by Pastor Tim Burt
You are about to read a true story about a friend and brother in the Lord, Terry, who is one of those people who boldly follows God’s voice and leading. This is just one of his many stories. It will bless you!
One night, as I was spending time with the Lord, I was moved in my heart by the verses of Luke 10:1-9 (NIV) that says, “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.”
Upon reading these verses and feeling that the Lord was speaking to me through them, I asked Him, “Lord, do you have a strategy in the Bible that would help me win the people in our nation? Is what I’m reading in these verses what you are asking me to do? ” In my heart, I quickly knew the answer and it was yes. I shared what God had put on my heart with a friend and precious brother in the Lord–Andrew Johns who said he’d be keen to join me in the journey. Before we began, we agreed to pray separately for a week leading up to our departure. When that time came, I phoned Andrew and asked him if God had spoken anything specific to his heart. He said yes! “I believe God is directing us to head East” which was a confirmation to me because that was the same direction I felt the Lord speaking to me. So, we agreed to meet early in the morning at the road leading east from Whakatane, a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty region in the North Island of New Zealand.
We were heading out hitchhiking to follow the direction of the Lord, taking nothing with us. We left with no food, no money, no clothes, and only our Bibles. Before we left we had a myriad of unknowns before us. I said, “Andrew we need to pray.” So I prayed, “Lord can we have a bed to sleep in tonight and a meal to eat.” In my heart I heard, “Be specific son, what do you want to eat?” I had to say something so I replied, “Roast beef, roast potatoes and peas.” And then Andrew piped in “and some ice cream God.” And then we began our journey hitchhiking.
A few hours and about 185 kilometers later (115 miles), we arrived in a city called Gisbourne. It had been raining and we were soaking wet and freezing cold. I began walking up and down the main street asking the Lord… where are we to go? For half and hour I walked up and down the street, but couldn’t hear the Lord. In exhaustion, I sat down on an outdoor bench and slouched down just resting. When I opened my eyes, the footpath in front of me became a map. I knew that this was God showing me exactly where to go. I had no doubt at all. I said, “Andrew come with me.” Its the road to our left. We walked three blocks when I saw a house on a corner. I said to Andrew, this is the house. Andrew decided to wait next to a power pole on the street while I knocked on the door.
A young lady opened the door, and I said can I help you? I said, “God has sent me to your house to tell someone about His Son Jesus Christ.” She said, “Are you for real?” and I said, “Yes.” She said, “That’s incredible!” She proceeded to tell me that she was planning to commit suicide that afternoon and just before I knocked on her door, she was planning how to do it. I called out to Andrew and we both prayed for this precious 17 year-old girl who had drifted away from Jesus but recommitted her life back to God. She was so deeply touched that God He would send us hundreds of kilometers to her house, just for her. She felt loved and was excited and told us that she would like to tell a Maori pastor friend about what had just happened to her. Our hearts were screaming “Hallelujah, Glory to Jesus! We were so thrilled with what the Lord had done. It exceeded our expectations.
A short time later, the thought crept in my mind, “Lord, we are meant to be invited in now for the roast dinner according to Luke 10.” Well we waited for about 20 minutes, but the invitation didn’t come so I said to the girl, “We have to go now,” and said goodbye.
As we walked down her driveway, there was a Morris mini car parked across the street. Strangely, the driver was waving us to his car. We walked over and spoke with the young man in the car. He offered to drive us to a hostel, a lower-priced inn of sorts. Then he started to tell us about Jesus. We told him that we were Christians on a Luke 10 mission, and shared with him about the girls testimony. He told us that his ministry was picking up people and telling them about Jesus, and that he fellowships at the Gisbourne Salvation Army. He was so excited about our testimony, he said, “Oh, I’ve got to take you to meet Mum & Dad. They would love to hear this story firsthand,” so he brought us to his parents home.
As we walked inside, he immediately began to tell his parents who we were and that we were on a Luke 10 mission. His mother looked at us and said, “You must be freezing! Come in, we’ve got two spare beds upstairs. You can spend the night, have a hot shower, and we have a robe for each of you to use while I dry your clothes.” After the hot shower, Andrew and I were sitting in the TV room when suddenly the French doors flung open. She called us to dinner and had prepared roast beef, roast potatoes, peas, and a bowl of ice cream. God had not left out one thing! He is so good and so kind! All His ways are perfect.
In the morning, we decided to worship and fellowship with the family at the Gisborne Salvation Army. To our incredible surprise, their Pastor ministered on Luke 10 when Jesus sent out the 70 in two’s to where He himself would go. All I could think about was how intimate and affirming the Lord is when you will trust and go on a journey led by Him! All the way home we gave honor, praise and glory to our Lord Jesus.
John 14:12 (NIV) “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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