Devil is a liar.”
“What?” he said, “I tell you I’m going to kill myself, and you call me a liar?”
I replied, “The Bible says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; but that Jesus has come that you might have life, and life more abundantly. The Bible says that the devil is a liar and the father of it.”
“He’s the one that’s trying to talk you into killing yourself, but I rebuke him in the Name of Jesus Christ! You’re not going to kill yourself. Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life, and wants to save you and set you free.”
He started to cry and said, “I wish I could believe that.”
I said, “You can. You didn’t call this number by accident. God ordained for you to have that tract, and call this number, and that I should talk to you. He wants to save you now, forgive you of your sins, and give you a new life.”
We prayed together, and he invited Christ into his heart and was born again. He began to laugh and rejoice. I told him that the angels in heaven also rejoice over one sinner that comes to repentance.
I hung up and called Bro. Tony. He had forgotten to transfer the prayer line back to the Outreach Center.
I went outside, got in my truck, and, to my amazement, it started right up.
I began to praise God as I realized that He had caused my truck not to start in order to keep me there and lead this man to Christ.
By the time I got down to the newspaper, everyone was gone and my papers were stacked up on the dock. I had to climb up on the dock and load them myself by hand, but I didn’t mind one bit.
God was beginning to teach me just exactly how much He has everything in control.
This would not be the only time that I would see a vehicle not start in order for God to save someone‘s life.
Not long after this, Bro. Tony and I had gone downtown to hand out tracts as usual.
We would often stand at the corner of Akard and Elm streets, handing out tracts to the lunch crowd as they hurried about their business, rarely actually praying with anyone to receive Christ, but content to know that we were sowing seeds for the harvest.
Oftentimes, after the crowd had dispersed, many of our tracts ended up on the ground so we would retrieve what we could and hand them out again.
On this particular day, the Lord put something in my heart, and I turned to Bro. Tony and said, “You know brother, as I read the Bible, the disciples were constantly going.”
“They went, they didn’t just stay in one place, and the Lord confirmed His word with signs following (Mark 16:20). Instead of standing here in one spot, let’s start walking and see what the Lord does.”
We started walking and instead of handing tracts out to everyone we saw, we would approach people as the Holy Spirit would lead us, and begin to talk to them on a one-to-one basis.
After several hours, and after walking around much of downtown Dallas, we realized that we had prayed with over 30 people to receive Christ in their hearts. We were ecstatic as we headed back to the Outreach Center.
From that day forward, we never stayed still, but we went.
It became miraculous the way that the Holy Spirit would lead us. Some days, we would walk together and some days we would split up and then meet back together at a certain time.
We began to see 50, 60, sometimes over 70 people come to Christ after just a few hours of walking around downtown. God was truly bringing in a harvest of souls.
We began to see many miraculous conversions as well. Drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, and religious folk, anyone whose heart the Holy Spirit had prepared to receive the Gospel.
As we became more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He began to lead us into places and to people that we would never think to go to.
It might be a lady all alone, having her lunch break, reading a book under a shade tree. The Holy Spirit would say “Go to her, she’s the one.”
Instead of being afraid of a stranger approaching her alone, she would accept the tract with the good news of Jesus and pray on the spot to accept Christ into her heart.
Or perhaps it would be a group of people sitting at a bus stop. Once, the Lord had it all arranged for one individual sitting there.
As I approached the bus stop, I came to the first person and said “Hi. Do you know that Jesus loves you?”
“Oh my, yes” he replied, “I go to the Baptist church.” “Great!” I said, “Praise the Lord!”
As I spoke to each individual in order, they each one replied similarly. They all knew the Lord, had been born again, and each attended church. The only difference was that each one belonged to a different denomination.
My reply was the same for every person: “Great! Praise the Lord!”
As I came to the last one and began to speak to him, he stopped me and said, “Wait. Before you say another word, I want to ask you a question.”
“I listened as you spoke to each of these people, and each one told you that they attended a different type of church, and yet you said, “Praise the Lord” to everyone. Why is that?”
I replied, “Because there’s only going to be one heaven. It doesn’t matter what denomination or church you belong to, what matters is whether you have been born again and have asked Jesus Christ to come into your heart and save your soul.”
“He will write your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life and give you eternal life with Him. How about you, have you been born again?”
“No” he said, “But if that’s the kind of God you serve, then I want to be.” He bowed his head and asked Christ into his heart while everyone else at the bus stop looked on.