BRANDON – IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
W e could have wondered why it was taking so long to change our oil and rotate our tires, but it soon became apparent that God had His own plan at work. A young man was seated in the waiting room as we entered and he kindly offered us the newspaper he was reading. It just so happened that as I got out of our car minutes earlier that my eyes fell on the “This Is Your Life” Chick Tract stuck in a side pocket of the car. I grabbed it hurriedly, but knew a few minutes later that this too was God’s planning, as I offered it to this young man, Brandon.
We read the newspaper while observing Brandon’s thorough reading of the tract. His face reflected serious thought as he slowly turned each page, and then reread some at the end. After several minutes of silence, I said, “That’s quite an interesting booklet.” “It sure is…,” he replied, “makes you do some thinking.” He soon admitted that he hadn’t been in church for many years, although his father is a pastor. “It’s a Church of Christ and they stress water baptism, but my wife goes to a Baptist church. It’s all so confusing. The Church of Christ has no instruments, but their singing is so beautiful. I don’t like the loud music at my wife’s church… and all the words up on a screen. There’s so much that just doesn’t make me feel comfortable.” We acknowledged the changes in churches today, but explained that there are still some old time conservative churches that preach the Gospel, and asked him if he had ever gone to a Pentecostal church. He had not but said his wife was willing to go to another church if it preached the Gospel, and if he would go.
We learned that Brandon worked as an engineer and conductor on the railroad and was often away from home. “And I suppose that keeps you away from church,” I said. “Well,” he replied, “that’s an excuse that I use. I know I should go to church.”
Brother Goodwin began to present the Gospel to him, salvation by faith in Christ, not by baptism, but as something that he really needs to consider. Brandon was so responsive…speaking of fear of going to hell, and knowing he needed to make a choice. Even his face expressed inner turmoil and concern.
“What are you waiting for, Brandon?,” we asked. “What keeps someone like you from coming to the Lord and getting saved? Are you afraid to surrender to the Lord? If we are not surrendered, then we are saying, God I know I should, but I won’t. I want to go on my own way.”
“Well, “ he replied, “all of us sin a little every day. I just don’t know what would happen if I surrendered.”
Brother Goodwin explained that we don’t have to sin every day, and that when Christ comes in, He changes us, makes us new persons, and the things we once loved and wanted to do, we suddenly feel bad about doing… The Holy Spirit convicts us, and causes us to repent and ask forgiveness..and as you grow in the Lord you will sin less and less… You won’t want to sin. You will have something so much better that fills you with the peace and joy of the Lord. We can’t do it on our own, but through Christ.
It seemed he was afraid he couldn’t live the life if he became a Christian, but realized his great need of being ready to meet the Lord.
“Brandon,” God loves you very much…no doubt your parents are praying for you, and God caused you to be in this waiting room at the same time as two traveling evangelists who would tell you what we have told you. He is on your trail. He wants you to come to Him. Only God could have arranged our meeting.””I know I need it,” he replied.
Just then a very immodestly dressed woman came in and sat down. It was a clear distraction and as we prayed she left. Then the serviceman came and called Brandon to his car. The enemy was seeking to keep Brandon his own prisoner.
When Brandon returned we again felt God pulling at this young man’s heart, but he was not yet willing.
“Brandon,” we continued, “if you go from this place and make a decision for the Lord, will you please contact us and tell us?” “I sure will,” he responded…”and thank you so much. I really appreciate what you have said to me.”
Brother Goodwin gave him a hug as he went on his way to his car. Our prayers have been for Brandon who was clearly under conviction. May God save his soul!