Just to be honest, the stories I am sharing are not in chronological order. The reason is because the endings are so completely different. The following account changed my life. Rochelle will forever be imprinted in my mind and my heart….
This is her story..
I can remember how hot it was. The team had not been walking around very long and sweat was already beading down my neck. As we approached the house I had already prepared to be sent away, again. I figured it would be another quick encounter with an individual who was cordial but didn’t want to talk. I soon found out I was wrong.
As I knocked on Rochele’s door her dog began to bark with fierceness. She did not come to the front door but rather came around from the back. There was a rusted gate that blocked the team from standing right next to Rochele. The gate was her protection. It also kept her big dog away.
I quickly introduced myself. I said to her, “I am Joshua Broughton from First Baptist Church of Avondale and we are in the neighborhood passing out flyers.” She quickly informed us that she already had a flyer. I replied to her by telling her the team and I had been having a little argument and I needed her to settle the issue. She timidly said she would try. I asked her, “What makes a good person?” Her face was covered with a look of bewilderment.
“I don’t know, taking care of people but to be honest I don’t believe people are good anymore.” She said matter of fact. It wasn’t a rude statement, just a reality she had accepted based on the ruff life she had lived so far. A life she would soon give the team a glimpse into.
I let her know that I saw the same things in our society. Quickly I asked Rochele if she knew what God’s standard was for goodness. She did not. She was actually very silent at this point. I began to share with her that God’s standard is the Ten Commandments. We had a fun laugh trying to name all the commandments. Once the laughter subsided I asked her if we could all take a simple test to see if we were good in God’s eyes. She agreed.
I simply asked three questions, “Have you ever told a lie, Have you ever stolen anything and have you ever murdered, being mindful that Jesus said if we are angry at someone we have committed murder in our hearts?” after every questions we all admitted we have lied, stolen and murdered. I led Rochele to see that because we have broken God’s law we are all found guilty.
As I began to share the gravity of sin and the glorious truth of Christ something changed in Rochele. There was a glimmer in her eyes. It was something I had not seen before. It was as if there was a truth she had never fully realized and now wanted desperately. I was watching the Holy Spirit of God renovate a sinner’s heart. When I asked her if she wanted to receive Christ she said, “Yes.”
Behind my glasses I felt trickles of water falling. I was so moved by her acceptance and desire to pronounce Jesus as Lord and Savior. I was filled with a joy I have not felt in a long, long time. I led Rochele in a simple sinners prayer. Every word of confession hit her hard. Her voice shuttered as she admitted her sinfulness. Tears filled her face as she joyously embraced God’s offer of salvation.
The team spent some time sharing with Rochele what the next steps would be. We encouraged her to find a church home. We also prayed for her as she expressed a desire to share with her fiancé the new decision she had made. Leading Rochele to Christ changed me. There was something in me that I had buried for a long time. For so long I had walked in my own power and my own provision. It had been years since I desperately asked God to move. I shared with Rochele as I was leaving that I had been praying for God to save someone during the week and she was the answer to my prayer. I will never forget the smile that came afterward. It was beautiful.